Employers Overestimate Employee Wellbeing

By Alana Smart / April 21, 2023 / Blog ,

Employers Overestimate Employee Wellbeing

There appears to be a growing gap between employee satisfaction and employers’ perception of employee well-being. It seems that plan sponsor benefits are not meeting the personal needs for employees to an increasing extent and employers overestimate employee wellbeing, new data shows.

The annual MetLife U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study commissioned two surveys. One that collected responses of employers, and one that collected employees’ responses. The employer survey involved more than 2,800 interviews with benefit decision-makers and influencers at organizations with at least two employees in the U.S. The employee survey consisted of nearly 2,900 interviews with full-time workers at organizations with at least two employees in the U.S.

Findings from the surveys show that the difference between the groups increased to 22 percentage points in 2023 from just 3 percentage points in 2018. When asked about benefit satisfaction, 61% of employees said they were satisfied with employer benefits. Comparatively, 83% of employers said their employees were satisfied with the benefits they receive.

Findings also reveal a 28-point percentage gap between the portion of the employees (55%) who said that they’re financially healthy and the employers (83%) who reported that their employees are financially healthy. More than half of workers (55%) reported living paycheck-to-paycheck, up from 43% in 2022. The data also showed, employees citing financial concerns as a cause of lower mental health increased to 48% in 2023, from 31% in 2022.

Additionally, research revealed 20-point percentage gaps between both groups when it comes to employee mental health (65% vs. 85%) and physical health (67% vs. 87%). Of their social health, defined as the ability of workers to form satisfying interpersonal relationships, there was a 19-point percentage gap.

Employee job satisfaction rates bumped up to 69%, from 66% one year ago, which was the lowest recorded job satisfaction rate since the study began in 2002. However, more than a third of employees said they don’t feel cared for by their employer. Those workers were 72% less likely to feel valued by their employer and 65% less likely to feel a sense of belonging at work.

“Our research shows care is not only a differentiated driver of the employee experience, but also a proven workplace metric to measure employee outcomes,” Todd Katz, executive vice president of group benefits at MetLife, said in a press release. “As the economy and labor market remain volatile and workplace trends fluctuate, employers can’t afford to overlook employee care.”

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