How employers can strengthen relationships with employees in a post-Coronavirus world

21 May 2021

Our friends at MetLife have recently conducted some research amongst employers and employees to understand any gaps in expectations between the two in a post Covid 19 world.

The research conducted has flagged some very interesting issues that employers need to consider in a post Covid world, the first being around the relationship between employers and employees.

Both employers (72%) and employees (62%) believe that the pandemic has changed the relationship that the two parties have with each other with nearly 1 in 3 employees feeling that their relationship with their employer has weakened. This can be further broken down to certain age groups and gender with 42% of females aged 30-49 feeling that their employer is less supportive of their wider family related needs, perhaps linked to childcare care or later life care arrangements with 33% of males aged 18-29 expressing a weaker relationship perhaps due to lack of social interaction and collaboration with their peers.

Any breakdown or lessening in trust is clearly going to affect productivity and motivation amongst employees and therefore employers need to try and get a handle on these issues before they potentially escalate to a stage where it is irreversible. If the horse has bolted from the stable and there is a breakdown in trust, employees will likely choose to seek employment elsewhere and find an employer with whom they can place their trust. This has obviously cost implications for the current employer.

A massive 68% of employees feel that ‘companies who care will attract the best talent’ and this is backed up by the views of employers with 66% of them agreeing with this statement. Its great that everyone is on the same page and this synergy allows employers to work with employees to understand what they define as ‘caring’. For different people this will mean different things and there is certainly no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.

Collaboration between employers and employees around employee benefits has likely to have never been so important with 63% of employers revealing that they have seen an increase in queries from employees about benefits since the pandemic began. 69% of employees ‘will work harder for an employer who provides employee benefit that supports my individual needs’ with the most sought after benefits in descending order being:

  1. Pension
  2. Income Protection
  3. Health Screenings
  4. Critical Illness Insurance
  5. Private Medical Insurance
  6. Life Assurance

To me this feedback suggests that the priorities of employees may have changed due to the pandemic with financial security and general health being high on the agenda. It appears employees want to protect themselves against the ‘worst’ happening and therefore if an employer can provide this peace of mind, giving assurances to an employee and their families, surely this can only be positive and will undoubtedly prove that an employer is a caring one.

As the title of this blog suggests, doing nothing does not really seem like a viable option and as the very least a review of what employees want should be undertaken to try, where possible, to match their needs. Wingate Benefit Solutions can provide a free employee benefits review at no financial cost to an employer and if this is of interest, please feel free to contact the team at Wingate on either 01883 332260 or at


The Re:Me research was conducted in August 2020 by MetLife to examine the changing relationship between employers and employees, to reveal the values, expectations and priorities that are important to both sides and where the gaps lie in a Covid-19 world and beyond. It was a nationally representative, online, quantitative study among 900 employees (450 of both SME and Corporate organisations) and 300 employers (150 of both SME and Corporate organisations). Corporates have been defined as those with 500+ employees and SME defined as those with 50-500 employees. Details of this research can be found at

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