Retirement Plans a Top-Ranked Benefit among Higher Ed Staff

July 29, 2011 ( - The Chronicle's Great Colleges to Work For survey for 2011 reveals that concrete benefits and policies that convince employees that they are valuable and that the college is willing to put resources behind them are characteristics of a great academic workplace.

According to The Chronicle, the top-rated benefits were, in order, vacation and personal time off, retirement plans like a 403(b) or 401(k), tuition reimbursement for employees, medical insurance, and tuition reimbursement for family members. Other benefits and programs, employees said, were less important included housing-assistance programs, post-retirement medical benefits, professional- and career-development programs, work/life-balance programs, and clarity in the tenure process.  

A culture of success was common in the top workplaces. The survey also highlighted a strongly felt connection between an individual’s job and the institution as a whole. Among the 60 statements in the survey, one of the highest-scoring among employees at colleges recognized as great places to work was, “I understand how my job contributes to this institution’s mission.” About 57% of employees strongly agreed with that, while just over 1% strongly disagreed.  

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