Employee Benefits & Job Satisfaction

There is a distinct correlation between employees being satisfied with their job and the benefits that job offers. Employers that offer benefits (whether they be medical, dental, or vision insurance) can expect that their employees will be generally happier at work.

According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s (EBRI) 2017 Health and Workplace Benefits survey, eight out of 10 employees who consider their employment benefits good to excellent also rate their jobs as highly satisfying. In addition, two-thirds of individuals who partook in the survey rated their work benefits as highly as their morale at work.

Paul Fronstin, Director of EBRI’s Health Research and Education Program, stressed the importance of employers acknowledging that employees highly value benefits. He stated that health, dental, vision and life insurance, as well as retirement plans, are extremely important to people when they decide to make job changes.

In addition, it was determined that over four out of 10 people who partook in the survey said they would sacrifice an increase in salary in favor of benefits. Two out of 10 workers also stated they rate health benefits over a higher wage.

Benefits & Employee Retention

Overall, people increasingly report that the benefits play an integral role in whether or not they want to stay at a job or accept a new one. As of 2013, health insurance ranks as the top priority for employees when they are considering switching jobs.

One year ago, 83 percent of workers stated that health insurance was one of the most important aspects determining whether or not they wanted to stay in their current job or switch to a new one. Retirement savings, also known as a 401k plan, was also said to be an extremely important benefit as 73 percent of people stated that it was very or extremely important when it came to whether they would switch jobs or remain in their current position.

Many employees have stated that they are happy with the benefits their employers currently provide. However, they are concerned that they may not get additional benefits and that the ones they have may eventually diminish. Only 19 percent of individuals who partook in the survey expressed being completely confident that their benefits will be similar or even better in three years’ time.

Additional Challenges Ahead

Fronstin points out that employers have the challenge of continuing to provide excellent benefits packages that their workers both need and want while being able to control the costs of them, especially when it comes to health insurance.

However, one area where benefits could stand to be improved upon is employee education on what benefits offer. The survey found that only 52 percent of workers completely understand their health benefits. Only 43 percent said they understood benefits other than health-related ones very well.

Around 31 percent of employees reported that their employer does not provide education on company benefits. Thirty-nine percent said that their employer does give education about the way their health insurance works. Then, only 24 percent stated that their employer educates its employees on the way health savings accounts work. Twenty-eight percent say that their employer educates its workers on how to invest the money from their retirement plans.

Making Benefits Work

Fronstin states that employers should take note that health insurance is the highest-rated benefit among the majority of employees and accounts for the greatest determination in whether they stay at a job or accept a new one.

If you’re an employer but fear you don’t have the budget to enroll in an employee health benefits package, you may want to consider the reimbursement route. You can reimburse employees (either partially or fully) for health insurance they purchase individually. This is typically done via a stipend applied to an employee’s paycheck. Either way, you’ll want to make sure you have business checks handy in order to take on a health reimbursement arrangement.