Employees who are confident in their benefits choices are much more likely to be satisfied with their employee benefits package, according to a new report.
Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York, published this finding in a report based on the findings from two separate Internet surveys conducted concurrently among 1,667 benefits plan participants (employees) and 1,071 benefits plan sponsors (employers). The Center for Strategy Research, a Boston-based market research firm, conducted the surveys in May and June.
The report observes that, while fewer than half of employees are very satisfied with their company's employee benefits package, more than 70% who are confident in their benefits selections are very satisfied.
Fewer than 4 in 10 employers (37%) say their benefits communications are effective in helping employees make the right choices about benefits.
The lack of confidence in communications contributes to employers' perceptions about benefits: Only 42% of employers believe that their employees are very satisfied with the benefits program offered.
And the perceptions match reality: Just one-third (34%) of respondents, the report shows, say the benefits communications they receive are very effective. And fewer than half of employees (49%) say they are very satisfied with their benefits packages.
With respect to how employees want to receive benefits communications, e-mail (either at home or work) is the top choice at 40%. E-mail was followed closely by traditional mail, either at home or work (36%).
Smaller percentages of respondents cited one-on-one meetings during work hours (28%), watching non-interactive online presentations (25%), group meetings during work hours (24%), and videos or DVDs (19%).
The study observes that interest in receiving benefits information via social media is currently very low, with just 5% of employees citing a preference for this channel.
Eight in 10 workers (80%) say they want the ease and convenience of signing up for benefits online, so they can enroll by themselves when and where they choose.