Employee benefits have long been recognized by nonprofits as important recruitment and retention tools. Today, about 87 percent of nonprofit organizations offer some type of medical plan, according to the Nonprofit Times. However, the modern workforce expects bigger and bolder benefits. Nonprofits must offer a comprehensive benefits package that includes a range of fringe benefits and employee perks.
One of the best ways to gauge how an employee benefits package is performing is by creating an employee benefits survey. This type of questionnaire is designed to offer organizations feedback on their current benefits program and allow workers to recommend additional benefits. Learn how nonprofits can effectively conduct employee benefits surveys.
Establish Clear Goals
Before conducting an employee benefits survey, it is important to have clear goals about what the business can expect to achieve. Survey projects are often started with the best intentions but can quickly lose focus when there are no set goals that will drive the survey.
There are many purposes of employee benefits surveys. Conducting a survey can help organizations better understand how well they are meeting the needs of their employees, how satisfied employees are with the current benefit offerings and what changes employees would recommend enhancing the existing benefits package.
Once clear goals have been established, it is easier to identify the right questions to include in the survey. It is also important to consider the target audience when creating an employee benefits survey. Not all employees may be eligible for certain benefits, therefore; the message should be relevant to only qualifying employees.
Reinforce The Mission
After establishing clear goals for the employee benefits survey, ensure that the organization’s mission gets across to the workforce. Employee benefits surveys provide employees with ample opportunities to learn more about their current offerings and provide advice or feedback about what positive changes could be beneficial.
Use a variety of outreach opportunities to reinforce the organization’s commitment to established goals. Help employees better understand why the organization is asking for feedback, how their feedback will be used and how changes are progressing over time. Inform employees about any successes achieved during the rollout of the new package.
Ask The Right Questions
Benefits offered by an organization should keep employees happy and healthy. The right questions on an employee benefits survey can help ensure that the organization receives ample and insightful feedback. Questions should cover a wide range of topics, such as remote work, working conditions, learning and development goals, health and wellness perks and family and home life balance.
When developing a survey, take into account the variety of benefits that today’s workforce typically expects. These benefits usually fall under the following categories:
- Health and wellness benefits
- Sick days, vacation days and paid time off (PTO)
- Commuter/transportation benefits
- Paid maternity/paternity leave
- Disability insurance
- Childcare/family benefits
- Learning and development benefits
- Internet/technology benefits
- Work-life balance
- Flexible lifestyle stipends or benefits
- Tuition reimbursement
One of the most challenging aspects of gaining valuable insight from an employee benefits survey is determining what to measure. Nonprofits must learn how to measure employee satisfaction to ensure that the benefits are meeting their unique needs and preferences. Keep business goals in mind when creating questions for the survey. Is the organization trying to offer better benefits than the competition? Are the benefits that were rolled out last year well-received?
Use A Combination Of Question Types
When putting together an employee benefits survey, be sure to use a variety of question types to better understand how employees feel about particular benefits. First, include some comparison-type questions. For example, the survey may ask if the current benefits offerings for health and wellness are better or worse than those offered by other employers. Provide employees with an opportunity to explain their answers and provide recommendations for improving the package.
Next, include multiple-choice questions. Multiple choice questions are best suited for demographic-type questions that require factual answers rather than opinions. For example, a question may ask an employee what age group they belong to. Answers may include “Under 25,” “26-34,” “35-44,” “45-54” and “55 and older.” Another question may ask about the worker’s current employment status, such as full-time, part-time intern, volunteer or contractor. Questions may also ask about office locations.
Scale question formats can also provide valuable insight as to how employees feel about certain topics. Allow employees to answer questions based on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the least important and 10 being the most important. Questions can also be answered in satisfaction question format based on how satisfied an employee is with current benefit offerings. It is important not to limit the employee benefits survey to one particular type of question or question format to ensure a well-rounded approach.
Leverage Survey Feedback
Some nonprofits make the mistake of conducting employee benefits surveys only to leave the results in a file to never look at again. When insights are not put into action, organizations can miss out on incredible opportunities to improve benefits offerings. It is important to ensure that survey participants feel like they have accomplished something positive.
Failure to follow up with participants can lead to decreased participation in future outreach efforts, lower engagement with stakeholders and possibly a negative public perception. Make it a priority to follow up with each participant and thank them for completing the survey and providing valuable feedback.
Next, take action with the information that was generated from the survey. If there is an overwhelming consensus regarding a particular benefit, take the necessary steps to make these essential changes. Once action has been taken, communicate with workers and keep them included in the process.
Speak With The Expert Benefits Consultants At BBG
Creating and conducting an employee benefits survey can be challenging but the results are well worth the effort. To learn more about how nonprofits can effectively conduct employee benefits surveys, reach out to an experienced benefits consultant at the Business Benefits Group.