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21 Mar 2023

4 ways to help create a workplace that meets employee priorities

Understanding what matters to employees and developing programmes and benefits that align with these priorities can help them feel acknowledged as individuals

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Employee expectations are shifting. Research by MetLife found that employees are prioritising personal lives and striving to pursue their individual purposes in the workplace.

Recognising the employee as an individual is key to meeting talent management goals and fostering a happier and more productive workplace.

MetLife’s research identified four key areas that employers can focus on to help create a workplace that aligns with employees’ priorities and allows them to thrive in today’s uncertain times.

1. Purpose

Purpose and meaning in the workplace are key to attracting, motivating and retaining talent.

More than four-fifths (84%) of employees seek out individual purpose, even in times of crisis, with 76% saying it’s frustrating when they feel they’re not living their purpose at work.

Given this, it’s important to cultivate a sense of purpose through various programmes and initiatives so it is felt on both an organisational and individual level.

A strong organisational mission statement and programmes that impact the community will help companies create a common goal for the workforce, but it is even more important to help each employee understand why their job matters.

By narrowing the purpose gap and empowering everyone to pursue their individual interests, both in and outside work, organisations can help employees grow as people, not just professionals. This enables employers to foster a more mutually rewarding and lasting relationship with their talent.

2. Priorities

Understanding what matters to employees and developing programmes and benefits that align with these priorities can help them feel acknowledged as individuals and supported by the organisation.

For example, our research found the top priority among employees was good health (94%) with spending time with family and loved ones a close second (92%).

Therefore, programmes that support health and wellbeing are vital, but so are initiatives such as remote and flexible working, which enable employees to spend more time with their loved ones.

To ensure employee priorities are understood and reflected in workplace initiatives, employee feedback programmes are key.

These can identify and track employee needs to help keep benefits relevant and enable organisations to develop an employee value proposition aligned with top priorities.

3. Personalisation

Personalisation is another essential part of feeling acknowledged as an individual in the workplace.

Living through the Covid-19 pandemic led to many employees re-evaluating their lives, often placing the work-life balance at the heart of their needs.

Giving employees the autonomy and flexibility they need to feel in control of their workplace experience is essential.

By incorporating work-life management benefits such as flexible hours, remote working and time management programmes and offering more choice around benefit selection, organisations can meet the needs of a diverse workforce and deliver the sense of empowerment employees expect.

4. Protection

Purpose and priorities may be key considerations when attracting and retaining talent, but employees are also seeking stability and protection.

To give them the confidence to pursue their purpose and priorities, 83% of respondents say employee benefits are important when choosing a place to work.

Since the pandemic, health is likely to be a key concern for many employees, with benefits that offer wellbeing support particularly popular. The ongoing cost-of-living crisis and financial uncertainty is also shaping demand, with benefits that include cover for family and loved ones an important tool to offer employees.

Financial wellness programmes, whether financial education or protection benefits such as group income protection, are also highly valued.

To respond to today’s workforce dynamics and provide a compelling employee value proposition, employers should strive to incorporate all four elements.

By offering a meaningful combination of employee benefits and non-financial value drivers, which can be personalised to each employee’s individual needs, it will support their sense of purpose and help organisations win on the talent front.

For the full data, insights, tips and more, download our report, Navigating Purpose in Times of Uncertainty.

In partnership with MetLife

At MetLife our aim is to help businesses prepare for the future, perform at their best and protect their people.

Contact us today