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MetLife’s new report, The Evolving Work-Life World: How Small Businesses Can Compete and Thrive, dives into what small businesses and their employees think about benefits. The findings show a growing appreciation for benefits among small business employees and strategic opportunities for brokers to help employers capitalize on the trend.
The Evolving Work-Life World: Reimagining The Role for Small Business Benefits
As work and life continue to blend and unemployment remains low, the competition for employee talent is intense. Small businesses are seeking solutions to help their companies stand out as they tackle the challenge of attracting and retaining employees. Strategic benefits can play a pivotal role.
Looking ahead, small businesses are feeling optimistic about their opportunity to grow and succeed. One in four small business owners plans to hire additional employees within the next year.1 But the competition for the best and the brightest is challenging. More than 40% say it’s hard to find good candidates.2
Benefits As a Differentiator
Along with the appeal of a close-knit, family-like culture, small businesses can stand out from other employers by offering a range of benefit options. Flexibility and voluntary benefit choices are highly valued by employees and are increasingly possible for smaller companies to offer.
Small business employees show an increasing appreciation for benefits available through their employers. 46% say better benefits can help them successfully navigate and thrive in today’s workplace, up 13% over 2018.
However, based on employee perceptions, small business employers may not be fully optimizing benefits as a strategic tool. Benefits are an important reason for joining a company, according to 46% of small business employees. And, employee benefits also help drive increased employee loyalty. 64% of small business employees say having benefits customized to meet their needs would increase loyalty to their employer. In fact, eight out of ten small business employees say the ability to customize their benefits is a must-have or nice-to-have option.
To capitalize on the strategic power of benefits, small businesses must first address the gap in current perceptions. While 67% of small business employers believe employees are satisfied with their current benefits offering, only 52% of small business employees express satisfaction. However, the employee satisfaction rate is trending up, jumping from 42% in 2018.
The Appeal of Voluntary Benefits
For employers, offering voluntary benefit choices that enable employees to select coverages to best fit their individual needs can provide the options employees want, without breaking the bank. 52% of small business employees are interested in a wider array of non-medical benefits they can choose from and pay for on their own. This employee receptivity opens the door for employers to evaluate their current benefit programs and implement strategic enhancements that can benefit their employees’ lives as well as the company’s bottom line.
Download MetLife’s report, The Evolving Work-Life World: How Small Businesses Can Compete and Thrive, and use the insights as conversation starters with your small business clients and prospects.
Access The Report
Contact the small group experts at 800.696.4543 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unless noted otherwise, all findings are from the 17th annual MetLife U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study research, 2019.
1MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index, Q2 2019.
2MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index, Q4 2018.