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What if a report designed to measure employee contentment found that most people were unhappy? 

Luckily, in the case of the Aflac Small Business Happiness Report, that was not the case. 

The report, based on responses from 500 small business employees, was designed to determine the level of happiness folks experienced on the job. Overall, 85 percent said they would describe themselves as happy employees. Yet, 96 percent said they would be even happier if their employers would only take a few simple actions. 

As it happens, it is in the benefits area that respondents said employers could make the greatest contributions to uplifting their spirits further. Two-thirds said improving benefits offerings would make them happier; 22 percent identified their benefits packages as the biggest downer on the job. 

How could those packages be improved? The most popular responses were as follows: 

  • 31 percent said their employers could contribute more toward price; 

  • 23 percent said they would appreciate a broader range of current offerings; 

  • 22 percent said different types of offerings would help their moods; 

  • 14 percent would like their employer to improve communication about benefits; 

  • 10 percent would like it if their employer solicited their opinions about the benefits package. 

“These findings highlight a big opportunity for small-business owners,” said Matthew Owenby, Aflac senior vice president and chief human resources officer. “In today’s workplace, finding talented employees is becoming more difficult for small-business employers. To help attract the best workers, and retain current employees, small-business owners can leverage a robust benefits offering with voluntary insurance options to let their employees know that they care about them, with no direct cost to their bottom line.” 

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.

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