Core Benefits Drive Satisfaction More Than Niche Offerings

Stephen Miller, CEBS

Improving traditional core benefits could be the best way to increase employees’ satisfaction with their rewards mix, new research suggests.

The three offerings with the greatest effect on how employees rate their benefits are health insurance, 401(k) retirement plans and vacation/paid time off. Among these, health insurance was by far the biggest driver of employee satisfaction, according to a new study, Which Benefits Drive Employee Satisfaction?, fromGlassdoor Economic Research, the research arm of career website Glassdoor.

At organizations where employee ratings of the employer-provided health coverage increased by 1 star (out of 5), there was also a statistically significant increase in average employee satisfaction with the overall benefits package.

Notably, 4 in 5 U.S. workers report they prefer new benefits or perks to a pay raise. This finding supports a recent Glassdoor survey that found health insurance, paid time off and 401(k) plans are among the top benefits employees would prefer over a pay increase.

Benefits with Narrower Appeal

Two benefits that did not seem to have a significant impact on overall employee satisfaction were maternity/paternity leave and employee discounts.

“Though many employers have added generous maternity/paternity leave plans, it is possible benefits that are not used by a large subset of employees do not impact overall benefits package satisfaction,” the researchers suggested.

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