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More than half would be likely to accept jobs with slightly lower pay but better benefits
Although 63 percent of employees at small businesses say they are extremely or very satisfied with their job, many think there's room for improvement when it comes to their benefits packages. Only 12 percent are extremely satisfied with their benefits and only 14 percent believe their benefits package meets their current family needs extremely well, according to the
2014 Aflac WorkForces Report for Small Businesses.
The study, released by Aflac, a provider of voluntary insurance, captured responses from 1,856 benefits decision-makers and 5,209 employees across the U.S. in early 2014. It found that as small businesses (three to 99 employees) adapt to a slowly growing economy and health care reform, they remain concerned about taking care of employees and continuing their benefits options. Among surveyed small businesses:
Job Satisfaction Doesn’t Guarantee Loyalty
For small-business employees, benefits can be the deciding factor in staying with their employer, the survey revealed that small-business workers said:
“Employees at a small business might be satisfied with their pay, enjoy their company environment, their colleagues and the work itself, but that doesn't mean better benefits offerings elsewhere won't entice them to leave,” said Teresa White, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Aflac Columbus. “These findings should alert small-business decision-makers that robust benefits,” including voluntary offerings, “are an important way to keep employees engaged, productive and loyal.”
A Personalized Approach
“Multiple surveys attest to the power of voluntary benefits to retain and attract employees. That said, voluntary benefits aren’t the proverbial silver bullet,” Steve Adams, CEO of Navera, a provider of benefit support services, commented about the survey findings.
“Employers—whether small or large—seeking the potential rewards from offering voluntary benefits need to understand that simply saying these benefits are available isn’t enough,” Adams noted. They should “engage users on their terms, and educate and advise them according to their individual context and circumstances,” he advised.
“Simply offering voluntary benefits to employees is not enough,” concurred Chris Hill, CEO of Spotlite, a provider of online employee benefits education, decision support and enrollment systems. “Successful voluntary benefits enrollments reveal two essential ingredients,” he noted:
“To ensure an experience that engages, satisfies and retains, a voluntary benefits enrollment should have the look and feel of a high-quality online shopping experience,” Hill remarked.
Benefit Satisfaction Aligns with Job Satisfaction
Employee satisfaction with their benefits continues to closely relate to satisfaction with their employer, according to research recently released by Unum, a provider of disability insurance benefits.
A December 2013 survey of 1,521 working adults sponsored by Unum found:
Overall, only half (49 percent) of U.S. workers rate their employer as an excellent or very good place to work. Less than half (47 percent) of employees who were offered benefits by their employer rate their benefits as excellent or very good. This was the lowest rating of benefits in Unum’s six years of conducting this research.
“With health care reform and other changes in employee benefit plans, employees have so much information to digest right now,” explained Bill Dalicandro, vice president of the consumer solutions group at Unum. “Employers can play such a great role in helping their employees understand their options so they will feel comfortable making benefits decisions.”
“This research underscores the value of an effective benefits education plan because when an employee understands their benefits, they tend to value them more and in turn may then value their employers more for providing access to them,” added Dalicandro.
Stephen Miller, CEBS, is an online editor/manager for SHRM. Follow him on Twitter
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