Employees Want Better Health Benefits

Nearly half of working professionals think their employer does not invest enough in their health and wellness, a survey says.

A survey by One Medical Group, a primary care system, indicates that better health benefits can be used to attract and retain employees.

The data suggests that health benefits can make a significant difference in people's job satisfaction and may even impact their choice of jobs. Despite offering health insurance options, many companies still have some work to do when it comes to keeping their employees healthy and happy.

Nearly three-quarters of professionals (72%) would choose one job over another based on benefits. Almost universally, working professionals say employee benefits have a big impact on their workplace satisfaction. Sixty-four percent say employee benefits are “very important” to how they feel about their job and their employer, and 31% say benefits are “somewhat important” to how they feel.

While benefits matter a lot for employees of all ages, they are most important when it comes to attracting and retaining seasoned professionals. The study shows 69% of workers older than age 60 rate benefits as “very important,” as do 68% of those ages 45 to 60, 63% of 30- to 40-year-olds, and 55% of those ages 18 to 29.

Employee benefits can also make a big difference for people when they’re deciding between competing job offers, with 72% saying they might choose one job over another if it offered better employee benefits.

Survey respondents voiced a strong preference for health benefits, with two out of three professionals saying they would choose better health and wellness benefits over more perks. This preference is more pronounced for professionals older than age 45: three out of four would choose better health benefits over more perks.

The study also indicates that professionals want their employers to play a bigger role in their health and wellness. A majority of respondents (67%) believe that keeping them healthy should be one of the top goals of their company's benefits program. However, only 49% think health is actually a top priority for their company. Many more people (67%) believe their employer is focused on managing costs.

According to the survey, many employers offer a range of different health and wellness benefits. Most companies provide medical insurance (88%), and more than half invest in health and wellness programs. The most common programs include employee assistance programs (45%), on-site vaccinations (45%), fitness benefits (31%), workshops (31%) and on-site health screenings (25%).

But the data also suggests companies should carefully review which programs have a meaningful impact: despite these offerings, many professionals still believe that their employer isn’t doing enough to keep them healthy. Only about half of survey respondents (52%) say their company is making sufficient investments in their wellness and preventative care, and only 29% think their company’s health and wellness programs are actually making them healthier.

One Medical Group surveyed 1,000 professionals ages 18 to over 60 during September and October, regarding their opinions, desires and perceptions about their companies' employee benefits, at companies of all sizes across 20 different industries. The majority of respondents (73%) said they had a college degree or higher, and more than 50% reported an annual income of $100,000 or higher. Responses were evenly split between men and women. 

One Medical Group is a primary care system with locations in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.