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The days of working for one company for a lifetime, learning a gold watch for dedication and riding off into the retirement sunset are gone.

These days, most employees have multiple jobs – and even multiple careers – during the course of their working lifetimes.

Some employees leave jobs because they’re uninspired or have new and different employment dreams. But they often leave for another reason: disenchantment with their benefits, especially their health care benefits.

The results of the 2017 Aflac WorkForces Report are in, and they reveal just how critical benefits are to employee satisfaction, productivity, retention and recruitment. Fully 49 percent of employees say they are at least somewhat likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months. As an employer, you realize that turnover is inevitable – people move, their personal ambitions change, they retire – but don’t let turnover be the result of things you can control, such as your company’s benefits options.

Make employee farewells more difficult

Salary, good working conditions and a boss who’s easy to bear are, of course, critical to employee contentment. But benefits are clearly right up there with other, more obvious, employee wants. Thirty-nine percent of those participating in the Aflac WorkForces Report survey said improving their benefits package is one thing their employers could do to keep them in their jobs. The answer was second only to “increase my salary.”

What’s more, 58 percent of employees would be at least somewhat likely to accept a job offer with slightly lower compensation but better benefits. Employees report their benefits package offerings are extremely or very important to:

Chart Data: Job satisfaction: 65%, Loyalty to Employer: 58%, Work Productivity: 50%, Workplace Engagement: 43%, The decision to leave their current employer: 42%, Willingness to refer a friend: 44%.

Benefits are powerful. When they’re good, they can persuade people to stay in their jobs: Employees who report being extremely or very satisfied with their benefits are more likely to be content with their career choices (80 percent vs. 40 percent). Conversely, 50 percent said that if their employers did not offer adequate health insurance coverage, they would likely look for jobs with better benefits.

The bottom line is that health insurance benefits, including voluntary insurance, are critical to a content, productive and stable workforce. While some workplace attrition is unavoidable, working with a benefits professional to beef up your company’s options goes a long way toward convincing employees to stay when other opportunities come calling.

The 2017 Aflac WorkForces Report is the seventh annual study examining benefits trends and attitudes. The study’s surveys, conducted by Lightspeed GMI, captured responses from 1,800 benefits decision-makers and 5,000 employees across the United States in various industries. For more information, visit

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a solicitation.

Aflac herein means American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus and American Family Life Assurance Company of New York.