Job satisfaction is crucial to recruiting and retaining valuable employees—and research shows benefits packages are incredibly important to keeping them happy.

 

“One of the big factors in considering whether to accept a job is the benefits package that goes with it,” wrote Marlene Y. Satter for BenefitsPro. “But once they take the job, it doesn’t necessarily follow that employees are satisfied with the benefits they’re getting—and if they’re not happy, they probably won’t hang around.”

 

Benefits and job satisfaction are intricately related, according to Stephen Miller of the Society for Human Resource Management. “Job satisfaction and worker morale are strongly correlated with benefits satisfaction,” he wrote, citing a November 2015 research report from the Employee Benefit Research Institute and research firm Greenwald & Associates. “For example, more than one-half (54 percent) of those who are extremely satisfied with their benefits are also extremely satisfied with their current job. Just 10 percent of those who say they are, at most, somewhat satisfied with their benefits say they are extremely satisfied with their job.”

 

The report also found “30 percent of respondents overall are only somewhat satisfied with the benefits offered by their current employer, and 20 percent are not satisfied.  That suggests that half of all workers don’t view their benefits package as a powerful rationale to stay with their current employer.”

 

Benefits are becoming as important as salary for as many as 89 percent of the 3,000 employees polled in Mercer’s “Inside Employees’ Minds” survey, Matt Dunning wrote for Business Insurance. “Sixty-six percent said the benefits they currently receive make them feel appreciated by their employers,” Dunning writes.

 

Other factors businesses should consider when thinking about keeping employees happy include:

 

Voluntary benefits

Voluntary benefits may contribute to worker satisfaction, Miller wrote, but only if workers see them as less expensive than if a worker wanted to purchase them individually. “Businesses should tailor their voluntary benefit menu based on employee demographics (including age, income level and marital status), while looking for ways to enhance the core benefits package.”

 

Future affordability

Fifty-nine percent of employees Mercer surveyed “believe their health benefits will be difficult or impossible to afford in five years’ time, due to rising out-of-pocket expenses,” Dunning writes.

 

Flexibility

More than half—58 percent—of employees Mercer surveyed want more flexible options when it comes to health insurance to align with their individual medical and financial needs. “The desire for greater flexibility in benefits selection was most prominent among employees under the age of 35,” according to Dunning.