Fact Sheet: Retail 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
  • 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. 
Beliefs About Benefits Programs

Top benefits objectives:

  1. Retaining employees
  2. Increasing employee satisfaction
  3. 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.
Benefits Communications
  • 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.
Beliefs About Voluntary Benefits

Top voluntary benefits challenges:

  1. Having employees with an interest in purchasing voluntary benefits
  2. 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.
Beliefs About Workers’ Perspectives

Decision-makers at retail businesses believe an overall benefits package has a major influence on:

  1. Job satisfaction
  2. Loyalty to employer
  3. 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.