A Colonial Life study finds most workers spend less than an hour a year
learning about benefits.
Nearly 70% of workers spend more time every week watching their favorite television shows featuring fantastic dragons or wanna-be performers than they spend the entire year thinking about benefits that protect their families and finances.
And the lack of benefits understanding is impacting employers by creating high turnover and dissatisfaction and lowering morale, according to a new Colonial Life study.
The survey of 1,500 full-time U.S. employees showed 33% spend less than 30 minutes considering their workplace benefits at enrollment time. And an additional 36% spend just 30 to 60 minutes learning about their benefits choices.
“This can be a huge problem for both employees and their employers, because a lack of engagement with the benefits program leads to lower morale and higher turnover,” said Steven Johnson, vice president of Enrollment Solutions at Colonial Life.
A lack of benefits education and consideration has a significant an impact across the workplace, according to the study. Not only are those who speed through their benefits choices 23% less likely to understand their benefits moderately or very well, according to the survey, they also are:
• 55% more likely to leave their jobs in the coming year;
• 32% more likely to feel dissatisfied in their jobs; and
• 18% less likely to feel cared about by their employer.
“Just offering benefits isn’t enough to ensure employees understand, value and participate in them,” Johnson said. “To make that investment pay off, the benefits program must be complemented by an equally strong education and communication program.
“An effective benefits communication plan will include a variety of tactics and tools to reach different employees and allow them to access information when and where they want — including access to in-person experts to help them understand their options and make the best choices for themselves and their families.”
Other key notes from the research include:
• Women are more likely than men to speed through benefits.
• Single and divorced employees are less likely to take valuable time considering their benefits.
• Employees without children are more likely to think less about their benefits.
• And employees of smaller companies (less than 250 employees) are less likely to take more than an hour on their benefits.
About the Study
Colonial Life worked with Dynata to conduct a survey of 1,506 full-time U.S. employees between 18 and 70 years of age between Jan. 28 and Feb. 1, 2019.