Smaller Business Less Satisfied With Company Benefits, Survey Says

Small business employees are much less satisfied with their benefits than those at larger companies, according to a new report from MetLife. “Building A Better Benefits Program Without Breaking The Budget” points out that while 50% of workers at companies hiring 500 or more say they are very satisfied with their benefits, only 27% of those at companies with 50 to 99 employees said the same, and at organizations with 2 to 49 employees, this was the case just 23% of the time. The report finds that for businesses of all sizes, the top two objectives in offering benefits are controlling health and welfare costs (53%), closely followed by retaining employees (47%).

Jeffrey Tulloch, national sales director of employee benefit sales for MetLife, believes that the study presents a workplace opportunity for small businesses to better appeal to the needs of their workers. “There’s great opportunity for the real small employer to do some things that are pretty easy to implement,,” Tulloch says, “and they should see some satisfaction with their benefits, which leads to increased satisfaction of their employees.”

The report makes five recommendations to employers, the first of which is to offer non-medical benefits like dental, disability and life insurance – 59% of small business employees say these contribute to their employer loyalty – but reduce the cost by covering what employees value (such as preventative services for dental), rather than underutilized procedures that can significantly raise employer premiums. Second, the report recommends starting a wellness program. Currently, only 22% of small companies offer wellness programs (as opposed to 61% of larger employers), even though 67% of small business employers agree that wellness programs are effective at reducing medical costs.

With individual workers more responsible for their own financial well-being than in previous generations, MetLife also recommends employers help their workers get a better handle on their expenses.  The final recommendations are simplifying benefits communication by removing jargon, and helping advance employee work/life balance.

Perhaps a wellness program can help in reducing expenses and spurring greater employee loyalty?

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