Employee benefits & satisfaction: key results of LIMRA’s 2022 BEAT Study

August 17, 2022

satisfied employees

What factors have the greatest influence over employees’ happiness at work? According to LIMRA’s 2022 Benefits and Employee Attitude Tracker (BEAT) Study, work satisfaction is about a lot more than a paycheck.

That’s not to suggest salaries don’t matter—in fact, income is number one on the list of the five most important factors employees cite when choosing whether to stay with a current employer or leave for a new one. Eighty-two percent of those surveyed list pay among their top five factors, but only 37% of those surveyed said that pay was their first priority.1

The challenges of 2020 and the pandemic accelerated changes in the ways we work that were already underway, and the 2022 BEAT Study illustrates how those changes continue to play out in employees’ views about employer-sponsored benefits.

What’s important? It turns out, a robust employee benefits package can be a key differentiator that promotes employee satisfaction and loyalty. But many employees could use more help understanding their employer-sponsored benefits—it’s tough to appreciate what they may not know they have.

The role of work in life satisfaction

It’s important to note that the study found that lower-income employees were less likely to hold a positive view of their employer or derive meaning from their work. It also found that employees who had more scheduling flexibility and control over where they work were more likely to feel cared for by their employers.1

Those lower-income employees, and those with less scheduling flexibility or remote options, could be at greater risk of disengagement. In fact, just two-thirds of non-management employees said their work contributed to their personal satisfaction—compared with nine out of 10 senior executives.1

Could more robust benefits packages help employers narrow that satisfaction gap?

More benefits correlate with greater employee satisfaction

After income, top considerations employees said they look for in potential employers were (in ranked order) medical benefits, work-life balance, a flexible schedule and paid time off. Currently, just 46% of employees said they were “highly satisfied” with their overall benefits offering.1

The study also found a correlation between the number of benefits offered and the percentage of employees who describe themselves as highly satisfied. Among employers offering just one to three benefits, only 28% of employees were highly satisfied, while 69% were highly satisfied when their employers offered 10–12 benefits.1

But it’s not enough for employers to simply provide these benefits.

Can better benefits communication improve employee satisfaction?

According to the study, most employees spent less than an hour on annual benefits enrollment, and yet only 4% of employees are “not at all confident” in their enrollment decisions.1 At the same time, many employees cite cost as a factor in choosing not to enroll in many insurance benefits—like long-term and short-term disability insurance or optional accident, critical illness and hospital indemnity insurance.1 It’s possible that these employees don’t fully understand the potential value of these additional benefits.

That points to employers’ second opportunity after ensuring that their benefits packages are competitive: making sure employees understand what’s on offer. Much like the correlation between the number of benefits and level of satisfaction, employees who say their employers communicate “frequently” and “extremely well” about benefits also report high satisfaction with their benefits.1

Communicating well and often means using the methods employees prefer, and that can vary across generations. Employers should use multiple communication channels, from in-person benefits fairs to emails and even text messages, to help employees understand their insurance benefit options, retirement benefits and other benefit plans.

Benefits are part of holistic recruiting & retention strategies

As important as they are, pay and benefits aren’t the only factors employees consider when they think about job satisfaction. Today’s workers want advancement opportunities, employers who care and managers who listen. And in the 2022 BEAT Study, nearly one in four employees said they were actively looking for a new job.1 As work keeps evolving, employers will need to focus on communicating, connecting and engaging with employees to support long-term loyalty.

Broad-reaching financial education programs can go a long way toward helping employees understand the impacts of their voluntary benefits decisions. The knowledge they gain through financial education programs can give them a deeper understanding of the full scope of benefits on offer, and a deeper sense of loyalty that comes with knowing the true total value of their compensation and benefits.

At Cuna Mutual Group, we place a priority on providing comprehensive financial education that goes beyond retirement savings and planning. Holistic financial education is the baseline option we offer retirement plan clients, at no extra charge. Learn more about how we help support holistic financial wellness through education. Contact us today.

What factors have the greatest influence over employees’ happiness at work? According to LIMRA’s 2022 Benefits and Employee Attitude Tracker (BEAT) Study, work satisfaction is about a lot more than a paycheck.

That’s not to suggest salaries don’t matter—in fact, income is number one on the list of the five most important factors employees cite when choosing whether to stay with a current employer or leave for a new one. Eighty-two percent of those surveyed list pay among their top five factors, but only 37% of those surveyed said that pay was their first priority.1 

The challenges of 2020 and the pandemic accelerated changes in the ways we work that were already underway, and the 2022 BEAT Study illustrates how those changes continue to play out in employees’ views about employer-sponsored benefits.

What’s important? It turns out, a robust employee benefits package can be a key differentiator that promotes employee satisfaction and loyalty. But many employees could use more help understanding their employer-sponsored benefits—it’s tough to appreciate what they may not know they have.

The role of work in life satisfaction

It’s important to note that the study found that lower-income employees were less likely to hold a positive view of their employer or derive meaning from their work. It also found that employees who had more scheduling flexibility and control over where they work were more likely to feel cared for by their employers.1

Those lower-income employees, and those with less scheduling flexibility or remote options, could be at greater risk of disengagement. In fact, just two-thirds of non-management employees said their work contributed to their personal satisfaction—compared with nine out of 10 senior executives.1

Could more robust benefits packages help employers narrow that satisfaction gap?

More benefits correlate with greater employee satisfaction

After income, top considerations employees said they look for in potential employers were (in ranked order) medical benefits, work-life balance, a flexible schedule and paid time off. Currently, just 46% of employees said they were “highly satisfied” with their overall benefits offering.1

The study also found a correlation between the number of benefits offered and the percentage of employees who describe themselves as highly satisfied. Among employers offering just one to three benefits, only 28% of employees were highly satisfied, while 69% were highly satisfied when their employers offered 10–12 benefits.1

But it’s not enough for employers to simply provide these benefits.

Can better benefits communication improve employee satisfaction?

According to the study, most employees spent less than an hour on annual benefits enrollment, and yet only 4% of employees are “not at all confident” in their enrollment decisions.1 At the same time, many employees cite cost as a factor in choosing not to enroll in many insurance benefits—like long-term and short-term disability insurance or optional accident, critical illness and hospital indemnity insurance.1 It’s possible that these employees don’t fully understand the potential value of these additional benefits.

That points to employers’ second opportunity after ensuring that their benefits packages are competitive: making sure employees understand what’s on offer. Much like the correlation between the number of benefits and level of satisfaction, employees who say their employers communicate “frequently” and “extremely well” about benefits also report high satisfaction with their benefits.1

Communicating well and often means using the methods employees prefer, and that can vary across generations. Employers should use multiple communication channels, from in-person benefits fairs to emails and even text messages, to help employees understand their insurance benefit options, retirement benefits and other benefit plans.

Benefits are part of holistic recruiting & retention strategies

As important as they are, pay and benefits aren’t the only factors employees consider when they think about job satisfaction. Today’s workers want advancement opportunities, employers that care and managers who listen. And in the 2022 BEAT Study, nearly one in four employees said they were actively looking for a new job.1 As work keeps evolving, employers will need to focus on communicating, connecting and engaging with employees to support long-term loyalty.

Broad-reaching financial education programs can go a long way toward helping employees understand the impacts of their voluntary benefits decisions. The knowledge they gain through financial education programs can give them a deeper understanding of the full scope of benefits on offer, and a deeper sense of loyalty that comes with knowing the true total value of their compensation and benefits.

At Cuna Mutual Group, we place a priority on providing comprehensive financial education that goes beyond retirement savings and planning. Holistic financial education is the baseline option we offer retirement plan clients, at no extra charge. Learn more about how we help support holistic financial wellness through education. Contact us today.

SOURCE
1 LIMRA, 2022 BEAT Study: Benefits and Employee Attitude Tracker, 2022.

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