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Principal Survey: Company Benefits Significantly Boost Employee Retention, Loyalty

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Three in four business executives at companies deemed best-in-class in respect to employee benefits say their company benefits significantly boost employee retention and loyalty, according to a new report.

Principal Financial Group, Des Moines, Iowa, published this finding a survey titled “The Principal 10 Best Companies for Employee Financial Security.” Based on interviews with executives at 20 of 58 companies surveyed in a fall 2011 poll, the study explores best practices used by the firms to achieve greater financial well-being for their employees.

The study was conducted in partnership with Harvard Business Review Analytic Services. The companies include both publicly owned and privately held organizations, service business and manufacturers with from 15 to nearly 100 employees.

When asked about the impact of their employee benefits, 75% of respondents said their company offerings have “significantly” increased employee retention, as compared to 25% who the offerings have had “some impact.” Similarly, nearly three of four of those polled 72% note their benefits have boosted employee loyalty, as compared to 28% who cite some impact.

Companies’ employee benefits have likewise positively impacted other company objectives. Among those noted in the report: employees perception of financial security (68% report significant impact versus 30% some impact); recruitment of new employees (60% versus 38%; ability to maintain a competitive advantage (58% versus 40%) and employee engagement (47% and 47%).

When probed about changes to employee benefits in their organizations over the past decade, nearly three in four (74%) said they added a wellness program and 70% said they changed healthcare plans or programs. Fewer respondents indicated they added retirement benefits (16%) or a non-qualified plan (14%). Just one in ten (11%) noted they migrated from a pension to a 401(k) plan or reduced a company contributions to a 401(k).