In today’s tight job market, companies are focused on how to differentiate themselves to attract and retain the best talent. There has been a lot of attention on salaries and hybrid work arrangements but how do employee benefits figure into the equation?
LIMRA’s new study, 2022 BEAT Study: Benefits and Employee Attitude Tracker, suggests it plays an important role for many. According to the research, nearly two-thirds of workers (63%) say their current benefits package makes them at least somewhat more likely to remain with their employer. Four in 10 say their benefits make them considerably more likely to stay in their current job.
Obviously, employees with a more robust benefits package are more likely to want to stay with their employer. A majority of employees (61%) who receive more than six benefits report being satisfied with their benefits package, whereas only 3 in 10 employees with just one to three benefits say the same. This suggests that offering additional supplemental or voluntary benefits continues to add value, even after “core” benefits such as medical and dental are already available.
After building a strong benefits package for their employees, one of the challenges for employers is ensuring their workers are aware and understand their benefits. LIMRA’s research shows even for the most widely used insurance benefits, such as medical, dental and vision, at least 3 in 10 employees say they are uncertain whether their employer offers them.
For non-insurance benefits, awareness is even lower. Half of employees say they were uncertain whether they had many commonly offered non-medical benefits, including mental health benefits, telemedicine, tuition assistance, and health and financial wellness benefits. Clearly, employers won’t reap the rewards of providing benefits to their employees — such as high employee satisfaction and retention — if their workers don’t know they exist.
Improving awareness through frequent communication
One way employers can improve employees’ awareness of their benefits package is to provide information on a regular basis throughout the year. The majority of employees don’t think their employers communicate their workplace benefits well. Just 4 in 10 employees believe their employers communicate about workplace benefits “very” or “extremely well,” and more than a quarter say their employers communicate poorly.
Too often, employers rely solely on their open enrollment period to educate employees about the benefits they offer. Nearly half of employees report open enrollment is the only time they hear about their benefits. LIMRA research reveals that most workers spend less than an hour to review and enroll in their benefits during open enrollment — not nearly enough time to adequately read and understand multiple benefit offerings fully.
Based on employees who are offered insurance benefits and have had an open enrollment within the past two years.
Employers could improve their workers’ awareness and understanding of their benefits by providing information about them throughout the year. There is a 10- to 30-point increase in understanding when employers communicate information about workplace benefits frequently throughout the year, compared with employers who only share information during open enrollment. The new study suggests that is exactly what most employees want. Seven in 10 employees say they would prefer to receive benefits information at least a few times or frequently throughout the year.
LIMRA research shows nearly two thirds of employees cite something other than salary as the top factor when they consider a potential employer. More than a quarter and up to half of employees rank insurance, retirement and medical benefits among the top priorities they seek when considering a potential employer. Despite emerging negative economic indicators, the job market remains strong. One way employers can edge out their competition is to offer a robust workplace benefits package and educate their workers about those benefits throughout the year.