The fifth annual Unum Employee Education and Enrollment Survey shows that employees value effective benefits education and the employers who provide it. They also value employers who provide voluntary benefits.
Why are these findings important? When employees are pleased with their benefits education, they are also more likely to be pleased with their benefits package, happy with their workplace and engaged in their work. And when they’re engaged in their work, the company’s performance shows it.1
The study sends a powerful message: Employers must continue to focus on providing strong benefits education, and offer their employees voluntary benefits as a cost-effective way to provide a competitive benefits offering.
The fifth Employee Education and Enrollment study surveyed 1,890 employed adults with benefits from a variety of providers.
The results showing the strong relationship between quality of benefits education and workplace satisfaction were striking. For example, 81% of employees who rated their benefits education highly also gave high marks to their employers, versus only 23% percent who did so when their benefits education was not rated highly — a 58-point difference.
Certain five-year trends were apparent: Employees’ ratings of their benefits education have steadily improved over the five years of the survey — although there is still much room for improvement. Benefits package ratings and access to voluntary benefits have remained stable. Currently, 58% of employees report being offered voluntary benefits at work.
Across all five years of the survey, employees have indicated that they need sufficient time and tools — at least three weeks and three types of communications — to make good benefits decisions. They are using online resources more often, but continue to strongly value printed and personalized education materials they can take home to share with family members.
Finally, the survey revealed that employees recognize the value of voluntary benefits — and the financial protection they provide.
As more employers increase cost-sharing due to price increases and health care reform, adding employee-paid voluntary benefits like critical illness or accident insurance helps employers keep their benefits packages competitive — without impacting the bottom line. Just as important, these benefits help protect employee’s finances from the potential shocks of a serious illness or injury.
Contact your Unum representative to get your copy of the full report, and to learn more about putting these findings to work for you.
1Gallup, State of the American Workplace: Employee Engagement Insights for U.S. Business Leaders (2013).Source: Unum's Employee Education and Enrollment Study, conducted by Harris Interactive, December 2012, of 1,890 employed adults.