MetLife understands the economics of employee happiness and the importance of workplace benefits for well-being and productivity

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MetLife promotes employee happiness as key to productivity

MetLife promotes employee happiness as key to productivity

MetLife knows that employers benefit most when employees are happy. This is why the company has shared insights from economist and researcher Dr. Andrew Oswald about what you need to know about the economics of employee happiness.

Happiness increases productivity

MetLife explains that less than a generation ago, an employee's well-being was not considered a business matter - what companies cared most about was people showing up and putting in a full day of effort.

In the early 1990s, however, Dr. Oswald, who is now a Professor with the University of Warwick in England, started to do research into the economic and social origins of happiness and mental health. tt was an unusual thing to research at the time but his conclusions were incredibly revealing - that happiness increases productivity. This is mostly because work nowadays is less to do with repetitive manual tasks but more to do with intelligent communication and effective collaboration.

“What can be more important than happiness?” asks Dr. Oswald. “It’s as though happiness creates its own kind of extra energy.”

The high cost of unhappiness

According to MetLife, Dr. Oswald's research into the “economics of happiness" transformed the conversation about the relationship between employer and employee. MetLife cites an interesting fact that unhappy, disengaged, distracted workers cost U.S. businesses up to $550 billion annually in lost productivity and turnover.

“Employers today need to pay more attention to the emotional and financial well-being of their employees than in the past,” adds Dr. Oswald. “The world is increasingly about services and person-to-person interaction."

The origins of happiness

MetLife explains that this research shows that people around the world identify similar things that contribute to their happiness. Surprisingly, it's less to do with a dream job or a promotion, but paying bills, good health, meaningful work, peace and security at home.

“Evidence shows that workers want an interesting job, a secure job, a job that makes a contribution to society,” says Dr. Oswald. “They also want autonomy. That’s what makes employees engaged, productive and loyal to their employers."

The importance of employee benefits

MetLife's article featuring Dr. Oswald also revealed the link between employee benefits and engagement.

Financial worries can impact an employee's wellbeing - 66 per cent of employers agree that employees are less productive when worried about personal money issues, with nearly half of employees concerned, anxious or fearful about their financial status.

In addition, 84 per cent of employees express strong interest in receiving help with financial wellness assistance from their employers, and 64 per cent of those who have such support say they feel financially fit. Only 18 per cent of employers, however, currently offer such programs as a benefit to their employees.

One of MetLife's solutions to this wellbeing challenge is the company's strategic alliance with EY to drive the creation and delivery of a cutting-edge workplace financial wellness solution. PlanSmart® Financial Wellness focuses on behavioral change, giving MetLife employees the tools, guidance and support they need to improve their financial well-being.

Creating an agile, engaged workforce

MetLife adds that employers see an increase in productivity when they take steps to help employees take care of themselves and weather setbacks caused by accidents or illness, debt or retirement planning.

"Ensuring they are fully aware and have access to voluntary benefits that meet their needs can be the difference between an agile, engaged workforce and one that is just treading water," says MetLife.

MetLife truly understands the needs of its employees and shares great tips on how employees can improve their well-being at work!

Work for an employer that cares about your wellbeing

MetLife is committed to promoting wellbeing in the workplace and providing their female employees access to a range of fantastic career opportunities.

If you want to join a prime employer for women, check out MetLife's job vacancies.


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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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