Engaging Our Employees

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Engaging Our Employees

MetLife employees welcome Bee Downtown to the Cary, NC campus.

We work hard to foster a work environment that is purposeful, inclusive, and that helps our employees prioritize their health and wellness. We also want to ensure their voice is heard and that they have a variety of opportunities to volunteer and give back to the causes they care about.

Health and wellness

Our Wellness for Life program is rooted in the idea that we can help MetLife employees prioritize their health by connecting the dots between our purpose, our everyday work, and resources that help support holistic well-being. The program is centrally coordinated and locally implemented, with champions identified in 41 markets. In 2020, we launched BeWell: Support for Your Well-Being, a global initiative to provide additional mental and emotional health during the pandemic and beyond. Healthy workplaces are essential to ensuring positive health and wellness for the people working within them.

Earning the first Fitwel certification for a life insurance company

In 2019, MetLife became the first life insurance company to earn Fitwel certifications for our commitment to healthy workplaces. Fitwel is a joint initiative of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the General Services Administration and measures the health impact of corporate buildings based on several factors, including how they promote occupant safety, how they increase physical activity, and how they affect the health of the surrounding community.

As of December 2020, MetLife has obtained Fitwel certification for three offices in the U.S. covering over 1.3 million square feet of real estate, including its global headquarters in New York City. MetLife Investment Management (MIM) has also obtained certification for eight properties held in its real estate equity investment portfolio.

Employee feedback: MyVoice

At MetLife, we believe that caring for our employees starts with understanding what matters most to them. One of the ways we keep a pulse on our employees’ needs is through our annual MyVoice survey. In 2020, more than 44,000 employees took the survey and overwhelmingly said that they would like more communication about MetLife’s plans for the future. In fact, our inclusion score went up 5 points, as did the number of employees who felt their work is meaningful. Our primary focus: Delivering our Purpose, placing emphasis on our leadership, and reinforcing collaboration, experimentation, and customer focus across MetLife.

MetLife employees and their family members decorate duffle bags for children in foster care.

Employee volunteering

MetLife employees contribute to improving local communities through a variety of volunteer activities across education, the environment, and financial health. Our employees clean up parks, plant trees, create care packages, tutor students, and use their day-to-day expertise to build financial health for people and communities that are underserved. They act as mentors to fintechs, pro bono consultants for our grantees, and help families build their greatest asset — their home.

In 2020, MetLife volunteers participated in Opportunity Workshops, run by Taproot Foundation in partnership with MetLife Foundation and Dell Technologies, to assist nonprofits in developing solutions for an issue critical to their day-to day success. The workshops benefitted 28 nonprofit partners, with the majority focused on racial opportunity and justice and COVID-19. Over 120 volunteers—60 from MetLife—participated in the two-day fully virtual event, with each nonprofit paired with three to five MetLife and Dell Technologies volunteers to improve an approach, process, or tool fundamental to their success.

MetLife employees volunteer across a cross section of causes and nonprofits, including Habitat for Humanity and Junior Achievement in the U.S., Good Shepherd in Australia, Rise Against Hunger in India, and many more. Thousands of MetLife employees also take advantage of sustainability education and volunteering opportunities to reduce their environmental impact at work, at home, and in their communities through Our Green Impact program.

MetLife employees and their family members decorate duffle bags for children in foster care.

Volunteering with Purpose: 90 Days of Giving

In MetLife’s first global virtual volunteer initiative, employees lived our purpose by volunteering for projects focused on helping vulnerable children, families, and communities. MetLife Foundation donated to four nonprofits—Together We Rise, Save the Children, Helping Hands, and Special Olympics—which offered simple, hands-on volunteer projects that employees could do safely from home, often with their family. Nearly 10,000 employees in 39 countries volunteered, making Volunteering with Purpose MetLife’s largest volunteer effort to date. Some snapshots:

First-night kits for kids in foster care with Together We Rise

When a child enters the U.S. foster care system for the first time or moves from home-to-home, they are often handed a trash bag to pack their possessions. MetLife Foundation made a donation to nonprofit Together We Rise, which provided duffel bags filled with supplies to replace these garbage bags. MetLife volunteers added their creativity by decorating the bag’s panels with special pictures and encouraging messages—all to help transform the way thousands of kids experience foster care.

Learn more in our 2020 Sustainability Report >

The Taproot Foundation and MetLife Foundation provide mentoring support to nonprofit organizations.

Supporting veterans’ transition back into the workforce

MetLife Foundation funds programs, projects, and grants aimed at helping veterans transition back into the civilian workforce through programs such as the American Corporate Partners mentoring program and by empowering entrepreneurs from the military community. Additionally, MetLife Foundation provides support to care for veterans who have been injured mentally or physically from conflict and contribute to programs that provide affordable housing to veterans and their families.

Gender equity: Women in Sales career development conference

In our ongoing efforts to offer development opportunities, skills building, and learning sessions for women, our Group Benefits team hosted the annual Women in Sales career development event in July 2020. The virtual event, marking its 10th year, featured multiple workshops, networking sessions, and keynotes from internal and external speakers, including author and activist Glennon Doyle. 

Providing our communities with pro bono services

MetLife Legal Affairs established its pro bono program in 2008 as an arm of the Legal Affairs Diversity Committee to foster collaboration among our pro bono, diversity, and talent initiatives with broad participation from our Legal, Compliance, and Operations teams. We also work with MetLife Foundation to financially support legal, cultural, and volunteer organizations. Our Legal Affairs team focuses on three principal areas: legal services, community involvement, and increasing the pipeline for diverse legal talent. 

MetLife Legal Affairs also provides ongoing support to cultural and volunteer service organizations by hosting financial literacy workshops; delivering meals for God’s Love We Deliver; fundraising; donating through clothing, food, and “School Supplies” drives for local schools; and participating in multiple holiday programs. Although our pro bono initiatives are mainly based in our larger U.S. legal offices, MetLife Legal Affairs has team members around the world engaged in pro bono activities, with notable levels of participation over the years.

Supporting Sayville First Responders: MetLife Legal Affairs has provided estate planning support for First Responders in Sayville, New York, for over a decade. In 2020, in lieu of in-person support, MetLife provided the responders with two months of free access to our digital estate planning platform, allowing them to create self-assembling wills, powers of attorney, and advance directives/living wills.

Legal Affairs: Advancing Justice, Voting Rights, and Financial Well-Being 

Legal Affairs builds stronger communities and strengthens our workforce through pro bono and volunteer opportunities. We partner directly with legal services organizations and law firms to create meaningful opportunities that support our communities and allow employees to grow as leaders. In 2020, the team continued its commitment to pro bono—adapting to a virtual environment and increasing its focus on racial justice. Legal Affairs mobilized volunteers to work with the Equal Justice Initiative. With outside counsel Sidley Austin LLP, MetLife lawyers and paralegals worked on two EJI capital cases where Sidley represented defendants who were wrongfully convicted or sentenced to the death penalty. Legal Affairs volunteers helped Sidley update legal research and prepare for the appellate court hearings in mock oral arguments. 

When I saw the chance to work on a pro bono project, I was very excited. I have a law degree, and I was able to use my skills and be part of really meaningful legal research.
ALEXANDRIA HORTON
A Cleveland, Ohio-based paralegal for MetLife and Equal Justice Initiative volunteer