Satisfaction with job increases with number of benefits offered

There is a correlation between the number of benefits offered by employers and the likelihood an employee would recommend their employer as a great place to work, according to MetLife’s 13th Annual Employee Benefits Trends Study. At companies where employees are offered no benefits, only 46 percent of employees would recommend their employers as great places to work. This number increases to 53 percent at companies where employees are offered between one and five benefits, but at companies where employees are offered 11 or more benefits, this number jumps to 66 percent.

“Throughout the study, the positive impact of the number of benefits an employer offered was clear, likely because the greater number of options provides employees with the opportunity to tailor benefits to their specific needs,” says Todd Katz, executive vice president, Group, Voluntary & Worksite Benefits, at MetLife. “Offering a comprehensive suite of benefits that goes beyond standard benefits, such as medical, dental and vision, to include voluntary benefits like critical illness, accident, auto and home, and legal services, can drive both loyalty and engagement without adding cost for the employer.”

Employee retention. In contrast to the 2013 findings, when controlling costs ranked number one, this year MetLife found employers ranked employee benefits objectives directly pertaining to employee factors such as retention as extremely important. In fact, 41 percent of employers ranked retention as their top employee benefits objective. This is not surprising given the lowest unemployment rates since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008.

Communication is key. Offering the benefits is not enough; communicating about the significant role benefits can play in an employee’s overall well-being is equally important, noted MetLife. Key to this is educating employees about the specific benefits they purchase and the protections those benefits offer. According to the study, while employees are taking on more responsibility for their benefit decisions, they are not always confident in their choices or in their understanding of their benefit options. In fact, 45 percent of employees strongly agree their companies’ benefit communications helped them to understand how they would pay for specific services and effectively educated them on their benefit options. This is especially critical as new medical plans are put into place as a result of health care reform and as employees are being called on to make more complex benefit decisions.

“Ensuring that employees fully understand their benefits is becoming essential as many benefit decisions are being shifted from the employer to the employee,” states Katz. “Communicating during open enrollment season may not be enough. Incorporating personalized benefit messages reflecting employee life stages and events throughout the year, and offering educational tools and channels preferred by employees, can help make sure workers receive the benefits information they need to make better purchasing decisions. This is especially important as employers face a diverse, multigenerational workforce with varying needs.”

The survey contains responses from 2,595 employers and 2,463 employees. For more information, visit https://benefitstrends.metlife.com.

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