Survey Finds Employers’ Benefits Communication Efforts Lacking

April 18, 2011 ( - Regardless of the resource, only half of employees give their employers favorable ratings for communication, according to a new survey from LIMRA.

Less than half (47%) of respondents said their employers’ communication efforts in an annual benefit statement are good or excellent; 45% gave their employers’ HR Web site/Intranet a good or excellent grade; and only a third each gave their employers in-house benefit seminars or access to in-house benefits specialist efforts a good or excellent ranking.   

Despite the growth in and use of technology over the past decade, nearly half (47%) of employees prefer their employers to use printed materials for specific benefit information.  

That said, the survey found that when looking for general information about employee benefits, employees search multiple sources. They tend to access employers as their primary portal. Two-thirds of employees utilize at least one employer-provided tool when accessing general information about benefits.   

Half of employees use HR Web sites, followed by written HR booklets (26%), onsite specialists (18%), and benefit seminars (15%). Two in 10 employees “Google,” while nearly one in 10 use public or government Web sites and two in 10 use insurance carriers’ Web sites.  

Another resource is insurance companies, with a quarter of employees using at least one insurance-company-provided resource. Personal contacts, such as family members and financial advisers are another important resource for one in five respondents.  

Still, almost half of employees (47%) use only one source for benefits information, the most popular being the HR department Web site/Intranet.  

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