Employees gave their companies’ benefits packages a higher rating in 2013 than they did in 2012, according to a study by Guardian Life.
The company unveiled its finding in “The 2014 Guardian Workplace Benefits Study,” which examines employer benefits strategies and the value American workers place on their benefits packages. Conducted in September 2013, the study is based on two online surveys: one among 1,007 benefits plan sponsors and another among 1,407 benefit plan participants age 22 or older who work for a company with at least five employees.
In 2013, the average benefits value index (BVI), which is based on employee ratings of their companies’ benefits package and benefits communications, increased to 7.1 from 6.8 in 2012. Each component of the index also recorded increases:
Benefits meet personal needs (7.3 in 2013 vs. 7 in 2012).
Benefits are affordable (7.2 vs. 6.9).
Benefits program positively impacts personal health and wellness (7 vs. 6.9).
Benefits program positively impacts personal financial security (7 vs. 6.8).
Effectiveness of benefits communication (7 vs. 6.3).
“Perhaps the turmoil surrounding the changing health care environment has led employees to value and pay more attention to the various benefits they will have in the coming year,” the report said. “Showing the strongest jump from last year’s study is how employees view the effectiveness of benefits communications.”
The survey also observed a connection between health and the value employees place on benefits. Those who consider themselves to be in very good health or excellent health have a BVI score of 7.5, while those in fair or poor health score only 6.4.
Likewise, employees who work for companies that offer wellness programs have a BVI score of 7.7, compared to a BVI score of 6.3 among those who are not offered such programs.
The study notes also that healthier employees rate themselves as doing better in regards to a host of financial goals. Among them: job security, making ends meet, reducing debt and being prepared financially for a premature death, disability or serious illness.