In today's competitive talent environment, most employersrecognize the importance of loyalty in retaining valued employees;yet, they continue to overstate their perceptions of loyalty toemployees. In fact, the significant gap between employee andemployer perceptions of their loyalty to each other increased yearover year. Last year, 52% of employers strongly believed theircompanies displayed loyalty to employees, while only 40% ofemployees agreed. This year, MetLife's 8th AnnualStudy of Employee Benefits Trends shows that the gap haswidened: 57% of employers strongly believe they demonstrate loyaltyto employees, and only 39% of employees feel this is the case. Thegrowing gap in loyalty perceptions could eventually lead toretention risk as the job market picks up: employees who feelundervalued may not be motivated to stay when a job opportunitypresents itself elsewhere.

The MetLife study shows a strong correlation between employeebenefits satisfaction, job satisfaction and employee loyalty.Comparing and contrasting employers' benefits programs againstthose of their peers can help craft a benefits strategy thatconsiders employees' expectations in order to increase the value ofbenefits as a driver of job satisfaction and loyalty.

"Benefits decisions are about more than simply cost. A number offactors come into play that, when carefully architected, cantransform a benefits program into a long-term strategy for helpingto meet a company's core business objectives," says Anthony J.Nugent, executive vice president, Employee Benefits Sales, MetLife."Brokers who understand benefits trends across various demographicscan help clients to recognize the benefits expectations of aspecific employee population, and measure their programs againstthose of competitors. These companies will then be betterpositioned to deliver competitive employee benefits that are highlyvalued - a key driver of benefits satisfaction, job satisfactionand employee loyalty."

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