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Benefits Matter in Iowa!

David P. Lind BenchmarkEight in 10 employees say “benefits are one of the reasons they work where they do and that benefits make them feel appreciated by their organization,” according to a recent national study* by Mercer, a human resources consulting, outsourcing and investment services firm. 

The Mercer results coincide with the results we discovered in our 2007 Iowa Employment Values Study©, conducted to better understand the opinions, perceptions, and values of Iowa employees and how they differ from their bosses.

  • We found that employees valued retirement, vacations, and health insurance as the most important benefits offered by their employers. 
  • However, their bosses severely underrated the importance of other benefits such as long term disability insurance, life insurance and dental coverage to their employees.

So why is this important to you, the employer?  First, the investment made for employee benefits can be extraordinarily large, roughly 40% of an employee’s total compensation. You could potentially be overpaying for benefits that are not highly appreciated or not investing in benefits that employees greatly value. 

Avoid assuming you know what is important to your employees—you may need to ask them. Demographics such as age, gender, education level, race, generation distribution (Boomer, Gen X, Gen Y) all play key roles in determining what benefits are (or will be) most important to them. 

I leave you with one encouraging gem to consider. Employee benefits are important to employees, but the top four workplace values clearly desired by Iowa employees are not as expensive as you may think.  They are (in order):

Respect—being appreciated and valued in the workplace

Achievement—the sense of purpose and meaning from work

Balance—the opportunity to balance work time with family needs

Job Security—confidence that the job will be there every day, that it will not be phased out  

* Link to the “Mercer Workplace Survey.”

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