Top benefits challenges:
- Offering robust benefits while staying within budget/cost constraints
- Understanding the changing health care landscape
- Retailers are most likely to say increasing employee productivity is a top concern for their company; 31% compared to 21% of employers overall.
- An additional 31% of retail employers say controlling health/medical costs is a top HR issue.
- The benefits packages offered by retail employers are less comprehensive than those offered by employers in all other industries.
- 41% say they don’t understand health care reform legislation very/at all well; another 39% say they only understand the legislation somewhat well.
- 34% of retail companies believe health care legislation will result in significantly diminished benefits packages for employees.
Top benefits objectives:
- Retaining employees
- Increasing employee satisfaction
- Increasing productivity by maintaining a healthy workforce
- Retail employers are more likely than employers of all industries to say that their benefits packages are equally/slightly less competitive (61% compared to 50% overall).
- 88% of retail employers say it’s important to tailor benefits offerings at different employee levels or life stages; however, only 40% do so.
- 46% of decision-makers at retail businesses say their benefits packages only meet employees’ needs somewhat well; another 12% say these packages meet employee needs not very/not at all well.
- Just 14% of retail employers survey employee preferences or needs when it comes to benefits offerings.
- 75% of retail employers say their organizations do not have a company-sponsored wellness program, highest among all industries.
- 55% use brokers or benefits consultants, compared to 64% of employers overall.
- 38% say it’s extremely/very important to tailor their benefits communications to employees at different levels or life stages; however, only 29% do so.
- 43% of retail employers say their company communicates only somewhat effectively with employees about benefits offered; another 12% say they communicate not very/not at all effectively.
- 41% of retailers communicate with employees about benefits face to face, a higher percentage than other types of employers.
- Retail employers communicate less frequently with employees about benefits than other types of employers; 44% communicate only during open enrollment or upon hire.
- Retail employers are the most likely of all employers to believe their employees are not at all/not very knowledgeable about their company’s benefits (15%); another 47% say they are only somewhat knowledgeable.
Top voluntary benefits challenges:
- Having employees with an interest in purchasing voluntary benefits
- Getting employees to understand their different options
- Employers in the retail industry are the least likely to offer voluntary insurance benefits (19%), compared to 26% of industries overall. However, only 9% say they would not consider adding new voluntary insurance benefits.
- The majority (83%) incorrectly choose “false” when asked if voluntary insurance policies pay employees cash benefits directly. Another 81% incorrectly choose “false” when asked if the policies help employees cover daily living costs like mortgage, gas, etc.
- 16% of retailers say that employees are not very knowledgeable about voluntary benefits.
Decision-makers at retail businesses believe an overall benefits package has a major influence on:
- Job satisfaction
- Loyalty to employer
- Willingness to leave employer
- When asked if employees take full advantage of company benefits, 39% say they only somewhat agree. Another 23% say they somewhat/strongly disagree.
- 67% of retailers believe productivity is lost to employees’ personal financial and health concerns.
- Retailers are most likely to believe adequate insurance coverage would have no impact on their employees’ ability to cope with personal/health issues at work (18%).
- 47% agree that employees need to be more engaged in making benefits decisions, a lower percentage compared to employers overall (56%).
- Retail employers are least likely to report that employees are satisfied with their benefits offerings, 46% compared to 59% overall. Only 33% survey employee satisfaction with benefit offerings.
The 2012 Aflac WorkForces Report was conducted January 24–February 23, 2012, by Research Now on behalf of Aflac.