Since 2008, employee morale has fallen each year, but as this year’s benefits enrollment season approaches, it gives employers the opportunity to improve employee engagement, according to Unum’s recent survey, which was conducted online by Harris Interactive.
In fact, the survey reveals that 28 percent of respondents report a decrease in morale since 2011, and barely half - 55 percent - of respondents say they would stay with their employers if they were offered the same pay and benefits elsewhere, representing a seven-point drop since 2008. Another 52 percent of respondents say their employers offer very good or excellent places to work.
The economy seemingly is impacting responses as one in three respondents say they do not feel financially secure, and more than one in four reports feeling less financially secure than last year. Nearly half of respondents say they are unsure whether they have enough money to take care of future expenses.
“In this climate, the need for effective benefits education is greater than ever,” says Barbara Nash, vice president of corporate research at Unum. “Our research shows that a good benefits education experience is a highly effective, low-cost way for employers to demonstrate their concern for employees and their well-being.”
Although more employees are feeling unsatisfied at work, employers are spending little time and fewer resources on improving employees’ understand their benefits as 28 percent of respondents who were responsible for reviewing their benefits over the last year say employer-provided benefits education is fair or poor.
Half of respondents report receiving printed information or brochures, marking a decline from 70 percent in 2008, and slightly over one-third of respondents were given the opportunity to attend question-and-answer sessions regarding benefits, a drop from 52 percent in 2008. Among the respondents, 47 percent have access to toll-free numbers to speak with benefits advisers in 2012 as opposed to 29 percent in 2011.
Of the employees who are highly satisfied with their benefits education, 82 percent say their employers provide excellent or very good places to work and 79 percent say they would stay with their current employers even if another job offer came with the same pay and benefits. Only 27 percent of employees who consider their benefits education as fair or poor say their employers provide excellent or very good places to work.
“At the heart of the survey’s findings is a clear connection between effective benefits education and engaged employees,” Nash says. “When employers show their concern for their employees’ financial well-being, everyone benefits.