Fact Sheet: Retail Employees
Retail Company Benefit Trends

As part of the 2013 Aflac WorkForces Report, 133 retail employers and 376 retail employees were surveyed; key findings are:

  • Offering robust benefits while staying within budget/cost constraints is a top benefits challenge for 42% of retail businesses. Understanding the changing health care landscape is second-largest benefits challenge for 17% of retail businesses.
  • 51% think it is extremely/very important to tailor benefits offerings to employees at different levels or life stages, yet only 34% of retail businesses do so.
  • 56% of retail company 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 do so effectively.”
  • Another 54% agree “I believe I may not adequately manage my health insurance coverage, leaving my family less protected than we currently are.”
  • 42% of retail 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…
 

Retail Company Benefits Offerings At-A-Glance

Which of the following benefits does your company offer?

 

The Role of Benefits in Key HR Outcomes

Talent Attraction

59% of retail employees say they are likely to accept a job offer with slightly lower compensation, but better benefits.

82% of workers say a benefits package is important to their willingness to refer a friend to their organization.

Satisfaction

Only 40% of workers at retail companies 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%).

Employee Well-being

34% of workers say their current benefits package only meets their family’s needs somewhat, and 10% say their benefits package does not meet their needs..

When asked if they feel fully protected by their current insurance coverage, 45% of employees at retail employers say they only somewhat agree, and 31% say they strongly/completely disagree.

Retention

32% of employees at retail employers are very/extremely likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months.

Nearly half of employees (48%) say that improving their benefits package is one thing their employer could do to keep them in their job.

79% 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: Employees say:
  • 46% of employers strongly/somewhat agree that “Our workers are taking full advantage of the benefits we offer.”
  • Only 64% 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 – 53%
    Loyalty to employer – 50%
    Willingness to refer friends – 38%
    Work productivity – 35%
    Decision to leave company – 32%
  • Believes benefits extremely or very important to:
    Job satisfaction – 79%
    Loyalty to employer – 70%
    Willingness to refer a friend – 54%
    Work productivity – 68%
    Decision to leave company – 54%
  • 32% 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.”
  • 56% of companies strongly/somewhat agree they “effectively communicate the value of their benefits to employees.”
  • 34% of workers say their HR department communicates extremely/very effectively about benefits offered by their employer.
  • Only 3% of companies named “educating our employees about health care reform” is an important issue for their organization.
  • 71% 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.”
  • 21% of companies named “having employees interested in purchasing voluntary benefits” as top challenge in offering voluntary benefits."
  • 63% would be likely to purchase voluntary benefits if offered.
Conclusions:

For many retail companies, their workforce is not sufficiently protected against financial and health-related events, and may be contributing to large losses in productivity and engagement on the job. Business owners and HR decision makers who provide options and opportunities for workers to apply for the right amount and type of insurance coverage to meet their needs, the more likely retail workers will be better prepared, healthier and perhaps more productive.

As health care costs soar, many retail organizations are cutting back on major medical insurance coverage to help keep rising costs at bay. However, retail employees are already poorly prepared to bear these additional costs. Voluntary insurance has been viewed as a nice-to-have benefit in years past, yet now is considered a cost-effective supplement to core benefits and essential to helping companies achieve their goals. Voluntary insurance plans help people cope with out-of-pocket costs associated with serious illnesses or accidents, such as daily living expenses, rent, gas, as well as unreimbursed medical expenses. And, voluntary insurance plans have no direct costs to the employer making them available to employees.

Recommendations:

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.