Fact Sheet: Education Employers
Top Human Resources Issues

Top benefits challenges:

  1. Offering robust benefits while staying within budget/cost constraints
  2. Understanding the changing health care landscape

  • 37% say controlling health/medical insurance costs is the most important issue facing their organizations.
  • 18% say they don’t understand health care reform legislation very/at all well; another 54% say they only understand the legislation somewhat well.

Benefits Objectives

Top benefits objectives:

  1. Retaining employees
  2. Taking care of employees
  3. Increasing employee satisfaction

  • 50% believe their overall benefits package is equally or slightly less competitive than that of others in their industry. 
  • 55%, the highest percentage among employers surveyed, believe it is extremely/very important to tailor benefits offerings based on employees’ levels or life stages; however, only 43% do so.
  • 56% of education employers do not have a company-sponsored wellness program.
  • 58% of employers believe that their current benefits package meets employees’ needs extremely/very well; however, only 29% survey employee preferences or needs when it comes to benefits options.
  • 56% of educational organizations use a broker or benefits consultant.

Benefits Communications

  • 84% of HR decision-makers at educational organizations say it is important to tailor their benefits communications to employees at different levels or life stages; 28% do so.
  • 39%, the highest percentage among employers surveyed, use email to communicate with employees about benefit options.
  • 51% say their organizations communicate with employees about benefits only somewhat/not very effectively.
  • While 59% say their employees understand their organization’s benefits communications, only 23% of education employers survey employee understanding of benefits communication.
  • Nearly 3 in 10 (29%) education organizations only communicate with employees at open enrollment or new hire enrollment.
  • 19% agree their employees are not adequately informed about benefits choices.

Beliefs About Voluntary Benefits

Top voluntary benefits challenges:

  1. Getting employees to understand their different options
  2. Having employees with an interest in purchasing voluntary benefits

  • 34% of education employers offer voluntary insurance, and only 6% say they would not consider adding new voluntary insurance benefits.
  • 23% incorrectly believe payouts from voluntary benefits can be used only for specified medical expenses. Another 15% incorrectly believe that employers pay all or most of voluntary insurance premiums.
  • 24% say their workers are not very/not at all knowledgeable about voluntary benefits.

Beliefs About Workers’ Perspectives

Decision-makers at educational organizations believe an overall benefits package has a major influence on:

  1. Job satisfaction
  2. Loyalty to employer
  3. Willingness to refer friends
  • When asked if employees take full advantage of company benefits, 37% say they only somewhat agree. An additional 19% say they somewhat/strongly disagree.
  • 64% of decision-makers at educational organizations believe personal issues decrease employees’ ability to concentrate.
  • 46% believe adequate insurance coverage would help employees cope with personal/health issues while on the job. 
  • 60% agree that employees should be more engaged in making benefits decisions.
  • 54% say they somewhat or strongly agree that employees are satisfied with overall benefits offerings; however, only 32% survey employee satisfaction with benefits offerings.

The 2012 Aflac WorkForces Report was conducted January 24–February 23, 2012, by Research Now on behalf of Aflac.