We hear it so much, maybe sometimes we take it for granted, but it’s worth repeating and maybe even re-examining completely. Benefits remain one of the most important tools an employer has when it comes to attracting and retaining quality talent (second only to compensation itself).
A new study from Guardian backs that up with some real numbers – which maybe your department can use to fine tune your benefit offerings.
Guardian's just-released Workplace Benefits Study actually attempts to quantify employees’ perceived value of the benefits they receive at work. According to Guardian, this year’s “Benefits Value Index … reveals American workers, on average, have a score of 6.8 (based on a scale of 1 to 10), suggesting that while today’s American workers do value their benefits, there is significant room for improvement.”
This index, Guardian officials insists, is a direct numerical representation of just how much the American worker cherishes his or her benefits, taking into account a number of factors. In fact, this study looked at factors such as socioeconomic status, life events and life stage and how those things actually can affect how an employee feels about their particular employee benefits.
“For example, workers who are more educated, older and are in a later life stage tend to score much higher on the Benefits Value Index than their counterparts. The study also finds that workers who experienced fewer ‘life events’ in the past two years – e.g. having children, getting married, buying a house, etc. – tend to score higher on the Index. Also, a larger proportion of women fall within the high index range of valuing their benefits than men,” the company explained in a press release.
“The research findings reflect the widespread reality within the industry that there is a considerable need for both employers and carriers to help employees make the most out of their benefits,” said Elena Wu, Vice President, Group Marketing and Learning Services at Guardian. “While employers are juggling both the need to manage benefits-related costs and meeting the needs of their workers, it is necessary for them to increase the effectiveness of their benefits programs in order to help their employees be better protected and feel more confident about their benefits, which can contribute to greater satisfaction and long-term engagement with their employer.”
You don’t need me to tell you that more than 70 percent of workers – or candidates – feel benefits are “very important” when it comes time to take a new job – or not.
This new study arms benefits managers with real data to better speak to those prospects – and the employees you have right now – by engaging employees better with strong leadership, clear concise communication and benefits packages tailor to the individual. This study reminds us all that employee aren’t one size fits all, so why should their benefits be?