Top 10 benefits that keep employees happy

Keeping employees happy and loyal means providing benefits that fulfill their financial needs and have value in their lives. Today’s employees crave more than just health and retirement benefits, and it’s important for companies to offer the benefits employees need even if the company doesn’t pay for them, according to the latest benefit trends study from MetLife.

As expected, the No. 1 item on the list is medical insurance—considered a “must-have” benefit by nearly 90 percent of respondents. And, it’s not a surprise that 401k or retirement benefits are next on the list, considered a must-have by 72 percent of respondents. But prescription drug coverage is tied with retirement benefits for second place—a telltale sign of the ongoing struggle over consumer drug prices.

Believe it or not, benefits toward auto insurance (#4) outrank dental coverage (#5), while home insurance (#6) slightly edges out life insurance (#7) on the top 10 list.  Vision care (#8), long-term disability benefits (#9) and short-term disability benefits (#10) round out the list.

The mobile revolution and its “always on” technology have had both positive and negative effects on the workforce and the definition of work/life balance. “While this mobility offers great advantages, it also allows work to infiltrate employees’ lives,” the MetLife study notes. “The enjoyment of life is beginning to take back its rightful place in the lives of employees. Today’s employees put increased focus on happiness at work—they change jobs more often, their careers take unexpected twists and turns, and personal satisfaction can be as important as the numbers on their paycheck.”

While companies may be obligated to provide certain benefits, offering a diverse range of benefits may be a smart and proactive idea, even if employees must pay for them themselves.

“Between work and life, employees want harmony—not just balance,” the study notes. “With this new blended experience, they expect their employers to keep up with current trends and proactively provide solutions for their changing needs.”

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