The Average American Worker Still Thinks Employee Benefits are a Big Deal
This is a writing sample from Scripted writer Tess Taylor
Ask the average working American today what is a huge concern for them, and they are likely to answer " Having access to good employee benefits from my employer." With the Affordable Care Act such a large factor, people are taking a much closer look at the benefits they are being offered before accepting a new job, rather than just accepting anything. Working Americans continue to be influenced by the benefits offered to them by employers Because of this, companies need to take a long look in the mirror to see what it is they are offering their job candidates. Is the package good enough to sell the company? Or, is the package attracting mediocre talent? Hopefully by the time you read to the end of this article, you will be able to figure out what the trends in the market are when it comes to how benefits tie into jobs, productivity and a new generation of employees. Employees View Benefits as Financial Security According to the 2014 Guardian Workplace Benefits Study, 74 percent of middle-income employees in the United States take the majority of their financial security from the benefits received at work. Despite this number, just 1 in 4 of those employees actually know what it is they are receiving each year and find the company's communications about the benefits helpful. Many of them just select the same boxes when enrolling in coverage each year without actually knowing what the coverage is for. Influencing a Decision About a Job The same survey found that four out of every five employees base their decision about taking or declining a job on the benefits being offered. These four of five employees said that the benefits are the sole deciding factor as to whether or not they accept a job with a company or stay with their current employer. Benefits Offered are Often the Sole Financial Plan The survey also found a very glaring problem when it comes to benefits. A large portion of employees have their financial plans only through their employer and no additional plans on their own. This means that if the employee loses his or her job, they will also lose their financial plan. According to the survey, 89 percent of employees have disability insurance through their employer, but only 7 percent have a plan of their own. Eighty-seven percent of employees have a retirement account through their employer, but only 17 percent have an account of their own. The survey also found that 85 percent of employees have medical insurance through their employer and just 5 percent have insurance of their own. When it comes to life insurance, 70 percent of employees have insurance through their employer, while just 35 percent have a policy of their own. Happiest Employees are Healthiest Employees The happiest employees at your office will likely be your healthiest employees. The reason for this is that they know about the wellness benefits being offered to them and are taking advantage of those benefits. In fact, 78 percent of employees who are in excellent health reported that they are happy with their current job. This is in comparison to 51 percent of employees who are in poor health who claim they are happy with their current job. When it comes to benefits, 75 percent of employees who are in excellent health say they are also happy with the benefits they receive from their employer. On the other side of the argument, just 56 percent of employees who are in fair or poor health are satisfied with their benefits. As you can see, the benefits your company offers to its employees are an important factor today. They influence the decisions job candidates make when it comes to accepting or declining offers of employment. Review your benefits package today to make sure you are offering the best package possible.
Tess C. Taylor, SHRM-CP, CCC, CPC, founder of HR Knows, is a seasoned human resource and career coaching professional with nearly 2 decades of corporate experience. She regular contributes to About.com, Forbes, HRDive, Payscale.com Compensation Today, HR Gazette, US News Careers, and other respected websites in this space. She has been published in HR Magazine, and is voted a "Top 100 HR Expert to Follow' on Twitter for multiple years.