MetLife Australia’s Employee Benefits Trends Study (EBTS) has uncovered that over 70% of employers cite a better work-life balance for employees as the key outcome of better benefits packages.

The study, conducted biannually, explores the attitudes of 300 Australian company managers and over 500 Australian full-time employees. The most recent results show an encouraging trend towards increasing support for the physical, social and emotional needs of employees, with 78% of Australian employers offering benefits aiming to improve health and wellness across the company, second only to increasing productivity (80%).

The wellbeing trend also continues when looking at the most popular benefits on offer – 61% nominated flexible working arrangements, closely followed by the inclusion of wellness programs (56%) and medical benefits or health insurance (55%).

It appears that wellbeing is no longer an optional extra for companies wanting to attract and retain top talent in 2017. Supporting employees across all aspects of wellbeing can have a flow-on effect to every facet of the organisation and drive positive business outcomes.

Employees are willing to invest in their own benefits

Contrary to the belief of many employers, MetLife’s EBTS found employees would be open to sharing the cost of benefits – but only for the initiatives they felt were of value. The study found 68% of employees would split the cost for medical or health insurance, closely followed by flexible working arrangements (67%) and health and wellness programs (62%).

So what does this mean for employers?

Employers need to keep in mind success is not just about flu shots and employee assistance programs. It really hinges on getting all the ingredients in the mix of benefits right. This includes considering the physical, social and emotional components of wellbeing and how as an employer, you can encourage employees to embrace everything that is offered.

Understanding the wellbeing basics

Ensuring that employees’ physical, social and emotional needs are met involves understanding and putting programs into place. This can involve a wide range of initiatives and programs including:

  • Ensuring work-life balance can be maintained through the right policies and procedures,
  • Offering support for health and fitness programs,
  • Creating a welcoming office environment where employees feel comfortable to be themselves at work,
  • Providing support for emotional issues, via management training and external counselling services, and
  • Understanding that work can be a social outlet and providing opportunities for employees to socialise both formally and informally

Find out more

Learn more about MetLife’s EBTS study by downloading the whitepaper here.