Do Your Benefits Support Employees Living in Permacrisis? - American Society of Employers - Linda Olejniczak

Do Your Benefits Support Employees Living in Permacrisis?

Recent data from a study by MetLife reveals a concerning trend: employees are experiencing heightened levels of stress, burnout, and depression in the workplace. The pressures of the ongoing permacrisis state, compounded by financial concerns and persistently high living costs, have created a challenging environment for employees to navigate.

Permacrisis is defined as a long period of great difficulty, confusion, or suffering that seems to have no end such as ongoing challenges including economic instability, technological disruption, and global crises like the COVID-19 pandemic. This perpetual state of flux has profound effects on mental health, productivity, and overall well-being.

To support their workforce through permacrisis, employers can offer comprehensive health benefits that prioritize mental health services, including therapy and counseling, as well as flexible work arrangements to accommodate individual needs. Additionally, access to resources such as mindfulness programs, financial wellness assistance, and robust healthcare coverage can provide employees with the support they need to navigate the complexities of permacrisis with resilience and adaptability.

MetLife's 22nd annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study highlights the urgent need for employers to reassess their benefits offerings to better support and retain their workforce. Todd Katz, Executive Vice President of Group Benefits at MetLife, emphasizes the pivotal role benefits play in demonstrating care and promoting employees' well-being. By focusing on benefit utilization, employers can address holistic health, maximize the value of benefits for both employees and the organization, and drive positive business outcomes.

Financial worries, compounded by the uncertainties of inflation and market forces, are significant contributors to poor mental health among employees. Additionally, stressors outside of work, such as balancing home and work life or concerns about the economy, further exacerbate these challenges. The impact of these stressors is evident in the surge of mental health related leaves of absence in the workplace and the decline in employees' perception of their employer's care and support.

Despite these concerning trends, there are areas of progress noted in the report. Employee satisfaction with benefits has seen a slight increase, indicating a positive response to tailored offerings and improved communication from employers. Moreover, there has been a rise in holistic well-being perceptions and job loyalty, albeit below pre-pandemic levels.

However, there remains a critical gap between employees' expectations of care and their perception of employer support. Employers must recognize and address this disconnect by enhancing benefits communication and offering solutions tailored to employees' evolving needs, both inside and outside the workplace. By prioritizing employee well-being and demonstrating care through benefits, employers can cultivate a healthier, happier, and more engaged workforce, ultimately driving productivity and organizational success.

HR professionals and their leaders play a pivotal role in shaping the employee experience and driving positive outcomes for both individuals and organizations. By aligning benefits offerings with employees' current needs and expectations, employers can foster a culture of care and support that resonates throughout the workforce, leading to greater loyalty, productivity, and overall well-being.


Sources: SHRM, MetLife

Please login or register to post comments.


Filter by Authors

Position your organization to THRIVE.

Become a Member Today