HOW POOR BENEFITS COSTS YOU LOYAL EMPLOYEES AND PROFIT

A new report found that employee loyalty is growing, thanks in part to benefits programs that address workers’ concerns about their financial security.

Employee loyalty is on the rise, stemming from workers’ growing financial concerns and reliance on employers to provide both information on and sources of financial security, according to a new study.

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U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study, released last week, found that 45 percent of employees plan to stay at their jobs for at least another year, up from 41 percent in last year’s study. But among the 2,612 employees interviewed for the study, less than half (46 percent) expected their financial situation to improve in the next year—a decrease from the previous year (52 percent).

That feeling of insecurity is driving the increase in employee loyalty, which employers can build on, the study suggests. “With only 44 percent of employees feeling in control of their finances, employers today have a unique opportunity to drive loyalty and retention by empowering employees to make informed benefits decisions,” said Todd Katz.

Among millennials, the largest workforce demographic group, the study found that 44 percent are relying on their employers to ensure their financial security and that 75 percent see it as the employer’s responsibility to care for employees’ welfare.

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“By the year 2020 nearly half of workers will be millennials. While it’s common knowledge that millennials are often more motivated by meaningful work than the size of their paycheck, our study shows that millennials—and all employees—are looking to the workplace for guidance and support to achieve financial security,” Katz said.

Benefits are playing a large role in creating employee loyalty and financial security. Sixty-two percent of employees surveyed said benefits from their employers help them achieve financial security, and 50 percent agreed that benefits reduce their concerns about unexpected health and financial issues.

Noting that significant numbers of millennials do not fully understand the insurance or voluntary benefits their employers offer,  employers should be educating their workers on benefits and other topics related to financial security to continue building employee loyalty. Effective ways to promote employees’ informed decision making include training and education programs and optimal enrollment conditions, including one-on-one consultation on benefits decisions.

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“Helping employees to understand the value of their benefits through engaging communications is critical for both the employee and the workplace,” Katz said. “If employees fully understand their benefits options, they’ll make better purchasing decisions and in turn, decrease their financial stress.”

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