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Often as business owners, we think we know what is best for our employees, but things tend to work best when you ask for direct employee feedback. Today, we’ll discuss specific employee feedback and recommendations for small business owners on what strategies to implement to better support employees. Here are the top 10 “must haves” for demonstrating care, according to employees surveyed for MetLife’s Employee Benefits Trends Study deep-dive into small business trends:


Pay and/or pay raises (including any bonuses, overtime, etc.)

Considering the current economic landscape, it’s unlikely that financial concerns will go away any time soon. As such, it’s easy to understand why compensation ranks as the top driver for demonstrating care. That said, more than one in three workers with poor financial health said they aren’t paid enough for the work they do. Providing the fairest compensation possible is critical to employee happiness. 


Safety & comfort of the work environment

No matter what the industry, employers can boost employees’ psychological safety by helping each team member feel safe, valued and welcome at work. Beyond this, providing a safe and comfortable work environment will look different across industries and roles. For instance, while employees working in the construction industry might value safety equipment and comprehensive protocols, safety for employees working in a retail environment might include measures such as surveillance cameras or security personnel to protect the vulnerability of retail workers to theft or other security concerns. Identifying and investing in measures relevant to your employees can promote a safe work environment that ultimately allows employees to be as productive as possible. 


Support from my manager(s)

68% of employees say having a supportive manager is a “must-have” component of care. Managers play a significant role in an employee’s day-to-day experience at work, their workload, growth trajectory, and more. As such, it’s important for small businesses to arm their managers with the training and tools needed to support and lead their teams successfully. No matter the sector, senior leaders need to be equipped to foster the family-like atmosphere to make your business a great place to work. 


The extent to which I feel trusted by my employer

Creating a high-trust environment is a win-win for both employees and employers, as it inherently builds a positive culture, a sense of accountability, and more. Employees who feel trusted by their employer will likely feel empowered at work and comfortable sharing their ideas for how to improve and make processes more efficient for better end results. 


The benefits offered by my employer

As a small business, it can be challenging to provide comprehensive and affordable benefits, while also managing the rising costs of simply running the business. Indeed, small businesses likely do not have the financial ability to provide the “big business” benefits – but even a small investment into workplace benefits, programs, or voluntary benefits (like legal plans and pet, dental, vision, and disability insurance) can make a big difference. The most important consideration is which benefits are most important to your workforce. 


My current working hours/days of the week worked

According to MetLife and the U.S. Chamber’s Small Business Index, almost seven in 10 small businesses intend to offer flexible work schedules this year as a strategy to retain and attract talent. What’s more, 48% intend to provide remote or hybrid work options. Flexible schedules can help employees manage their work-life balance goals and better maintain the matters in their personal life that are important to them without having to say “no” to shifts. 


Leaders listening to/acting on employee feedback

Small business employees are interested in providing greater input regarding their employee experience, with 61% saying listening to and acting on employee feedback is a “must-have” component of care. With this in mind, employers should consider ways to actively solicit – and implement – feedback. As I mentioned earlier on, there is no better way to determine what employees want than by asking them directly. Use online survey tools to ask for their thoughts, and I recommend doing so multiple times throughout the year. 


Recognition of my performance/hard work

72% of small business employees say that feeling valued and appreciated for their work is one of the most important ways to define a successful work-life. Employers can showcase their appreciation for their employees in many ways, such as through internal award programs, employee of the month shoutouts in company newsletters, verbal acknowledgment of a job well done during team meetings, or even team outings (e.g., lunches to celebrate the closing of a good quarter for the entire team).


Openness/transparency of my organization’s communications

Transparent communication from leadership is a crucial component of care, according to 61% of small business employees. Especially during times of uncertainty, transparent communications can go a long way in building a sense of community. Being honest about your businesses’ goals, objectives, and struggles are small moves you can take to build a close-knit culture of honesty. Transparency can also help build trust with employees. 


The level of paid/unpaid time off I have

Paid leave is the number one desired benefit among small business employees. Among small business employees who have access to paid time off, 76% say they intend to remain at their employer in 12 months’ time and 70% say they’re satisfied with their work. Unpaid leave can help retain and motivate employees, while also directly boosting outcomes for employers. 


78% of small business employees say that their employer has a responsibility to demonstrate care, but that number does drop to 60% when employees were asked if they feel cared for when working. There is an opportunity on the table right now for employers to consider new ways to support their workforce. 


The views of this sponsored blog post are solely those of the author, Melinda Emerson. 


About the sponsor: 

The MetLife Small Business dedicated website has more information and resources for small business owners looking to find the right mix of benefits that can help attract and retain top talent. You can also connect with a small business expert or build a plan for your business that you and your employees can feel confident about. Find out how MetLife can help you achieve your business goals and offer the benefits employees want.


The post Employees Share the Top 10 Factors That Truly Matter in Workplace Care appeared first on Succeed As Your Own Boss.


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