Employers in EMEA are making decisions during times of unusual economic and political uncertainty, as evidenced by the United Kingdom’s Brexit, declining state social security in Greece, and political unrest in Egypt.

Yet, they know that, like many more stable economies, productivity must improve. Motivating workers and driving efficiency in the labour market appear to be a priority. And a competitive environment for experienced talent continues to result in a shortage of qualified workers.

Our Employee Benefit Trends Study uncovers wins that are possible, even in challenging times.  Fielded in key markets in EMEA over a period of three years, the study suggests that investing in differentiated, well-communicated benefits can not only help organisations retain key staff  but also help drive productivity at work.

Uncertainty brings opportunity

Our research suggests that when the economy gets tough, companies turn to benefits as a cost-effective way to drive satisfaction and productivity, and employees look to employers for certainty. More than 50% of all employees in surveyed markets showed a high appreciation of benefits offered through work.

“I place high value on the benefits provided by my employer for my financial security, my retirement, and my health care needs.”

Benefits can help with employee retention

For employees considering leaving their employers, we asked what would motivate them to stay. In every surveyed market, they cited higher salary as the most important reason to stay, and almost always ranked improving benefits packages as second.

*amongst those who want to leave in 12 months

Employees will pay to personalise

Surveyed employees showed a strong willingness to pay for benefits they want and that meet unmet needs. Many reported that they would be interested in a cost-share model.

In Greece, 55% of employees said they would be interested in a wider choice of voluntary benefits in the workplace and the majority felt they would gain access to better rates or group deals.

* Critical illness part of supplemental health benefits offered

Other factors boost engagement

Other issues like financial control, wellness programs and supportive work environments had an impact on employee engagement, commitment, and workability.

In the UK, a sense of financial control was the single biggest factor. On a 7-point agreement scale, a 1-point increase in financial control leads to a 19% increase in employee engagement.

In Greece, a supportive boss was found to have the greatest impact. On a 7-point scale, a 1-point increase in a supportive work environment yields an 8% increase in employee engagement.

*Multiple Regression Model

Digital communication maximises reach

Personalized communication is key to helping employees understand the value of their benefits. With digital platforms, employers can deliver tailored and targeted communications for a multi-generational workplace, moving beyond a “one size fits all” approach.

For more information regarding insights from MetLife EBTS conducted in Egypt, Greece, Russia, UAE and UK, please contact your MetLife account executive to discuss how we can help you with your benefits strategies.

The sources for the information and graphics included in this webpage are the Employee Benefit Trends Study surveys carried out by MetLife in the following markets: Egypt, Greece, Russia, UAE, and the UK.