Employees Viewed Benefits Less Favorably in 2009

August 12, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Sibson Consulting’s 2009 Rewards of Work Study found overall employee engagement at work – knowing what to do and wanting to do it – remains low, with engaged employees representing 52% of nearly 2,000 workers surveyed.

All elements of rewards had higher average favorability ratings in 2009 than in 2006, with the exception of benefits. Work content scored highest on favorability ratings (73%, compared to 69% in 2006), followed by affiliation (70% vs. 65%), and career (60% vs. 58%). However, only 51% of respondents said they were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their benefits in 2009, compared to 55% who said the same in 2006.  

Compensation had the largest increase in favorability, from 39% in 2006 to 45% in 2009.  

According to the study report, between 2006 and 2009, the average favorability ratings for retirement benefits satisfaction (42%, compared to 52% in 2006) and health care benefits satisfaction (68% vs. 66%) declined. The only benefit for which favorability increased on average was time-off (77% vs. 74%).  

Other findings included: 

  • The top four measures with the highest correlation to engagement were organizational support of the employee, understanding of performance management, trust in management, and performance management effectiveness.  
  • Specific measures of affiliation showed positive increases between 2006 and 2009, despite the onset of the recession. For example, favorable attitudes toward an organization’s reputation were up six percentage points to 81% in 2009. Trust in management increased by seven percentage points but was still only at 64% of those surveyed in 2009.   
  • Millenials (workers ages 21 – 35) are less satisfied, less engaged, and more likely to leave than any other age group. 


The study report is here.