The Value of Employee Opinions to Your Benefits Plan Strategy

20-Jul-2016by Donald Chu, CEBSclicks: 1151

 

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes and 40 seconds

When strategizing about a new employee benefits plan, or when revisiting the options offered in an existing plan, concrete data can help guide your decision-making. For instance, in a previous article, we discussed how information resulting from an industry benchmark report can help to ensure that your plan remains competitive. Another valuable tool is an employee survey. Not only can you collect useful information from hearing employee thoughts, but extending a survey to employees reinforces how much you value their opinions when strategizing about your benefits plan.

In this article, we’ll discuss when an employee survey can be most advantageous for employers, what information you can collect, and how you can use this information to make effective decisions about your employee benefits plan.

1. When should I consider sending out an employee survey?

It’s not unusual for human resource managers or benefits plan administrators to receive comments or feedback from some employees about the benefits plan. However, there are many employees who have legitimate concerns about the offerings in a plan, but who prefer not to complain. In cases where similar complaints or comments might be heard or received, it could be beneficial to poll employees and see if the consensus applies to a broader demographic in the company.

In other cases, an employee survey could be very valuable for companies setting up new plans, or those considering some employee benefits plan changes. For example, perhaps you would like to add benefits to your plan, but are unsure whether employees would prefer orthodontics coverage versus massage therapy. Or perhaps you offer 100% coverage, but would like to introduce a cost split with employees to accommodate your budget. Surveying your employees can give you insightful information which leads to a successful plan strategy in the long run.

2. What kinds of questions can I or should we ask?

All employee surveys are anonymous. The anonymity of the survey gives employees the chance to honestly share their thoughts without feeling like there are any direct repercussions to their opinions. Knowing this, the questions that you choose to include in an employee survey can be vast. However, we generally recommend that our clients keep the survey under 10 questions, and focus on the most relevant concerns and topics. Some sample questions include:

• Which of the following category of benefit do you find most/least valuable? 

• What area of coverage do you estimate would be most highly used for you and your family?

• If additional costs are required to make plan improvements, are you willing to contribute to a larger percentage of payroll deduction?

• Is having a decent benefits plan a key decision factor for you in joining any company?

• If you were to design your own benefits program, which of the following categories would you include in the plan?

3. What’s the process for setting up an employee survey? What happens after the survey?

Setting up an employee survey is quite simple and straightforward. As your benefits consultant, we can setup the online survey and send you a link which you can then send to your employees. Another option is advising your employees that a third-party consultant will be initiating a survey about the benefits plan, and we take care of everything.

Regardless, once the results are collected, our team will compile and send you the raw data and also present the key findings. Based on the results, we will then make some recommendations that are best suited to the preferences and opinions of your employees.

In some cases, results may be varied or diverse. Often this is typical in an organization that has a varied workforce with employees ranging from recent graduates with no dependents to senior-level executives with families. In this instance, the ideal situation is to offer a flexible employee benefits plan which accommodates everyone’s needs and keeps all team members happy.

Employee Opinions Can Improve Your Benefits Plan Strategy

While surveying your employees can seem like a very simplistic idea, the information you receive could help you to setup a new benefits plan or make plan changes that have lasting and positive effects for your organization. A survey can be a pivotal step in your benefits plan strategy, which leads to happier employees and a stronger competitive edge in your recruitment efforts. If you’re interested in gaining more feedback from your employees or need some advice about your benefits plan, please contact our team at BenefitDeck. We’re just a phone call away, and always happy to help.