Despite Increased Focus By Employers, Workers Expect More Wellbeing Benefits

Workers have raised their expectations about wellbeing benefits in the workplace, and employers are stepping up to meet their needs. Despite the progress, however, more work remains, according to the 2024 Wellbeing and Voluntary Benefits Survey from Buck, a Gallagher company.

“We’re seeing that employees now expect their employer to offer even more support for their wellbeing, and this need underscores the importance of employer-sponsored benefit programs,” said Tom Kelly, a principal in the Gallagher health and benefits practice and coauthor of the report. “A troublesome 2 in 3 employees would change their jobs for better benefits, and 46% of workers are actively considering a job change in 2024, compared to only 35% in 2022. Younger workers are significantly more likely to pursue a job change, coming in at 53% for Gen Z.”

Nearly three-fourths of organizations have increased their commitment to wellbeing programs. The top reasons cited for expanded resources are talent attraction and retention (66%), increased job satisfaction (65%) and support for mental health (59%). Although the data show some improvements in employees’ self-perceptions of their overall wellbeing, 1 in 5 reports worsening mental, physical and financial health.

Among other findings from the survey:

  • Only two-thirds of employees rate themselves as financially healthy, the lowest across all dimensions of wellbeing, while 55% say they are doing the same or worse financially compared to a year ago.
  • Fifty-six percent say inflation and/or rising costs will delay or affect their ability to obtain health care in the coming year.
  • One-fourth of employees aren’t satisfied with their jobs or aren’t able to be productive, indicating job dissatisfaction may be more common than employers realize. Wellbeing and benefits are highly correlated with employees’ intent to stay with their employer.
  • Fifty-five percent of employees want a better understanding of their benefits and 80% want to talk to someone about their benefits, indicating that an overreliance on digital tools by employers may need to be rethought.
  • Three-fourths of employers say they have increased their commitment to wellbeing, but only 50% of employees say they have seen an increase in support.

“Among the top factors influencing employee job satisfaction and engagement are an employer’s commitment to supporting wellbeing and a benefits package that meets their personal needs,” said Ruth Hunt, a principal in Gallagher’s communications practice and coauthor of the report. “The data clearly show that voluntary benefits can play a key role in workforce retention, especially in a market where big pay bumps are cooling. And organizations likely need to revisit their communication strategies to enhance employee education and increase use of benefits to drive desired outcomes and results.”


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