U.S. workers feel uneasy and less positive about the workplace and the value of their employee benefits, according to a new report.
Show Them the Value, a study released by Newark, N.J.-based Prudential Financial, found that more workers believe their employers are cutting back on benefits, a perception that negatively affects their attitudes toward the value of the benefits.
The report provides insight from benefits plan participants, benefits plan sponsors, and benefits brokers and consultants. Lori High, president of Prudential’s Group Insurance business, said the findings can be used to help employees prepare for annual enrollment and to support employers’ business planning and strategy development.
The study additionally found that:
–A clear linkage exists between the effectiveness of employee communications and the perceived value of benefits. Workers who rate their benefits communications as “highly effective” see greater value in their benefits package.
–Communications can have as much impact on worker satisfaction with benefits as do the range of benefits offered or the perceived dollar amount of employer contributions.
–Those who give high marks to their benefits communications are also more favorable toward voluntary benefits or benefits where the employee pays 100% of the cost.
–Most employers and workers agree that existing communication efforts are not highly effective.
High said that workers and group plan administrators are having difficulty navigating benefits options and administrative details involved in selecting a group insurance plan.
Prudential’s Show Them the Value, the last in a series of five, stems from the company’s broad Study of Employee Benefits: 2009 and Beyond report, which was fielded via the Internet during April and May of 2009. The report consists of three surveys: one among benefits plan sponsors, one among benefits plan participants, and one among employee benefits brokers and consultants.