SHRM Survey Findings: State of Employee Benefits in
the Workplace—Communicating Benefits

December 18, 2013
Introduction

• This is part six of a series of SHRM survey findings examining employee benefits in the workplace.

• The ...
Key Findings

• How knowledgeable are employees about their employer-sponsored benefits? The majority
(80%) of organizatio...
Key Findings (continued)

• Are organizations using social media as a platform in their employee benefits
communications e...
What do these findings mean for the HR profession?

• In this post-recession period of slow salary growth, many employers ...
Focus and Knowledge of Benefits

6
Overall, how knowledgeable are your employees about the employersponsored benefits available to them?

13%

Very
knowledge...
How does your organization determine the knowledge level of
employees about the employer-sponsored benefits available to t...
Which benefit from your organization’s benefits package is the one that
is most important to the majority (more than half)...
In three to five years, which benefit from your organization’s benefits
package do you think will be the one that is most ...
Communicating Benefits

11
How strongly do you agree or disagree with this statement, “My organization’s
employee benefits communications efforts are...
Did your organization have an employee benefits communications
budget in fiscal year 2012?

24%
Yes
2013 (n = 360)

22%

2...
Did your organization’s fiscal year 2013 employee benefits communications budget
increase, remain the same or decrease whe...
Within the last 12 months, did your organization make any changes to
your employee benefits communication materials?

58%
...
Which of the following employee benefits communications methods
does your organization use?

2012
(n = 447)

2013
(n = 431...
Within the next 12 months, does your organization plan to using social
media as an employee benefits communications tool?
...
Organization Demographics

18
Demographics: Organization Staff Size

1 to 99
employees

33%

100 to 499
employees

32%

500 to 2,499
employees

17%

2,5...
Demographics: Organization Sector

Privately owned forprofit

51%

Nonprofit organization

24%

Publicly owned for-profit
...
Demographics: Organization Industry

Professional, scientific and technical services
Health care and social assistance
Man...
Demographics: Other

Does your organization have U.S.based operations (business units) only,
or does it operate multinatio...
SHRM Survey Findings: State of Employee Benefits in
the Workplace—Communicating Benefits

Survey Methodology
• Response ra...
Additional SHRM Resources

• Benefits Communication Resource Page

• Open Enrollment Resource Page

State of Employee Bene...
About SHRM Research

For more survey/poll findings, visit www.shrm.org/surveys.
For more information about SHRM’s Customiz...
About SHRM

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association
devoted to human resource ...
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2013 benefits strategies communicating benefits

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2013 benefits strategies communicating benefits

  1. 1. SHRM Survey Findings: State of Employee Benefits in the Workplace—Communicating Benefits December 18, 2013
  2. 2. Introduction • This is part six of a series of SHRM survey findings examining employee benefits in the workplace. • The following topics are included in the six-part series titled State of Employee Benefits in the Workplace: » » » » » » Part 1: Wellness initiatives Part 2: Flexible work arrangements Part 3: Health care Part 4: Leveraging benefits to retain employees Part 5: Leveraging benefits to recruit employees Part 6: Communicating benefits State of Employee Benefits in the Workplace—Communicating Benefits ©SHRM 2013 2
  3. 3. Key Findings • How knowledgeable are employees about their employer-sponsored benefits? The majority (80%) of organizations reported their employees were “very knowledgeable” or “somewhat knowledgeable” of the employer-sponsored benefits available to them. • Are organizations effective in informing employees about their benefits? Roughly threefourths (79%) of organizations “strongly agree” or “somewhat agree” with the statement “My organization’s employee benefits communications efforts are very effective in informing employees about their benefits.” However, only about one-quarter (24%) of organizations had an employee benefits communications budget in fiscal year 2012. • What are the top employee benefits communications methods organizations use? The top three communications methods used by organizations are online or paper enrollment materials (82%), group employee benefits communications with an organizational representative (62%), and one-to-one employee benefits counseling with an organizational representative (55%). State of Employee Benefits in the Workplace—Communicating Benefits ©SHRM 2013 3
  4. 4. Key Findings (continued) • Are organizations using social media as a platform in their employee benefits communications efforts? Very few organizations are using social media in their communication efforts. Overall, 3% of organizations reported using social media. Among organizations not using social media in their employee benefits communications efforts, 8% of organizations indicated they plan to start using social media within the next 12 months. State of Employee Benefits in the Workplace—Communicating Benefits ©SHRM 2013 4
  5. 5. What do these findings mean for the HR profession? • In this post-recession period of slow salary growth, many employers and HR professionals are using comprehensive benefits packages as a means to attract and retain talent. Consequently, clear communication about benefits has become important. Most HR professionals think their benefits communications are effective, but less than one in four (24%) had an actual benefits communications budget in 2012. • HR professionals have likely spent much time navigating the ins and outs of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Given the complexity of the law, HR professionals should pay particular attention to health-care related benefits communications for the foreseeable future. And though some employers may choose to opt out of coverage and pay a penalty, some experts have argued that decision will have a negative impact on recruitment and retention. HR professionals appear to be aware of that already: More than four in five (81%) said health care is the most important benefit to the majority of their employees. • Most organizations are not using social media channels for benefits-related communications. However, that may change in the future, perhaps due to employers’ increased use of social media in other aspects of business operations, as well as workers’ increased comfort with those forms of technology. Only 3% of organizations reported using social media for benefits communications, but among those who do not use it, another 8% said they plan to start in the next 12 months. State of Employee Benefits in the Workplace—Communicating Benefits ©SHRM 2013 5
  6. 6. Focus and Knowledge of Benefits 6
  7. 7. Overall, how knowledgeable are your employees about the employersponsored benefits available to them? 13% Very knowledgeable 14% 67% Somewhat knowledgeable 72% Not at all knowledgeable 2013 (n = 429) 19% Not very knowledgeable 2012 (n = 433) 14% 0% 0% Note: Respondents who answered “not sure” were excluded from this analysis. Percentages may not equal 100% due to rounding. State of Employee Benefits in the Workplace—Communicating Benefits ©SHRM 2013 7
  8. 8. How does your organization determine the knowledge level of employees about the employer-sponsored benefits available to them? 24% 24% Employee surveys 13% 12% Intranet use 10% 14% Employee focus group Employee meetings* Log of question volume and/or type** 9% 2012 (n = 444) 4% 3% Interactions with HR** Other 2013 (n = 441) 17% 7% 2% Note: Percentages do not equal 100% due to multiple response options. An asterisk (*) indicates that this response option was developed from open-ended responses in 2013. A double asterisk (**) indicates that data were not available for 2012 or 2013. State of Employee Benefits in the Workplace—Communicating Benefits ©SHRM 2013 8
  9. 9. Which benefit from your organization’s benefits package is the one that is most important to the majority (more than half) of employees? 2012 (n = 425) 2013 (n = 423) Health care 84% 81% Retirement savings and planning 4% 5% Flexible working benefits 2% 4% Leave benefits 4% 3% Family-friendly benefits 2% 3% Preventive health and wellness 2% 2% Professional and career development benefits 2% 1% Housing and relocation benefits 0% 0% Other 0% 1% Note: Respondents who answered “not sure” were excluded from this analysis. State of Employee Benefits in the Workplace—Communicating Benefits ©SHRM 2013 9
  10. 10. In three to five years, which benefit from your organization’s benefits package do you think will be the one that is most important to your employees? 2012 (n = 416) 2013 (n = 418) Health care 68% 67% Retirement savings and planning 9% 11% Flexible working benefits 9% 7% Family-friendly benefits 3% 6% Preventive health and wellness 5% 6% Leave benefits 2% 1% Professional and career development benefits 3% 1% Housing and relocation benefits 0% 0% Other 0% 0% Note: Respondents who answered “not sure” were excluded from this analysis. Percentages may not total 100% due to rounding. State of Employee Benefits in the Workplace—Communicating Benefits ©SHRM 2013 10
  11. 11. Communicating Benefits 11
  12. 12. How strongly do you agree or disagree with this statement, “My organization’s employee benefits communications efforts are very effective in informing employees about their benefits.” 24% Strongly agree 20% 55% Somewhat agree 57% 2013 (n = 426) 2012 (n = 439) 15% Somewhat disagree 18% Strongly disagree 6% 5% Note: Respondents who answered “not sure” were excluded from this analysis. State of Employee Benefits in the Workplace—Communicating Benefits ©SHRM 2013 12
  13. 13. Did your organization have an employee benefits communications budget in fiscal year 2012? 24% Yes 2013 (n = 360) 22% 2012 (n = 467) 76% No 78% Note: Respondents who answered “not sure” were excluded from this analysis. State of Employee Benefits in the Workplace—Communicating Benefits ©SHRM 2013 13
  14. 14. Did your organization’s fiscal year 2013 employee benefits communications budget increase, remain the same or decrease when compared with the fiscal year 2012 employee benefits communications budget? 28% Increased in 2013 23% Remained the same in 2013 60% 67% 2013 (n = 85) 2012 (n = 91) 8% Decreased in 2013 There is no budget in 2013 9% 4% 1% Note: Only respondents whose organizations have an employee benefits communication budget in fiscal year 2013 were asked this question. State of Employee Benefits in the Workplace—Communicating Benefits ©SHRM 2013 14
  15. 15. Within the last 12 months, did your organization make any changes to your employee benefits communication materials? 58% Yes 63% 2013 (n = 410) 2012 (n = 432) 42% No 38% Note: Respondents who answered “not sure” were excluded from this analysis. Percentages may not total 100% due to rounding. State of Employee Benefits in the Workplace—Communicating Benefits ©SHRM 2013 15
  16. 16. Which of the following employee benefits communications methods does your organization use? 2012 (n = 447) 2013 (n = 431) 84% 82% 65% 62% 51% 55% Intranet 48% 46% Newsletters (online or paper) 39% 34% Direct mail to home/residence 41% 33% Benefit fairs 26% 24% Virtual education 13% 14% Social media 4% 3% Group employee benefits communications with your vendor 3% - Other 2% 9% Enrollment materials (online or paper) Group employee benefits communications with an organizational representative One-to-one employee benefits counseling with an organizational representative Note: A dash (-) indicates that this question was not asked that year. Respondents who answered “not sure” were excluded from this analysis. Percentages do not total 100% due to multiple response options. State of Employee Benefits in the Workplace—Communicating Benefits ©SHRM 2013 16
  17. 17. Within the next 12 months, does your organization plan to using social media as an employee benefits communications tool? 8% Yes 8% 57% No 60% Not sure 2013 (n = 416) 2012 (n = 429) 34% 33% Note: Only organizations that currently do not use social media as an employee benefits communications method were asked this question. Percentages may not total 100% due to rounding. State of Employee Benefits in the Workplace—Communicating Benefits ©SHRM 2013 17
  18. 18. Organization Demographics 18
  19. 19. Demographics: Organization Staff Size 1 to 99 employees 33% 100 to 499 employees 32% 500 to 2,499 employees 17% 2,500 to 24,999 employees 25,000 or more employees 12% 6% n = 363 State of Employee Benefits in the Workplace—Communicating Benefits ©SHRM 2013 19
  20. 20. Demographics: Organization Sector Privately owned forprofit 51% Nonprofit organization 24% Publicly owned for-profit 12% Government sector 11% Other 2% n = 377 State of Employee Benefits in the Workplace—Communicating Benefits ©SHRM 2013 20
  21. 21. Demographics: Organization Industry Professional, scientific and technical services Health care and social assistance Manufacturing Government agencies Finance and insurance Educational services Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional and similar organizations Accommodation and food services Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services Construction Mining Transportation and warehousing Arts, entertainment and recreation Information Retail trade Real estate and rental and leasing Repair and maintenance Utilities Whole trade Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting Personal and laundry services Other Percentage 21% 17% 15% 12% 10% 9% 5% 4% 4% 4% 4% 4% 3% 3% 3% 2% 2% 2% 2% 1% 1% 7% Note: n = 375. Percentages do not equal 100% due to multiple response options. State of Employee Benefits in the Workplace—Wellness Initiatives ©SHRM 2013 21
  22. 22. Demographics: Other Does your organization have U.S.based operations (business units) only, or does it operate multinationally? U.S.-based operations only 80% Multinational operations 20% n = 381 Single-unit organization: An organization in which the location and the organization are one and the same. 39% Multi-unit organization: An organization that has more than one location. 61% n = 381 What is the HR department/function for which you responded throughout this survey? Corporate (company-wide) 73% Business unit/division 16% Facility/location 11% n = 244 Is your organization a single-unit organization or a multiunit organization? For multi-unit organizations, are HR policies and practices determined by the multi-unit headquarters, by each work location or by both? Multi-unit headquarters determines HR policies and practices. 59% Each work location determines HR policies and practices. 4% A combination of both the work location and the multi-unit headquarters determines HR policies and practices. 37% n = 244 State of Employee Benefits in the Workplace—Wellness Initiatives ©SHRM 2013 22
  23. 23. SHRM Survey Findings: State of Employee Benefits in the Workplace—Communicating Benefits Survey Methodology • Response rate = 11% • 441 HR professional respondents from a randomly selected sample of SHRM’s membership participated in this survey • Margin of error +/- 5% • Survey fielded May 3-22, 2013 State of Employee Benefits in the Workplace—Communicating Benefits ©SHRM 2013 23
  24. 24. Additional SHRM Resources • Benefits Communication Resource Page • Open Enrollment Resource Page State of Employee Benefits in the Workplace—Communicating Benefits ©SHRM 2013 24
  25. 25. About SHRM Research For more survey/poll findings, visit www.shrm.org/surveys. For more information about SHRM’s Customized Research Services, visit www.shrm.org/customizedresearch. Follow us on Twitter @SHRM_Research. Project leaders: Christina Lee, researcher, SHRM Research Project contributors: Alexander Alonso, Ph.D., SPHR, vice president, SHRM Research Evren Esen, manager, Survey Research Center, SHRM Research Copy editor: Katya Scanlan, SHRM Knowledge Center State of Employee Benefits in the Workplace—Communicating Benefits ©SHRM 2013 25
  26. 26. About SHRM The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 250,000 members in over 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China, India and United Arab Emirates. State of Employee Benefits in the Workplace—Communicating Benefits ©SHRM 2013 26

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