Employee benefits play a major role in an employee’s financial well-being. Financial stress is ever-present in American households. Aside from economic worries, inflation fears, and a looming recession, debt is keeping American adults awake at night.
American workers are looking to the firm’s employee benefits package for a large part of their financial health and well-being. Employee benefits should address physical and mental health; however, many employees report their company’s financial wellness efforts fall short.
These are some of the findings from the 2022 Workplace Wellness survey released by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and Greenwald Research. Now in its third year, the survey examines workers’ attitudes about workplace benefits, financial well-being, employment-based health insurance, and retirement benefits.
Key highlights from the 2022 Workplace Wellness Survey report include:
- Most employees are concerned about their household’s financial well-being and the overwhelming majority describes their level of debt as a problem. Six in 10 employees (60%) are at least moderately concerned about their household’s financial well-being. This measure increased by 11 points since 2021 (49%). About half of employees are concerned about their emotional (50%) and physical (48%) well-being.
- Employees agree that their employers have a responsibility to ensure they are physically, emotionally and financially well, but fewer than half rate their employer’s efforts highly in these areas. Three in four employees agree that their employers have a responsibility to make sure employees are mentally healthy and emotionally well (77%) and healthy and physically well (74%). Two thirds (66%) feel the same about their employer’s responsibility to ensure employees are financially secure and well.
- Health insurance and retirement savings plans are the most common employee benefits and are the top benefits for employee retention/recruitment and their financial security. Four in 10 employees (44%) are extremely or very satisfied with their benefits package, which has decreased by 7 points since 2021 (51%).
- Most employees have a high level of understanding about their health benefits and half rate their employer’s communications about health benefits highly. Half of employees (52%) rate their employer’s communications about health insurance and health care as excellent or very good. Less than half (47%) rate communications about online resources about benefits at the same level.
- Workplace flexibility, work-life balance, paid time off and leave benefits are important to employees. Most feel tele-working has positively impacted their well-being. Four in 10 employees (39%) describe the work-life balance at their company as excellent or very good, which has decreased significantly since 2021. Another 36% rate it as good and 25% rate it as fair or poor.
- Most employees agree that balancing work and caregiving is challenging, but few employees report access to caregiving benefits. A quarter of employees (24%) report their employer offers subsidized/complimentary child or daycare. Among those with access, 65% of employees have used it. Among those without access, 44% are interested in having the benefit available.
- Half of employees are satisfied with their current retirement benefits and most are satisfied with the contributions received from their employer. Seven in 10 employees (70%) say they are currently offered a retirement savings plan. Half of employees (51%) are extremely or very satisfied with their current retirement benefits and nearly six in 10 (58%) understand their retirement benefits extremely or very well.
- Fewer than half of employees say they are offered a financial wellness program at work. When offered, six in 10 employees have participated. Over four in 10 employees (45%) say their employer offers the opportunity to participate in a financial wellness program.
- Most employees feel mental health wellness programs have become more important in the past year and most are interested in mental health resources and expanded benefits. Four in 10 employees (45%) rate their employer’s communications about mental health and work-life balance as excellent or very good over the past year.
- Most employees remain satisfied with their current job despite decreases in satisfaction with their benefits package and work-life balance. Six in 10 employees (59%) are extremely or very satisfied with their current job, which is consistent with the 2021 findings (60%).
The survey results indicate that employers appear to be approaching employee benefits more holistically and thoughtfully. However, there is still room for improvement. Particularly when it comes to helping employees to understand their benefits and how to make the most of them.