MILL VALLEY, CALIF. (June 2, 2016) – Core benefits like health insurance, 401(k) retirement plans and vacation and paid time off (PTO) are the biggest drivers of employee satisfaction with overall benefits packages, according to a new study from Glassdoor Economic Research, the research arm of the world’s most transparent jobs and recruiting marketplace. The new study, Which Benefits Drive Employee Satisfaction?, evaluated five key benefits: health insurance, vacation and PTO, 401(k) retirement plans, employee discounts and maternity/paternity leave.
The quality of benefits packages matter to candidates and employees. In fact, four in five U.S. workers report they prefer new benefits or perks to a pay raise.
The three benefits that had the biggest impact on employee satisfaction are all more traditional benefits: health insurance, 401(k) retirement plans, and vacation and PTO. Health insurance was by far the biggest driver of employee satisfaction with overall benefits packages. The study found increasing employee satisfaction with a company’s health insurance by 1 star (out of 5) is associated with a 0.34-star increase in average employee satisfaction with their benefits packages—a statistically significant link. Health insurance is followed by 401(k) retirement plans, which is linked to a 0.08 increase in satisfaction with overall benefits packages, and vacation and PTO (0.05 increase). This finding supports a recent Glassdoor survey that found health insurance, paid time off and 401(k) plans are among the top benefits employees would prefer over a pay increase.
Two benefits analyzed did not have an impact on employee satisfaction: maternity/paternity leave and employee discounts. Though many employers have added generous maternity/paternity leave plans, it is possible benefits that are not used by a large subset of employees do not impact overall benefits packages satisfaction.
A recent Glassdoor Economic Research study, The Best Industries for Benefits, found that the best benefits packages, according to employees, are found in the finance and technology industries.
“We know benefits and perks are an important recruiting tool in today’s challenging hiring landscape, and this study shows that the flashiest or trendy benefits aren’t always better. Investing in core benefits programs like healthcare coverage, retirement plans and paid time off will go far with new and current employees,” said Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist of Glassdoor, Inc. “Other benefits like maternity/paternity leave are important to recruit and retain smaller subsets of employees—like new parents—though we saw little impact on overall satisfaction related to benefits that don’t touch a wide variety of employees. Employers who have well-rounded compensation plans that include core benefits, fair and competitive pay and desirable perks stand to attract and retain top talent.”
Glassdoor’s Benefits Reviews feature is a global database that allows employees to rate the overall benefits packages at their companies along with each benefit or perk offered. Glassdoor Benefits Reviews tracks more than 55 different types of benefits, including maternity/paternity leave, free food, health insurance, work from home options, tuition reimbursement and many more. In addition, employers are also able to verify the benefits and perks offered at the company to provide a well-rounded picture of total compensation and benefits packages available to job seekers and employees.
To learn more, read the full study Which Benefits Drive Employee Satisfaction? and subscribe to Glassdoor Economic Research. Help job seekers and employers better understand the quality of benefits at your workplace by sharing a benefits review. Employers, to help shine a light on which benefits are offered, verify your benefits with a Free Employer Account.
 Study uses standard regression analysis and is based on 470,000 benefits reviews shared by U.S.employees on Glassdoor between 6/18/14-9/20/15. Full methodology can be found here: https://www.glassdoor.com/research/studies/benefits-drive-employee-satisfaction
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Glassdoor is the most transparent jobs and recruiting marketplace that is changing how people search for jobs and how companies recruit top talent. Glassdoor combines free and anonymous reviews, ratings and salary content with job listings to help job seekers find the best jobs and address critical questions that come up during the job search, application, interview and negotiation phases of employment. For employers, Glassdoor offers recruiting and employer branding solutions to help attract high-quality candidates at a fraction of the cost of other channels. In addition, Glassdoor operates one of the most popular job apps on iOS and Android platforms. The company launched in 2008 and has raised approximately $160 million from Google Capital, Tiger Global, Benchmark, Battery Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures, DAG Ventures, Dragoneer Investment Group, and others.
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