Employees today want a broader range of benefits than companies have traditionally offered. Delivering on that expectation — creating a package of employee benefits that go beyond the ordinary — can be a challenge. Getting it right requires time, energy, and a proper strategy. So, how do you get there? 

Employee surveys can help you better understand your employees attitudes and expectations about benefits. They can help you develop a plan that fits the strategic needs of your company and the personal needs of your workforce. Benefits are playing an increasingly important role in the decision-making process of job seekers and the engagement levels of current employees. So it is only right to review and update them regularly. 

Why Should You Conduct Employee Benefit Surveys?

Conducting regular employee surveys is a great way to determine if your benefits package meets your employees’ needs. The results of a benefits survey can also provide you with valuable information about the company’s culture and performance. According to a study by Quantum, employees at organizations that regularly conduct employee surveys are:

  • 38% more engaged
  • 17% more likely to stay with the organization
  • 28% more likely to advocate for the organization 

Actively responding to employee feedback from surveys can positively impact retention rates, employee productivity, employee engagement, customer service, employee morale, and absenteeism. 

Asking the right employee survey questions about benefits will clearly show you if changes need to be made to your total benefits package and how the perks you offer affect your workers’ lives at work and outside the office. 

Tips to Structure Better Employee Benefits Survey Questions

Before starting any kind of survey, it is essential to consider the structure that will work best. There are several designs that can lead to an effective employee benefits survey template. The structure you choose will strongly depend on the main insights you hope to learn from your employees. For instance, if you want to know how employees feel about the value of a specific kind of benefit (e.g., “Having more options for physical fitness is important to me”), then you should use a type of ranking system that offers options and lets you test your hypothesis — like “strongly agree,” “agree,” “neither agree nor disagree,” “disagree,” and “strongly disagree.”

Depending on the information you’re seeking, a survey can include comparison questions, open-ended questions, fairness questions, rating scale questions, image choice questions, and more. The type of questions your survey includes will also depend on the benefit plans your organization offers and any company benefits you intend to offer in the future. 

Sample Employee Benefit Survey Questions

Open-ended Questions: 

  • What do you like most about your benefits plan?
  • What do you like least about your benefits plan? 
  • How do you feel about your paid timeoff policy? 

Answer options: Text box for participants to express their opinion freely and in detail.

Dropdown Questions:

  • How satisfied are you with your mental health benefits? 
  • How happy are you with our health insurance policy? 

Answer options: Very satisfied, satisfied, neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, unsatisfied, very unsatisfied. 

Comparison questions:

  • Do you feel our benefits package is better or worse than other organizations you know about? Why? 
  • Are you happy with your work-life balance? How would you compare it to other organizations? 

Answer options: Multiple choice – better/yes, worse/no – plus a text box for participants to explain their choice. 

Ranking Questions: 

  • On a scale of 1–10, how satisfied are you with the company’s work culture and working environment? 
  • On a scale of 1–10, rank the importance of the employer-sponsored benefits the company provides?

Answer options: 1-10 scale, where 1 is the lowest score and 10 is the highest. 

Benefit Areas to Ask About

Employee survey questions about benefits can cover many different areas. In each area, you need to consider the key topics you would like to hear about and better understand. For example, dental care might currently be a tempting benefit for U.S. companies to offer if they don’t already. In 2021,  the National Compensation Survey found that only 40% of workers in private industry are offered employer-sponsored dental care. With a good employee benefits satisfaction survey, you will know if dental care is important for your workforce and if it should be a part of your package. You’ll also learn what other areas of related care or benefits employees might want to have. 

10 appealing areas to tap into in your survey

  1. Sick days
  2. Paid time off
  3. Health insurance 
  4. Paid maternity/paternity leave 
  5. Childcare
  6. Disability
  7. Tuition reimbursement 
  8. At-home expensing for remote workers
  9. Stock options
  10. Retirement

How to Administer Your Benefits Survey

Before deciding how you will administer any employee benefits satisfaction survey template, it is important to return to the objectives of the survey. For example, does the company need an updated vision of how the benefits package is performing? Will the survey be used to design a new employee benefits strategy, or are you using it to keep track of employee satisfaction around benefits? 

These different objectives will affect how the employee benefits survey questionnaire is not only designed, but also how it is distributed. For example, your management team may want to isolate specific problems the survey is hoping to shed light on, so those problems can be more easily tackled immediately after the results come in. 

A few other pointers are:

  • It is best practice to keep surveys short and simple. A Survey Monkey study shows that surveys with over 16 questions, result in participants taking less than 20 seconds per question. While for surveys of 1-10 questions, they take over one minute per query. 
  • Never include two topics into the same question to avoid inaccurate results.
  • Make sure you give anonymity for all the employee survey questions regarding benefits so that employees feel comfortable answering the questions honestly. 

What Do the Results of Your Employee Benefits Survey Reveal?

At the least, survey results will help leaders understand how their workforce feels about their employee benefits. If your company or a third-party vendor designs a strategic employee benefits survey, this will give the organization reliable data to analyze. 

That said, survey results should not be taken for granted; they should be used to benchmark the organization’s performance. For instance, a negative score in a particular department could mean that the leadership team of that area is not doing a good job of communicating benefits or supporting employees. But this does not necessarily reflect on the entire company’s performance or mean you should change your benefits package. 

Employee Benefit Surveys Can Make a Difference

Keeping your employees happy and satisfied at work is crucial to maintaining a healthy culture and attracting top talent. Especially now that a large number of employees are leaving their jobs for competitors with better and more well-rounded employee benefits. A Randstad U.S. research found that 78% of workers think their benefits packages are as important as their salaries in keeping them with their current employers.

An employee benefits survey is the best tool to monitor employee attitudes toward the various perks and benefits your organization offers. A well-administered survey can help your organization know whether you are meeting your employees’ expectations and the areas for improvement. 

Multiple options exist for designing, creating, and distributing an employee benefits survey. The best survey will allow your workforce to give their honest and anonymous opinion on how your organization can serve their current and future needs. This is vital for them to perform well at their job, share their gratification with their company, and consequently boost your employer brand.