E-pinions

1000 Readers Tell Us About their Benefits Communication Programs

By Stephen D. Bruce, PHR
Editor, HR Daily Advisor

Just My E-pinion

Benefits communication is especially critical these days—with little going on in the raise department, employers need to be sure that employees truly appreciate the cost of the benefits they’re getting. Last month we surveyed our readers to see how they are doing it.

Sixty percent of respondents say they do provide employees with an annual summary of benefit program features. As expected, this percentage showed a direct correlation with company size, as 58% of companies with fewer than 100 employees provided such a summary, rising to 79% for companies employing 1000 or more.

Although most of responding employers (68%) do not survey their employees to determine benefit satisfaction, 78% believe their employees to be either very happy or somewhat happy with their benefits.

Interestingly, 57% say the perception is that their benefits are better then their competitors’, and 32% say benefits are perceived as similar, leaving only 10 % perceiving benefits as worse. (2% don’t know.) That would suggest that benefits communication is doing its job and then some.

Nearly 1,000 readers from across the country, well-distributed by geography and industry, responded to the survey, which was conducted by BLR’s HR Daily Advisor during February and early March of 2011 Thanks to all who participated. Here are the detailed results:

Here are the detailed responses:

Does the organization provide an annual summary of benefit program features?

 

Number

Percent

Yes

603

62%

No

376

38%

If yes, what is the format of the benefit summary?

 

Number

Percent

Electronic

82

14%

Paper

285

48%

Both

232

39%

What electronic methods are used to provide employees with benefit information?

 

Number

Percent

Company web site or intranet

222

72%

Email

266

86%

Text messages

3

1%

Twitter

2

1%

Facebook

2

1%

Other

30

10%

Does the benefit summary show the cost to the company of providing each benefit?

 

Number

Percent

Yes

323

56%

No

255

44%

Does the company prepare more than one benefits summary to tailor it to its audience?

 

Number

Percent

Yes

127

22%

No

452

78%

Does the organization survey employees to determine benefit preferences?

 

Number

Percent

Yes

236

26%

No

671

74%

What is the frequency of benefit preference surveys?

 

Number

Percent

Preference surveys are not conducted

426

61%

Surveys conducted at least annually

70

10%

Surveys conducted every other year

20

3%

Surveys conducted as changes are considered

152

22%

Other

28

4%


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Does the organization survey employees to determine satisfaction with benefits?

 

Number

Percent

Yes

289

32%

No

615

68%

What is the frequency of benefit satisfaction surveys?

 

Number

Percent

Satisfaction surveyed every other year

388

55%

Satisfaction surveyed as changes are considered

111

16%

Benefit satisfaction surveys are not conducted

47

7%

Satisfaction surveyed at least annually

128

18%

Other

30

4%

Does the organization make use of outside survey data to determine benefits?

 

Number

Percent

Yes

372

42%

No

524

58%

What is the perception of employee satisfaction with the benefits package?

 

Number

Percent

Very happy

197

22%

Somewhat happy

500

56%

Indifferent

72

8%

Somewhat unhappy

81

9%

Very Unhappy

19

2%

Don’t know

31

3%


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What is the perception of the company benefit package in comparison to those of other employers in same labor market?

 

Number

Percent

Much better

220

24%

Somewhat better

300

33%

Similar

288

32%

Somewhat worse

69

8%

Much worse

15

2%

Don’t know

19

2%

Upcoming survey topics:

Again, thanks to all who participated.

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