When it comes to building a happier and more productive workplace, employers know that benefits play a critical role. MetLife’s Employee Benefit Trends Study shows that the more satisfied employees are with their benefits, the more satisfied they are with their jobs. This is an increasingly important consideration as companies shift their focus to retaining talent.

But while all companies want to reap the long-term rewards of dynamic benefits, their paths to success can take many different forms. In the same way that today’s employees come to work with a wide range of financial and personal circumstances, their employers must also adopt solutions that fit their own unique budgets, resources, and long-term strategies.

Different Sized Companies Require Different Benefit Solutions

Sizing Up Benefits Confidence looks at four components of benefits success through the lens of small, medium-sized, and large companies.

With each business size comes a range of benefit considerations, such as growth and budget objectives, culture, education and communication practices, resource constraints, and regulatory concerns. The optimal benefits approach works in harmony with these circumstances.

Ensure Selection Success with the 4 Cs of Benefits Confidence

The Study has explored how employers can deliver a positive, 360-degree benefit experience through a robust mix of benefits, a focus on smart communication and financial education, and by conveying empathy around their employees' unique financial challenges.

The 4 Cs of Benefits Confidence build off of these crucial areas of focus and provide a benefits strategy framework for companies large and small.

1. Count


Worker appreciation increases as the number of benefits offered increases. Offering a wider array of benefits options is easier than you think.

2. Coverage


As employees look for the right coverage to meet their unique needs, employers should look to offer a range of options. This includes offering benefits such as domestic partner and extended family coverage.

3. Care


Employers can boost engagement and loyalty by demonstrating empathy towards their employees' financial challenges and by providing them with access to solutions.

4. Clarity


Benefits require comprehensive communication and education practices that help employees effectively use their selections with confidence

1. Count

Overall, as the size of the company's population rises, so does the average number of benefits offered in the workplace.

Average Number of Benefits Offered, by Business Size

Upward Trend -- 17% Increase since 2012 Average Benefits Offered

Additionally, the Study finds that as the number of benefits offered in the workplace rises, so does employee appreciation, including their intent to stay and likelihood to recommend their organization as a great place to work.

To explore how companies of all sizes can achieve the optimal mix of benefits, visit Insights to Go.

2. Coverage

Employees across all company sizes were asked what they consider to be the must-have benefits that will meet their personal needs. The top must-have benefits include traditional workplace benefits such as medical, dental, life, vision, and long-term disability insurance.

Yet, in light of employees' desire for more choice and the incremental increases in worker appreciation as a result of more choice, employers should look beyond the traditional coverage options, such as domestic partner coverage and extended family coverage, to maximize their offerings.

The levels of interest among employees and employers for domestic partner coverage vary by company size.

Attitudes Towards Domestic Partner Coverage

Upward Trend -- 17% Increase since 2012Level of Employee Interest


However, the Study showed that only certain pockets of employers and industries are more likely to offer domestic partner coverage versus their counterparts.


Employers and Industries Most Likely to Offer Domestic Partner Coverage

Shading signifies which employers and industries are most likely to offer domestic partner coverage.

Upward Trend -- 17% Increase since 2012 Domestic Partner Coverage


To explore how employees and employers across different company sizes approach other non-traditional benefits such as portable and part-time coverage, as well as the full list of must-have benefits, visit Insights to Go.

3. Care

The Study found that employees across all demographics, regardless of the size of their employer, are grappling with some form of financial or personal wellness worry. These concerns are making them anxious about the long-term financial impacts of unexpected illness, death, or other hardships. Employees look to workplace benefits to alleviate some of this pressure, and turn to their employers for guidance during the selection process.

Attitudes Towards the Employer's Role in Financial Wellness

Percentage of those who agree with the statement: "Employers have a responsibility for the financial wellness of their employees."

Upward Trend -- 17% Increase since 2012 Workplace Appreciation — An upward trend


To explore how employers and employees across all size segments perceive benefits' impact on peace of mind, visit Insights to Go.

4. Clarity

The Study found that the strongest drivers in employee benefit selection confidence were easy-to-understand communications and their understanding of how much they would pay for a service.

Yet, between the segments, there were differences in how confident employees were in their decisions during their last annual enrollment. There were also differences in the percentage of employees who did not review their choices several times before finalizing their selections, as well as those who said that their benefit communications did not effectively educate them.

Lack of Confidence in Benefit Decision Making

Percentage of employees in different sized companies who agree with these statements:


Upward Trend -- 17% Increase since 2012 Workplace Appreciation — An upward trend


To explore which company sizes are offering the most financial education, as well which benefits are the least understood, visit Insights to Go.

Turn Insights into Action

The 4 Cs of Benefits Confidence reinforce the importance of a truly comprehensive benefits offering, ensuring employees across all company sizes have access to the right solutions to fit their needs, as well as the help and guidance they need to make confident selections.




Employers should work with their brokers, consultants, and providers to assess whether budget allows for opportunities to enhance and grow existing portfolio in a cost effective way.




Seek to better understand employee benefit needs, and act to close gaps in preferences and expectations.




Partner with employees on their financial security by offering tools and resources that help them sort through their current financial situations and look optimistically to the future.




Leverage partners and resources, including brokers, enrollment firms, and internal stakeholders, to effectively develop communications and educational opportunities that will help employees best utilize their benefit selections all year round.

Click the button below to download the Insights To Go summary, for in-depth findings from MetLife’s 13th Annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study.