Employees Unsatisfied with Benefits Communications

Employees have disparate preferences when it comes to benefits communications, indicating a need for a multi-faceted approach, MetLife found.

MetLife’s 9th Annual Study of Employee Benefits Trends found more than half (55%) of all employees do not find their benefits materials to be clear and comprehensive, and only about one in four is satisfied with his/her benefits communications. Employees in the survey said they would like to seebenefits information on the internet (44%), information tailored to life events (39%), and more frequent communications (34%)

While 70% of employers say they do not use social media, there is an appetite among younger employees for receiving information using the medium. The study found that 42% of Gen Y employees and 38% of Gen X employees would be interested in accessing or receiving benefits information through social networking sites (as compared to one in ten Baby Boomers).   

Similar percentages of Gen Y and Gen X employees are interested in having information available through mobile devices. Although social media use among employers seems slow in adoption – only 8% of employers who do not currently use social media plan to implement use in the coming year – barriers seem minimal. 

The MetLife study also found:  

  • 37% of employers said they did not have the resources to implement social media communications 
  • 25% of employers did not think employees would use it 
  • 23% of employers said they had legal concerns 
  • 15% of employers said they would have technical support challenges 
“While a third of employers in the study said that changing employee communications is simply not a current priority, effective communications can make the difference between benefits that are understood and valued, and benefits that are overlooked and underutilized. Communicating effectively is related to improved benefits satisfaction, job satisfaction and loyalty,” said Ronald S. Leopold, vice president, U.S. Business, MetLife.  “Efforts do pay off. Among employees who said that their employer improved communications over the past year, 65% felt their employer was loyal to them, compared to 33% of employees overall.”

Employees Want General Financial Help Too  

The 9th Annual MetLife Study of Employee Benefits Trends found employees are clamoring for help with finances – 52% report being interested in receiving financial advice and guidance through the workplace; this increases to 81% among those who acknowledge that financial concerns have impacted their workplace attendance or productivity.   

The stress of struggling with financial concerns can take a physical toll on employees. The study shows that employees who say they are not in control of their finances are more likely to report poor health. For instance, 68% of employees who say they are in very good or excellent health say they are also in control of their finances, compared to just 7% of employees in fair or poor health.   

The 9th Annual MetLife Study of Employee Benefits Trends is available here