Poll: 401(k) Match Important for Employee Benefit Packages

August 29, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Four in 10 workers polled in a recent survey indicated that a 401(k) match is the most valued benefit of the current employee benefit lineup.

Meanwhile, a Kronos Incorporated news release said exceptional health care coverage is the most desired benefit currently not offered by employers and that quality health coverage is a potential answer to employer concerns about recruiting talent in a limited hiring pool and retaining good employees.

The press announcement said the “Working in America: The Key to Employee Satisfaction” survey found the 1,223 U.S. employees surveyed ranked 100% coverage of health care costs by the employer among the benefits employees do not have, as a more desirable benefit than competitive salary. A comprehensive health care benefits program was among the top three reasons they have stayed with their longest-term employer.

In general, Kronos asserted, an organization’s benefits program is a key driver of employee satisfaction. Health care coverage has become a top priority, with competitive salary and other concerns such as bonus programs and compressed work weeks following as top worker concerns.

Other popular workplace perks identified by survey participants included full tuition reimbursement, according to Kronos.

“Because companies are in a constant battle to retain the best and the brightest talent, we feel these findings are important for organizations to consider when implementing changes within their environment,” said Jim Kizielewicz, vice president of corporate strategy at Kronos, in the news release. “An example that really struck me is that nearly half of all workers who are actively looking for other employment are looking while at work, and that is a dramatic number that cannot go ignored.”

Finding a New Job

The poll found that employees continue to be dissatisfied with their job, as 62% of employed adults are currently either actively or passively looking for a new work situation. This data supports a year-over-year trend in employee satisfaction, with 41% of those looking for a new job looking while at work in 2006 and 39% in 2005, indicating that employees are still looking for better opportunities.

In the last six months, 61% of employed adults have experienced an increase in their responsibilities or workload, while only 44% of workers have received a raise in that same time period, an 8% decrease from the findings of Kronos’ 2006 survey.

With most employees required to carry a heavier workload without any form of increased monetary compensation, many expect other forms of recognition. In addition to benefits, the Kronos survey found that among employees with five or more years of tenure with any employer past or present, 26% of employees appreciate feeling rewarded and inspired in their job and consider this to be a leading reason to stay with their current employer.

In addition, when those with less than five years of tenure with a single employer were asked to identify the reasons for resigning, 15% of employed adults indicated there was a lack of respect from their employer.

Communication was another concern found among employees surveyed. In fact, the 2007 survey found that 13% of employees whose tenure was less than five years with any employer felt their employer did not communicate well with them, with 24% of those who are not satisfied with their current employer stating that communicating well with employees and seeking their feedback is key to satisfaction.

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Kronos between July 19th and July 27th of 2007 among 1,223 US adults (18 and over) who are employed full time.