Benefits exist because they appeal to employees in a different way than do hard dollars. But how rich should a benefits menu be at a company that’s determined to hang on to top performers and build a team by making great hires? And are the companies that offer solid plans communicating the value properly?
The answer: Companies that offer 11 or more benefits options appeal most strongly to top performers, but sadly, they still often fail to properly state the value of the package.
That’s what MetLife’s 13th annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study found.
MetLife interviewed more than 5,000 U.S. adults for the survey, half of them benefits managers, the other half worker bees.
Among the key findings:
- At companies where employees are offered no benefits, only 46 percent of employees would recommend their employers as great places to work.
- Where employees are offered between one and five benefits, the percent rises to 53 percent;
- At companies where employees are offered 11 or more benefits, this number jumps to 66 percent;
- Nearly 40 percent of employees say having a wide selection of benefits would make them feel more loyal to their employer;
- 41 percent of employers ranked retention as their top employee benefits objective;
- Concerns about job security as a No. 1 issue for employees rose to 51 percent from 42 percent in 2013;
- 34 percent of employees said they have a savings cushion of about three months’ salary, down from 46 percent in 2013.
- 49 percent of employees said they are experiencing financial stress and look to their employers for help in achieving financial security through benefits.
The picture that emerges from the data was something that has been expressed previously by employees: They appreciate benefits, they want more options, but their employers do a lousy job of communicating to them about the benefits package.
“Less than half, 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,” the report said.