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Supporting Employee's Whole Selves

The trends redefining how we work and the need for employers to adapt in order to attract and retain employees.

Over the past 25 years, technology has been the major driver of workplace changes — redefining where and how we work. These trends were the first major step in blurring the boundaries between work and life.

From the ability to work anytime, anywhere, to the emergence of on-demand and contract work through the gig economy, technology is continuing to reshape how we work.

But we are now seeing additional trends redefining why we work and what work means to people, and adapting to these trends is the key to attracting and retaining next generation staff.

Younger generations are more likely to want to work for an employer who respects their out-of-work life. Gen Z (those aged 18-22 years), in particular, want to do work that has purpose for the greater community.

Employees need an ally, and employers can play this role by creating a workplace that recognises and supports employees holistically. One that provides experiences that enrich, a culture that accepts, and guidance that helps employees reach their individual goals.

From alleviating financial stresses to giving employees time to recharge, traditional and emerging benefits can offer relevant support to employees — and they can be key ingredients for the kind of caring, trusting culture in which employees thrive.

Chapter One: Supporting Employee's Whole Selves

When work and life blend and enrich each other, everybody wins:

  • Employees who agree
  • Employers who agree

Do employees want an employer known for respecting their out-of-work lives?
(Those who agree, by age)

Total SMEs
  • Gen Z (Ages 18-22)
  • Gen Y (Ages 23-36)
  • Gen X (Ages 37-52)
  • Boomers (Ages 53+)

This year's top insights

This year we see a focus on the need to identify with employees as individuals

Support employees as individuals Individuality

Employees are more engaged when supported as individuals

Safe space Safe space

Giving employees a voice to speak up without fear of retribution

Finding purpose at work Purpose

Finding purpose at work is multifaceted

Technology requires training Training

Technology is driving a new mandate for training

Flexible careers Flexibility

Flexible careers are reshaping the workplace


New insights offer new solutions

In our current environment of low unemployment and heightened competition for in-demand talent across industries, as well as evolving employee expectations, it can be difficult for employers to determine what will break through the noise and make an impact.

By understanding employees’ deeper motivations, employers can develop strategies that better engage their workforce — and new insights have emerged to help them do just that. 

With these perspectives, we will identify how to shape workplace behaviour, cultivate meaningful experiences, and offer relevant solutions and benefits — and in doing so, drive increased engagement, higher productivity, and greater loyalty.

While the viability and appropriateness posed by each of these insights cannot be addressed overnight, there is one theme that runs throughout: Employers need to think about employees’ lives and needs holistically.

Over the course of this report, we will discuss several benefits-related learnings, which employers can use to help them rethink their benefits packages.

In the new landscape of benefit offerings, employers will have more tools than ever to impact the culture and experiences of their employees.

Employers need to think about employees’ lives and needs holistically

Next page

What Employees Want and What Employers Can Offer

In Chapter Two we investigate the elements that create a positive enviroment for both employees and employers to successfully reach their goals.

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Employee Benefits Trends Study 2019: Thriving in the New Work-Life World has been prepared by MetLife Insurance Limited, ABN 75 004 274 882 AFSL 238 096 (MetLife) and should not be published or reproduced without the prior permission of MetLife. Whilst care has been taken in preparing this material, MetLife does not warrant or represent that the information, opinions or conclusions contained in this document (“information”) are accurate. The information provided in the report and on this website is general information only, current as at the time of production. 

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