Understanding Benefits Can Be a Key to Employee Satisfaction
As employee benefits enrollment season kicks off, there’s some good news for employers seeking cost-effective ways to help boost engagement in the workplace.
“Employers are looking for ways to show employees they care without breaking the bank, and effective benefits education can be a low-cost, high-impact way to affect worker satisfaction,” said Bill Dalicandro, Unum’s vice president for enrollment.
A study from Unum reveals the strong connection between the quality of the benefits education employees receive and their perception of their employers. Even if employees don’t have a particularly good benefits package, effective benefits education makes them dramatically more likely to consider their employer a very good place to work, the research shows.
The findings come at a time when industry research is revealing the degree to which employee engagement has suffered in the unsteady economy. The percentage of organizations with falling engagement scores tripled in two years, with the most significant dips occurring this year, finds a new survey from Hewitt Associates.
And some 31 percent of human resources managers say morale and employee productivity are their biggest concerns over the next six months, according to a survey released in July by ComPsych Corporation, a provider of employee assistance programs.
“Offering employees effective benefits education can help make a difference,” Dalicandro said.
Unum’s survey of 1,106 adults who are employed full time was conducted online by Harris Interactive. The results show that the right tools are a critical part of the benefits education process. Employees consider one-on-one and group meetings, online tools and printed materials among the most valuable benefits communication methods.
Between 2008 and 2009, 45 percent of employees reported they had seen changes in their benefits packages, including 31 percent who said they are paying more for benefits, and 9 percent who reported at least one benefit was discontinued.
“As the benefits landscape is shifting, it is more important than ever to give employees the right tools to understand their benefits choices and to communicate what’s available to them,” Dalicandro said. “It’s an approach that benefits everyone.”