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2013 Study of Employee Benefits Trends

By The Bailey Group Staff
Published April 8, 2013

Employers are always looking for ways to better their benefits programs, particularly balancing cost management with employee satisfaction.

It is important for companies to understand how employees are thinking, along with what other employers plan to do regarding their benefits in the near future. MetLife’s 11th annual Study of Employee Benefits Trends addresses this important topic. The 2013 survey offers many valuable insights; here are some of the highlights.

Falling Employee Loyalty

“Employee loyalty has declined yearly since 2008”

The primary theme identified by the report is that employers seem to be completely unaware of falling employee satisfaction, which could equate to unexpectedly high turnover in the next year or two. Here are some of the statistics:

  • More than one in four surveyed employees who report they hope to be working somewhere else in the next year also cite that an increase in work-life balance would decrease their desire to leave the company.
  • Employee loyalty has declined yearly since 2008, while employers have been absorbed with handling the recession.
  • During that same time, employer perception of employee loyalty remained steady.
  • Younger employees have greater concerns about work life balance than older employees do.
  • More than half of employees who strongly recommend their company as a great place to work also say benefits are one of the main reasons they choose to stay with the company.

Communication is Key

“More than 1/3 of employees grade their benefits communications a C or below”

MetLife says employees who awarded A or B grades to their company’s benefits communications find their benefits much easier to understand. Effective employee communication is a critical aspect of the employer-employee relationship. It shows employees that they are a valued member of the company. Lack of communication can make them feel under-appreciated, fostering a sense of discontentment and low morale.

According to the study, the top 3 communication tactics that employees who gave their companies a grade of A or B consider the most helpful are:

  1. Post-enrollment confirmation of benefits elections (58%)
  2. Personalized messages and materials reflecting individual needs and/or life stages (53%)
  3. Employer benefits website (53%)

Changing Benefits Structure

“Flexibility in benefits is very important to employees”

  • Each generation of employees shared unique attitudes and issues in common, suggesting that employers may want to shift focus away from a one size- fits-all benefits package. When asked about factors considered important to loyalty, 61 percent of employees reported that having benefits that meet their individual needs would increase loyalty.
  • Flexibility in benefits is very important to employees and 51 percent of employees are willing to pay more to have access to such benefits.

See more of what the full survey has to say at