2020 U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study | Metlife

Talent Management

Employee wellbeing (EWB) continues to rise up the agenda as a critical priority for many organizations. While the research on EWB is vast and includes various conceptualizations, at its core: EWB reflects an overall state of how employees feel about various aspects of their lives, ranging from physical and mental wellbeing, financial, family and friends, and work. And given the majority of people spend a disproportionate amount of their waking hours on their work and careers, the work component of EWB has a “domino effect” where it influences other aspects of wellbeing. As we are still amid the coronavirus, EWB will take a whole new meaning–with many workers placing increased value on EWB as a condition of employment. For example, I believe that for many workers who have long battled lengthy-commutes, late working nights, and have been in an “always-on” work mode, the coronavirus has been the catalyst that has forced them to self-reflect and re-evaluate aspects of their overall wellbeing. Many of these individuals are realizing that they don’t want their lives to be dominated any longer by their work, especially when it comes at the expense of their health and time with family and friendships. Organizations will need to determine and execute strategies to foster wellbeing while simultaneously driving productivity and performance. As such, EWB is a key component of talent strategy. In the report by Metlife, they share two waves of research: Wave 1 focuses on enduring insights gleaned from the late summer of 2019 before the pandemic and Wave 2 highlights emerging perspectives as we collectively respond to this crisis. The report has four parts 1) The New Work-Life Reality, 2) Driving Employee Engagement and Reducing Stress, 3) Supporting Employees by Embracing a Model of Holistic Wellbeing, 4) Promoting Employee Wellbeing With Benefits and Communications. Each part provides a summary of the topic and ends with a section called “employer actions and solutions” in which practical ideas are provided. For those who are interested in this topic, you should check out Jeffrey Pfeffer’s book Dying for a Paycheck: How Modern Management Harms Employee Health and Company Performance and What We Can Do About It . In it, he explores various aspects of employee wellbeing backed up with strong supporting research.

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