A MetLife news release about itsEmployee Benefits Trends Study said 55% of smaller company employers – those with fewer than 500 employees – contended that benefits play a very important role in employee retention and that such retention is a top corporate objective. However, only 34% of workers at these smaller employers say their benefits are a very important reason to remain with their employer.
Just 37% of employees at smaller companies say they are highly satisfied with their workplace benefits.
Fifty-three percent of employees at larger firms say their benefits are a very important reason to remain with their employer, and 49% reported they are highly satisfied with their workplace benefits.
“In the competitive war for talent, small businesses are recognizing that investing in benefits is a strategic decision,” said Robert Bucci, vice president, MetLife Institutional Business, in the news release. “However, many benefits programs currently in place are not meeting the wants and needs of today’s workforce and not contributing as they could to employee retention. Supporting voluntary benefits in the workplace can help address the challenge of expanding the breadth and depth of a benefits program to improve employee satisfaction without adding to the employer’s overall benefits spend.”
Other findings of the MetLife poll, according to the news release, included:
- 47% of workers at companies with less than 500 employees have taken steps to determine their families' retirement income needs, compared to 59% of employees at larger employers.
- A majority (60%) of smaller employers - those with less than 500 employees - say they have a strong sense of loyalty to their employees compared to 45% of larger companies. Only 44% of workers at these smaller companies believe their employer has very strong sense of loyalty to them.
- Employees at smaller companies indicate an interest in paying more to get more - 91% of those surveyed say they are interested in having more voluntary benefits offered with 40% saying they are very interested.
- 52% of workers at companies with less than 500 employees have taken steps to determine their families' life insurance needs, compared to 62% of employees at larger employers.
- 33% of workers at companies with less than 500 employees have taken steps to determine their families' disability income needs, compared to 47% of employees at larger employers.
Both smaller employers and their employees are in agreement that benefits communications is an area that needs improvement. Only about one-third of employers and employees believe that current communications are effective.
The benefits research was conducted during the third quarter of 2007 and consisted of two distinct studies fielded by GfK NOP. The employee survey polled 1,380 full-time employees, age 21 and over, at companies with at least two employees. The employer survey consisted of 1,652 interviews with benefits decisionmakers at companies with a minimum of two employees,
The study is available at whymetlife.com/trendspr .