By Rieva Lesonsky
In today’s challenging economy, you might think that employees would be grateful to have a job—any job. But a new survey from the Financial Services Roundtable and Employee Benefit Research Institute reports that benefits are an important factor in job satisfaction for employees at all salary levels.
Over half (52 percent) of employees value their benefits as a way to “protect their financial well-being”. What benefits are valued most? When asked to rate (on a scale of 1 to 5) different benefits in terms of providing financial protection, 85 percent rated health insurance a 5. Sixty-nine percent also rated retirement plans a 5, but that number increased to 80 percent as workers’ ages and incomes rose.
Interestingly, some other benefits were valued more highly by lower-income employees. While 48 percent rated life insurance a 5, that increased to 67 percent among workers making less than $35,000. Although less than half (39 percent) of workers rated long-term disability a 5; that rose to 52 percent among workers making less than $35,000. And while 35 percent rated short-term disability a 5, the number rose to 45 percent among workers making less than $35,000.
The power of benefits is evident in these results:
- 36 percent of employees have taken a job because of the benefits and insurance an employer offered;
- 40 percent have stayed in a job because of the benefits and insurance offered;
- 10 percent have left a job because of the benefits and insurance their employers offered.
I often hear entrepreneurs say they can’t afford to offer benefits, but the reality is, you can’t afford not to. As a small business, there are many more options for providing benefits for your employees than ever before—whether it’s 401(k) plans (which can now be offered by even the smallest companies) or work-life benefits such as flextime or work at home policies. Benefits don’t have to cost a lot—and as this survey shows, they bring you a lot of loyalty in return.
Image by Flickr user Andrew Magill (Creative Commons)Google+