An employee benefits survey is a questionnaire designed to offer a company feedback on their current benefits program and allow employees to recommend additional benefits. According to The Met Life, offering a competitive benefits package was one of the top ten challenges employers faced. Indeed, it can be a tough task to provide a scheme that recognizes employees’ needs. Employee benefit surveys are, therefore, a crucial tool in creating a package that can work in the interests of both the company and the workforce.
What is the Importance of an Employee Benefits Survey?
Drawn from an analysis of Glassdoor reviews in 2020, the Barometer research team uncovered the factors that employees valued most in a workplace. The research revealed that leadership was the most important factor, while workplace culture and work-life balance were additionally important factors in shaping an employee’s feelings towards their job.
Unexpectedly, the report showed that employee benefits schemes were the least important determinant of a positive or negative review. Nevertheless, 9 out of the top 10 companies on Glassdoor shared one thing in common: they offered a comprehensive benefits package. Although Employee benefits may have been the lease determinant of reviews, it is still a factor that helps make a best place to work and can give you the edge over competition.
To be effective, however, benefits schemes must be shaped by the reality of employees’ lives. Surveys can provide employers with vital insights that can impact all aspects of a company’s workplace.
Identifying Stressors in the Office
Understanding the pressure points faced by your employees is a necessary step towards accommodating their needs. A pressure point is a useful way to conceptualize the stressors that may lead to broader challenges for your employees at work.
As Diana Dosick explains in her TED Talk on the value of understanding employees, “aligning the needs and interests of company and employee is a win-win strategy.”
Areas to Ask in an Employee Benefits Survey
Establishing a benefits scheme informed by your employees’ feedback will optimize worker satisfaction with the package. Conducting employee benefits surveys on an annual or biannual basis can be a simple yet powerful measure.
So, what should you include in your survey to gain insight into your employees’ level of satisfaction with your benefits?
When structuring your survey, consider the main topics you would like to address. Here are 10 fundamental areas that will help guide your survey.
- Office culture and infrastructure
- Health benefits
- Sick days and remuneration
- Paid paternity/ maternity leave
- Pension plans
- Disability insurance
- Wellness and welfare
- Work-life balance
- Access to and understanding of benefits
How to Structure Your Survey
Employers need to go beyond asking surface-level questions about benefits. Survey questions should not only measure workers’ perceptions of employee benefits, but also assess how well they understand the benefits offered.
A useful method is to include a variety of question formats that require more than a simple yes or no answer. For example, survey questions with rating scale (e.g. strongly disagree to strongly agree), or open-ended responses can provide a more nuanced perspective on your employees’ opinions.
Here are some examples that can help you create a great employee benefits survey.
Measure Satisfaction Levels
- How satisfied are you with your work environment?
- Are you satisfied with the company’s approach to transport?
- Are you satisfied with your company’s healthcare package?
- Are you satisfied with your sick pay and holiday time?
- Are you satisfied with the wellness benefits in place?
Gain Insight on Benefits
- Which benefits do you like most?
- Which benefits do you like least?
- On a scale of 1-10, please rank how important each benefit is to you.
- Do you understand the benefits that you were offered?
- Do you know who to approach if you have any questions regarding your benefits?
Work Life Balance
- Do you think you have a healthy work life balance?
- What do you think management can improve to help relieve work-related stress?
- Do you look forward to coming into the office every day?
- What do you like to do outside the office?
- Are you able to get home on time to your family?
A note: Surveys should be anonymous, and employees should be encouraged to add any further comments on the types of benefits they would like to see or where they feel the company could improve current benefits. Be sure to provide sections in your survey where employees can elaborate on their answers.
A Crucial Tool
Employee benefits can be a crucial tool in boosting retention rates, keeping up with a competitive labor market and creating a collaborative and inclusive company culture. Utilizing the findings of your employee benefits survey will help establish clarity on the benefits package your company should provide.
Here are four key takeaways for crafting your employee survey.
- Employee benefits are a holistic tool that can have a huge effect on satisfaction. When employee benefits are done right, they can have widespread positive effects. A happy workforce makes for a happy company. Competitive benefits packages retain the best employees and attract the strongest talent.
- A good survey should identify pressure points in an employee’s life. Sometimes, dips in productivity and absences can be accepted as a matter of life. However, this can often point to a wider issue. A survey can help you identify pressure points, thereby allowing you to focus resources on areas where the demands of the worker’s private and professional lives intersect.
- Employee benefits surveys should measure not only an employee’s perception of their benefits package but also their understanding of it. Your benefits package may be great, but if the correct information is not circulating down to your employees, then they may be ineffective. Ensuring that employees understand their benefits comes at no extra cost.
- Avoid misplaced investments. Refocus your resources and reap the benefits. When you understand your employees’ needs you can streamline your benefits package to cater to them more directly. Forget free beers, ping pong tables, and basketball hoops, and understand what your employees really need. Employees make a company tick, and when the interests of workers and their employer are aligned, the positive outcomes for your company can be endless.
If you'd like to read more about the research that drove us to dive deeper on employee benefits, click here. You'll quickly learn there's a lot more that goes into becoming a best place to work than you may have thought.