As part of the 2013 Aflac WorkForces Report, 157 education organizations and 845 education employees were surveyed; key findings are:
- Offering robust benefits while staying within budget/cost constraints is a top benefits challenge for 42% of education businesses. Understanding the changing health care landscape is second-largest benefits challenge for 19% of educational institutions or employers.
- 57% of education employees at least somewhat agree that “I would prefer not to be more in control over my health care expenses and options because I will not have the time or knowledge to effectively.”
- Another 56% agree “I believe I may not adequately manage my health insurance coverage, leaving my family less protected than we currently are.”
- 59% of education businesses use a broker or benefits consultant to help determine benefits options.
Thinking of my company’s major medical/health care plans, we plan to implement the following in the coming year…
Education Company Benefits Offerings At-A-Glance
Which of the following benefits does your company offer?
The Role of Benefits in Key HR Outcomes
60% of education employees say they are likely to accept a job offer with slightly lower compensation, but better benefits.
86% of workers say a benefits package is important to their willingness to refer a friend to their organization.
Only 56% of workers at education organizations say they are extremely/very satisfied with their overall benefits package.
When employees are offered voluntary insurance they are much more likely to say their current benefits package meets their needs extremely/very well (60%), compared to those not offered voluntary insurance options (45%).
31% of workers say their current benefits package only meets their family’s needs somewhat, and 9% say their benefits package does not meet their needs..
When asked if they feel fully protected by their current insurance coverage, 41% of employees at education employers say they only somewhat agree, and 11% say they strongly/completely disagree.
27% of employees at education employers are very/extremely likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months.
Nearly half of employees (43%) say that improving their benefits package is one thing their employer could do to keep them in their job.
80% of employees agree that a well-communicated benefits program would make them less likely to leave their jobs.
Disconnects on Key Benefit Issues
|Employers respond that:
- 49% of employers strongly/somewhat agree that “Our workers are taking full advantage of the benefits we offer.”
- Only 44% of employees completely/strongly agree with the statement “I am taking full advantage of my employee benefits.”
- Believes benefits are extremely or very influential on:
Job satisfaction – 67%
Loyalty to employer – 52%
Willingness to refer friends – 34%
Work productivity – 41%
Decision to leave company – 31%
- Believes benefits extremely or very important to:
Job satisfaction – 78%
Loyalty to employer – 64%
Willingness to refer a friend – 53%
Work productivity – 58%
Decision to leave company – 54%
- 41% of companies strongly/somewhat agree with the statement “our workers are not adequately informed about their benefit choices”
- 80% of workers at least somewhat agree with the statement “I would be more informed about my benefit choices if I sat with an insurance consultant.”
- 31% of companies strongly/somewhat agree they “effectively communicate the value of their benefits to employees.”
- 43% of workers say their HR department communicates extremely/very effectively about benefits offered by their employer.
- Only 7% of companies named “educating our employees about health care reform” is an important issue for their organization.
- 78% of workers agree “I believe my employer will educate me about changes to my health care coverage as a result of the health care reform.”
- 20% of companies named “having employees interested in purchasing voluntary benefits” as top challenge in offering voluntary benefits."
- 59% would be likely to purchase voluntary benefits if offered.
The nation’s public schools are falling under severe financial stress as states slash education spending and drain federal stimulus money that staved off widespread job losses. School districts have suffered big budget cuts since the recession, which will worsen as states run out of stimulus dollars.
This financial strain has resulted in larger class sizes, smaller paychecks, fewer extracurricular activities, and cost-shifting of healthcare costs to teachers. As one of the more traditionally low-paying professions, teachers’ resources are limited, forcing them to either surrender wage increases to keep healthcare costs at bay, or pay a larger percentage of health care costs and see their level of coverage diminish.
Voluntary insurance is a no-cost solution to education systems – highly attractive during a time when budgets are being slashed and that allows teachers and other staff an additional way to ensure adequate coverage. It pays them cash to use in any way they want, providing valuable peace of mind and financial protection.
Consider benefits options:
There is strong evidence that a companies’ benefit program significantly influences employee attraction, engagement and retention. Many small companies are looking to self-funded benefits options, as well as supplemental insurance as low-cost solutions.
Consider comprehensive wellness programs:
Wellness programs are a useful tool to help curb escalating expenses. Particularly considering that at least one-quarter of the health care costs incurred by working adults are attributed to modifiable health risks such as tobacco use, diet, and lack of exercise.
Don’t underestimate the power of well-communicated benefits offerings:
Taking advantage of the benefits your business offers with effective communication may influence workforce retention.