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15 employee benefits questions to ask in a survey

Last updated

26 June 2023


Dovetail Editorial Team

Reviewed by

Lara Leganger

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Company benefits play a crucial role in the overall satisfaction and well-being of employees, making it an area of real importance. 

You can use surveys to learn about your employees’ views on company benefits. However, if you want to get the most out of surveys, you need to ask the right questions. 

In this article, we'll explore what employee benefits questions are, why they’re helpful, and how you can analyze the results. We'll also share some sample questions.

What are employee benefits surveys?

Employee benefits hold significant importance for the majority of employees. A modern trend, especially among Millennials and Generation Z employees, is to value work-life balance over salary. 

A survey cited by People Management reveals that 41% of employees chose their position because of the work-life balance it offers, compared to 36% who cited salary as the main attraction. The same survey revealed that 87% of employees wanted to see improvements in company benefits. 

As a company, you want to be aware if your employees are dissatisfied with the benefits you currently offer.

Why should you run a benefits survey?

Knowing your employees' concerns and opinions helps you run your business more effectively. Employee surveys are a simple way to track how your workers feel about a variety of issues. 

What topics are relevant to employee benefits surveys? 

According to a Forbes Advisor survey, the two benefits that employees currently care most about are health insurance and life insurance. 67% of employees consider employee-covered healthcare the top benefit. 45% rated life insurance the top benefit. Other highly rated benefits were pensions, paid time off, and mental health insurance. 

Employee benefits survey questions

Survey questions can take several forms. 

Scales questions and statements

These are questions that are answered on a scale, such as between 1 and 5 or 1 and 10, with higher numbers indicating a greater degree of agreement or satisfaction. A scale provides more nuance than having respondents answer simply "yes" or "no." When presenting scale questions, clarify the meaning, such as 1 indicating extreme satisfaction and 10 indicating extreme dissatisfaction. 

The following are some examples of employee benefits survey questions in scale format: 

  1. How satisfied are you with our healthcare benefits?

  2. How clear and understandable do you find your benefits package?

  3. How likely are you to recommend applying to our company based on your benefits package?

  4. How easy or difficult is it for you to access your health insurance benefits?

  5. How closely does your benefits package match your expectations?

They can also be phrased as statements rather than questions. In this case, 1 means "strongly disagree"  and 10 means "strongly agree." For example:

  1. When I was hired, I was given a thorough explanation of my benefits package.

  2. I’m satisfied with the paid time off policy.

  3. I'm happy with the flexible work opportunities that are available to me. 

  4. I'm satisfied with my sick leave benefits.

  5. I'm confident that my benefits package compares favorably to those offered by other companies in the same industry.

Open-ended questions

These are questions where respondents can provide more details about their opinions. While scales questions provide simple, quantitative data, open-ended questions give you more nuanced qualitative data. These types of questions require more time and thought to analyze.

  1. What are some changes in your healthcare benefits that you'd like to see?

  2. If you could choose one element in your benefits to change or improve, what would it be and why?

  3. How would you compare our benefits package to those at your previous job?

  4. Which three benefits are most important to you?

  5. If you could choose one benefit not currently offered, what would it be?

Best practices for your employee benefits satisfaction survey

The type of questions you ask and how you phrase them will have a big impact on your results. Here are some guidelines to help you get the most honest responses from your employees. 

Send out employee surveys regularly

While you can learn a great deal from a single survey, to really understand your employees, it's best to run surveys consistently. You want to be able to track patterns and changes in the responses. 

Keep surveys short and simple

The longer the survey, the more of a chore it will seem to fill out. We've shared quite a few sample questions above, but they don't all need to be included in the same survey. Sending out short and simple surveys more frequently is more effective than sending out occasional long and arduous ones. 

Although open-ended questions are valuable for gaining insights, they also take longer to answer. To keep surveys short, use mostly scale questions with one or two open-ended questions. Shorter surveys are easier for you to analyze and are also more appealing to employees.  

Make the survey easy for employees to access

To get a good response from your surveys, they must be easy for employees to access. Attaching the survey to an email is convenient, but many emails are left unread. If you decide to use online surveys, make sure they’re mobile-friendly. However, some people may prefer to fill out a printed copy of the survey. 

Remember that the more choices you provide, the better your response will be.

Send reminders

To increase your response rate, send out at least one or two reminders. People are busy and may postpone completing the survey and then forget it. 

Get every department and manager on board

If surveys are sent from the highest levels of the company but departmental managers don’t reinforce the message, employees are less likely to participate. Be sure to communicate the survey's importance to every manager so the message is spread throughout the organization. 

Make responses confidential

Surveys are only useful if they reflect employees' true feelings. Employees may be reluctant to express their opinions out of fear of repercussions. The advantage of anonymous responses is that people may be more honest. By assuring confidentiality, you will get more forthcoming responses. 

Segment survey questions

Even if surveys are kept anonymous, it's useful to collect basic information about respondents. By asking questions such as age group, gender, location, and department, you can observe patterns in how people from certain demographics or departments feel about benefits issues. 

Analyzing your employee benefits survey results

Here are some tips for analyzing the results of employee benefits surveys.

Set clear goals for each survey

Identify what you want to learn from each survey. Keeping each survey focused on a specific area, such as healthcare, makes it easier to set specific goals. If you include too many diverse topics, it makes it more challenging. 

Compare current surveys to previous ones

Survey results are more meaningful when you compare them to previous surveys. You want to know if results are improving, getting worse, or staying about the same. It's also helpful to compare the results of employees in different departments or branches.

Take action on insights

When you notice areas where employees are dissatisfied, look for the best course of action. It isn't always feasible to make immediate changes in benefits policies. But there may be ways to improve communication so employees clearly understand their benefits and know how to make the most of them. 

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