Officials at MetLife hope that a new strategic alliance with Ernst & Young will spark increased employee engagement, from a financial perspective.
 
The partnership will create and deliver a cutting-edge workplace financial wellness solution that is set to launch in the spring. PlanSmart Financial Wellness will focus on behavioral change, giving employees the tools, guidance, and support they need to improve their financial well-being.
 
What’s more, the offering builds on MetLife’s PlanSmart workplace financial education program, which has offered workshops and 1-on-1 consultations for more than 20 years to over 2,000 group customers. MetLife’s experience in this space, along with in-depth research and customer feedback, will help shape the solution’s new capabilities.
 
James Reid, Executive Vice President at MetLife, told Loyalty360 that “we wanted to bring together MetLife’s decades of experience in delivering workplace benefit solutions and education with EY’s innovative, high-tech approach to offering financial education and counseling. EY has been in the business of providing objective financial education and counseling for employees for 35-plus years, so this partnership made perfect sense to us.”
 
MassMutual is also a key partner in the delivery of this solution, Reid noted.
 
“MassMutual will continue as our partner to provide in-person workshops and personal consultations,” he said. “They have been providing guidance and solutions to individuals for 100-plus years. Through Plan Smart Financial Wellness, we want to give employers the opportunity to provide their employees with a holistic wellness offering in their benefits portfolio. Through extensive research, we learned that the majority of employees suffer stress as a result of their financial situation, which in turn impacts their workplace productivity, absenteeism and engagement. In fact, according to the Society of Human Resource Management, 83 percent of HR professionals say financial stress in employees negatively impacts work performance.”
 
As a result:
 
Employees look for a solution that bridges their short- and long-term financial goals and is personalized to their needs to help mitigate their financial stress.   
 
Employers want to meet this need and provide access to a solution for their employees.
 
PlanSmart Financial Wellness provides employers and employees with the solution they want and stands apart from others in the market due to its integrated multi-channel offering that all employees can access when and how they want.
 
“High employee engagement is a proven factor in employee retention and increased performance,” Reid added. “Engaged employees are more likely to show up to work, be high performers, and produce high-quality work. It is without a doubt a contributor to increased customer satisfaction. Our financial wellness offering is more than just a retirement planning tool. The cutting-edge, multi-channel solution focuses on behavioral change, giving employees the personalized tools, guidance, and encouragement they need to take action.”
 
According to MetLife’s 15th annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study (EBTS), employees indicated that customized benefit experiences are extremely attractive, as 72 percent of employees agree that the ability to customize benefits increases loyalty, and 58 percent of employees say they are interested in customized plan options based on personal information.
 
“For employees who use PlanSmart Financial Wellness, we look to see not only increased attendance and retention, but also increased workplace productivity and engagement,” Reid added.
 

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