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Studies Show Employee Wellness and Benefits Satisfaction is Declining

Posted by John Barrett on Mar 27, 2024 12:48:49 PM

Workers' wellness and well-being should always be a priority for organizations. During the pandemic, there was an anticipated drop in satisfaction as individuals were forced to deal with a challenging professional landscape and uncertainty in their daily lives. However, since then, there has been a trend indicating a decline in employee satisfaction with health benefits and overall wellness. As organizations strive to attract and retain top talent, comprehensive health benefits should be a top priority to attract new employees and maintain a high level of employee satisfaction.

Employee Satisfaction Statistics

MetLife’s 2023 Employee Satisfaction Survey focused on overall employee satisfaction as well as satisfaction with employee benefits. The study found that satisfaction with benefits fell to 61%, which is a 3% decline in only one year since 2022. Satisfaction is at the lowest it has been in almost a decade, and the survey of close to 3,000 employers and employees gathered this data.

In terms of overall job satisfaction, 2023 showed only 69% of employees were fully happy with their employment, another all-time low in the past decade. MetLife’s research explains the significant impact employee benefits have on overall satisfaction, and why employers should prioritize benefits when working toward strengthening employee morale and job satisfaction.

The study found that “Lower benefits satisfaction is a telling contrast to this year’s higher overall job satisfaction rates. Satisfaction with benefits fell to 61% in 2023, and at the same time, 83% of employers say that their employees are satisfied with the benefits they receive. It seems that employer efforts to expand their benefits offerings have simply not kept up with employee expectations.”

Employers do not have an accurate gauge of employee wellness and have a disproportionate view of their efforts vs. employees' view of their efforts. This can hurt work ethic, employee retention, and overall business success.

Aspects of Employee Benefits That Need Addressing

The study also looked at what aspects of employment and benefits are leading to such a significant drop in satisfaction, with financial resources being the number one indicator for overall job satisfaction. The study found that:

  • 55% of workers say they are living paycheck to paycheck (up from 43% in 2022)
  • 55% of workers say they are in control of their finances (down from 61% in 2022)
  • 52% of workers say they have a 3-month savings (down from 62% in 2022)

This financial concern stems mostly from the rates of inflation in contrast with the rate of pay raises. Today's world is more expensive in many aspects and pay has not kept up with these increases to balance out the rising cost of living. Employees who feel they are not adequately compensated will have a more challenging time feeling fulfilled at their jobs.

Another significant aspect was flexibility in the workplace. 83% of employees say it's important to them to have flexibility in terms of how they get their work done when they get their work done, and where they get their work done. With the decrease in work-from-home opportunities, and more strict “hybrid” policies emerging, employees are feeling that many employers are not showing care for their wellbeing through work policies.

Most significant to employee satisfaction was employee benefits and wellness programs. The top priorities for employees were found to be health insurance, paid leave, 401K programs, and supplemental insurance for dental and vision. Employees currently feel these programs are lacking and have a strong desire for more affordable and accessible benefits programs.

For organizations looking to increase their employee satisfaction, these findings show that of top importance should be increasing care for employee's personal and professional lives, more comprehensive benefits programs, flexibility in the workplace, and tools to reduce financial stress.

Improving Your Organization’s Employee Satisfaction

If you feel your organization is struggling with employee satisfaction, addressing these aspects should be top of mind. However, it may be challenging to understand where to start, and how to begin improving satisfaction within your organization.

Conducting internal surveys around aspects like benefits, general well-being, work-life balance, and culture can help give you indications on what areas of your organization should be of primary focus. From there, collaborating with a third-party consultant can help you integrate new policies and standards of work that can increase your employee satisfaction.

If benefits are an issue for your organization, finding a new benefits manager or switching to a more comprehensive program can drastically improve your employee's well-being and satisfaction with their employment. More flexible PTO, stipends for wellness-related expenses, mental health days, and comprehensive medical coverage should all be a consideration.

The most important aspect is understanding the needs of your employees, and finding solutions to ensure they feel taken care of in your workplace.

Employee Benefits with ECBM

ECBM Insurance specializes in employee benefits coverage, working with top-rated providers to provide comprehensive medical insurance and supplemental benefits. Our consultants can review your current program, and work with you to integrate a benefits plan with stronger coverage, fewer gaps, and offer a program that will deliver higher employee satisfaction. For more information on our benefits program services, contact us today.