Employers encouraged to 'revisit' communication strategies on benefits amid strong employee demand

New report finds communication gap between employers, employees over benefits

Employers encouraged to 'revisit' communication strategies on benefits amid strong employee demand

Employers are being urged to review their strategies in communicating benefits following new data that suggests employees want a better understanding of them.

Buck's biennial 2024 Wellbeing and Voluntary Benefits Survey revealed that 55% of U.S. employees want to better understand their benefits.

Another 80% said they want to talk to someone about their benefits.

According to the report, 74% of employers have already amped up their commitment to wellbeing strategies, with 86% agreeing that voluntary benefits play a key role in them.

The problem: only 50% of employees say they've seen an increase in wellbeing support.

"Organisations likely need to revisit their communication strategies to enhance employee education and increase use of benefits, to drive desired outcomes and results," said Ruth Hunt, a principal in Gallagher's Communications practice, in a statement.

Role of voluntary benefits in retention

The advice came as the report underscored the importance of voluntary benefits and prioritising wellbeing in employee retention.

Tom Kelly, a principal in the Health and Benefits Practice at Gallagher, said two in three employees would change their jobs for better benefits and 46% of employees are considering a job change in 2024.

This is much higher than the 35% recorded in 2022, according to Kelly, noting that Gen Zs are "significantly more likely" to find another job.

"We're seeing that employees now expect their employer to offer even more support for their wellbeing, and this need underscores the importance of employer-sponsored benefit programmes," said Kelly, who is also a co-author of the Buck report.

Worsening wellbeing, satisfaction

Hunt agreed, noting that Buck's data indicates that voluntary benefits can play a key role in workforce retention.

The demand for better benefits and wellbeing strategies also comes as more employees feel worse about their wellbeing and satisfaction at work, according to the report.

One in four employees confessed they aren't satisfied with their jobs, while another one in five reported worsening mental, physical, and financial health.

Only 66% of employees rated themselves as financially healthy, with 92% seeking for more related resources.

Employers could do more for their staff by committing more to their wellbeing and benefits, according to the report.

"Among the top factors influencing employee job satisfaction and engagement are an employer's commitment to supporting wellbeing and a benefits package that meets their personal needs," said Hunt, who is the co-author of the report.

Buck's biennial 2024 Wellbeing and Voluntary Benefits Survey polled 255 employers and 698 employees in the United States in November 2023.

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