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Company : MetLife 
Wednesday, October 28, 2015 11:18AM IST (5:48AM GMT)
 
(BW)(METLIFE)
MetLife’s China Employee Benefit Trends Study Reveals That Employees Are Less Loyal Than Employers Think
Shanghai, China

MetLife’s China Employee Benefit Trends Study (EBTS) finds that 47% of employers in China are concerned that talent shortages will affect their business in the next 12 months. Most employers in China, (71%) say that retaining existing talent is difficult, the highest compared to other markets including the USA, Poland, Russia and UAE.

 

MetLife’s study surveyed both employers and employees in China to gain insights into employee loyalty, their concerns, employee engagement and productivity. One of the world’s most comprehensive workplace studies in the market, EBTS is now in its 13th year in the United States with China being its 11th global market surveyed. This also marks the first time that MetLife has conducted the study in this market.

 

The China market presents tremendous opportunities for domestic and multinational companies (MNCs). Chinese businesses have been highly effective in competing in global markets, while more and more MNCs have been attracted to set up businesses in China over the last decade, making the competition for highly-skilled talent more fierce than ever.

 

Spare a thought for employee engagement

 

The study also revealed a vast chasm between employees’ and employers’ perceptions when it comes to loyalty. Sixty eight percent of employers think their employees are “loyal”, but only 39% of employees agree. This misalignment is wider in China compared with many other markets MetLife has surveyed, underscoring employee engagement as an issue too big to ignore.

 

“Globally, we are seeing employers increasingly challenged to find innovative ways to attract, retain and engage talent, and China is no exception,” said Maria Morris, executive vice president, Global Employee Benefits, MetLife. “This is why we conduct our global employee benefit trends study in dynamic markets like China. Our study enables us to examine what’s on the minds of employees, and at the same time, provide employers with valuable insights to address their talent challenges. We continue to see, across all markets, that a well-designed and communicated benefits package is a key differentiator for a company looking to set itself apart from its competitors.”

 

So, what concerns employees in China?

 

Employees in China are stressed about their financial responsibilities. Most employees aged 18 to 40 have the additional responsibility of caring for their parents, and 59% of them are concerned about the resources to do so, according to EBTS. This may be driven by the effects of the One Child Policy in China.

 

Employees also care about their health. Topping the list of employees’ health concerns are medical problems (65%), emotional health (69%) and lifestyle issues (e.g. exercise and eating habits etc.) (69%). Therefore, they are interested in wellness programs offered by their employers. Seventy nine percent said they would like their employer to offer more health programs.

 

Although the Chinese Government’s policy to postpone the retirement age to 65 would allow employees working longer to save more money for their retirement, the survey finds that 47% of employees plan to retire before the age of 60. Unfortunately, half of the surveyed employees said they either lacking or are behind on their retirement saving goals. Sixty two percent agree their company has the responsibility to help them ensure they have enough money for retirement.

 

Big ways to address employees’ needs and boost employee value propositions

 

EBTS reveals that it does matter if employers empathize with their employees’ problems and offer programs that address their concerns. According to the study, for each additional notch higher in the agreement that the employees think their boss is caring or that they value their benefits and wellness programs, employees show a 16% increase in their commitment to their employer.

 

While an increase in salary is always the most effective motivator for employees around the world to stay with a company, 58% of employees who are considering making a move said an improved benefits package would make them more likely to stay with their company.

 

“Basic health coverage is more commonplace in China, while a broader benefit package that includes life insurance and retirement elements is less common. However, employers have to understand that employees have different financial responsibilities and needs, so they wish to personalize their benefits package or protection to fit for their priorities and purposes,” said George Tan, CEO of MetLife China.

 

“We see encouraging data in the study - employees (68%) who rate their health as “very good or excellent” display higher levels of engagement and readiness to deliver in their job. Healthy employees would have a direct positive impact on employers’ bottom line. Higher productivity and lower health-related absenteeism are the greatest financial advantages to companies,” added Tan.

 

For promoting wellness amongst employees, employers may consider a wide range of programs such as vaccines and flu shots, smoking cessation programs, healthy eating plans and stress management programs etc. EBTS confirms that caring about employees’ health is highly rewarding, 97% of employees taking part in wellness programs said the programs have had a positive impact of their health.

 

Voluntary benefits are another flexible option that is highly cost effective without incurring big benefit costs, and our study shows that employees in China are receptive to them. The benefits can be co-paid by employees and employers or solely contributed by employees. According to the study, medical-related benefits are the most sought after benefits (72%), followed by life insurance (65%) and retirement plans (63%) if employees have to pay the full costs. If employers are willing to share the costs, employees’ interest in these voluntary benefits will be even greater. For example, percentage of employees who are interested to buy medical-related benefits will shoot up from 72% to 83% if their employer agrees to sponsor part of the costs. Voluntary benefits provide a powerful opportunity to help employees solve their problems around medical issues, retirement and financial liabilities and increase commitment/loyalty at the same time Employers can also offer financial planning services as part of their benefits offerings.

 

“We see encouraging data in the study - employees (68%) who rate their health as “very good or excellent” display higher levels of engagement and readiness to deliver in their job. Healthy employees would have a direct positive impact on employers’ bottom line. Higher productivity and lower health-related absenteeism are the greatest financial advantages to companies,” added Tan.

 

For promoting wellness amongst employees, employers may consider a wide range of programs such as vaccines and flu shots, smoking cessation programs, healthy eating plans and stress management programs etc. EBTS confirms that caring about employees’ health is highly rewarding, 97% of employees taking part in wellness programs said the programs have had a positive impact of their health.

 

Research Methodology

 

MetLife’s China EBTS was conducted by ORC International, one of the world’s largest research companies, in January and February 2015. It is based on a pan China survey sample consisting of 393 employers and 367 full-time employees aged 18-70 at companies of at least one-hundred employees. The interviewees are from different industries such as heavy industry, sales and trade, professional, government or public administration and others. It covers 10 major cities in China including Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Chengdu, Chongqing, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan and Shenzhen.

 

About Sino-US United MetLife Insurance Company Limited

 

Sino-US United MetLife Insurance Company Limited (MetLife) was incorporated as a joint venture company formed by a subsidiary of MetLife, Inc. and Shanghai Alliance Investment Ltd. (SAIL). Supported by the MetLife companies' experience in the insurance industry and SAIL's expertise in the Chinese market, MetLife is committed to provide the trusted and professional insurance solutions to consumers in China. MetLife offers life and accidental insurance and savings products to individuals in more than twenty cities all over China through career agency, bank partners, direct marketing and group insurance channels. For more information about MetLife, please visit the company's website at www.metlife.com.cn.

 

SAIL is a state-owned investment company affiliated to Shanghai National Capital Bureau. By fully utilizing its resources and strengths, SAIL is focused on the investment in the financial services and high-tech industries. SAIL contributes to the national economic growth by committing itself to promote industry innovation and development in Shanghai, as well as national growth.

 

About MetLife

 

MetLife, Inc., through its subsidiaries and affiliates (“MetLife”), is a leading global provider of life insurance, annuities and employee benefits program. MetLife holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.metlife.com.

 

 

 

 

 
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