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Employee Benefits Survey 101: What to Include and How to Ask

An employee benefits survey can help you gain valuable feedback on your current programs. Here's how to create a great one.

Future of Benefits

An employee benefits survey is one of the most valuable ways to gain feedback on your current benefits programs while gaining insight into what matters most to your employees. 

Gym memberships, free office donuts, transportation reimbursement… While these perks may all sound fantastic, are they really empowering a happier, healthier workplace? 2020 ushered in a seismic shift in the types of benefits employees needed and loved. But without direct employee feedback, people leaders are forced to make decisions in the dark, hampering their ability to allocate resources to the specific benefits most aligned with their employees’ needs. 

This can have serious repercussions in the workplace as more and more research points to benefits playing a key role in recruitment and retention.

Here’s what you need to know about devising an employee benefits survey, why they’re so important to your people operations, and what types of questions to ask. 

Employee benefits surveys defined

Employee benefits surveys are questionnaires sent to employees to gather feedback on existing benefits programs and what benefits they would like in the future. They are typically conducted on an annual basis. 

Why employee surveys are important

Benefits are the building blocks to your workplace culture and overall employee experience. While surveying employees may seem like an outdated practice replaced by machine learning, real-time feedback, and other advanced people platforms, surveys still serve three main objectives remarkably well. They:

  • Give employees a chance to be heard
  • Catalyze changing programs and behavior
  • Are simple to execute 

Employee surveys also enable you to benchmark your offerings against companies of a similar size and industry to ensure your total rewards package is competitive. 

Questions to ask on your employee benefits survey

When structuring your survey, consider the main categories you would like to cover. 

Here are 10 common focus areas:

  • Office culture and infrastructure
  • Health benefits
  • Pre-tax benefit accounts
  • Transportation
  • Paid family leave
  • Retirement plans
  • Disability insurance
  • Wellness
  • Work-life balance
  • Access to and understanding of benefits

Common employee benefits survey questions and how to structure your survey

Employee benefits surveys are typically structured with a Likert scale, which includes a list of statements accompanied by reply options ranging from “Strongly Agree” to “Strongly Disagree.”

For example: “I am satisfied with our health care coverage plans” with response options being: 

  • Strongly agree
  • Agree 
  • Neither agree nor disagree 
  • Disagree 
  • Strongly disagree

Below are commonly asked employee benefits survey questions. Consider giving your employees the option to answer them anonymously, which may encourage more honest responses. 

Office culture/infrastructure

  • I prefer to work remotely
  • I prefer to work in a hybrid setting where I have the option to work from an office location
  • I prefer to work on a flexible schedule 

Health benefits

  • I am satisfied with the level of health insurance coverage my employer offers
  • I understand how my plan and reimbursement work
  • Using my health insurance for myself and my family is straightforward
  • I am satisfied with the level of support I receive when questions arise about my health insurance
  • My health insurance will be able to meet my future health needs

Parental leave

  • I am satisfied with the amount of parental leave my employer offers
  • I understand my employer’s parental leave policies
  • My employer’s parental leave policy is generous

Wellness

  • My employer’s wellness benefits are generous
  • I understand the wellness benefits offered by my employer
  • My employer’s wellness benefits allow me to choose which perks and services work best for me and my family
  • My employer’s gym benefit is generous
  • My home office equipment adequately enables me to comfortably and productively work from home 
  • My company offers generous reimbursement for home office equipment

Tax-advantaged accounts

  • I am satisfied with the tax-advantaged benefit accounts (e.g., dependent care FSA or health FSA) my employer offers
  • I can easily use the funds saved in my tax-advantaged benefit accounts
  • Reimbursement with my employer’s tax-advantaged accounts is straightforward
  • I understand the eligibility and carryover policies surrounding my tax-advantaged accounts
  • I am well-informed about the different options available to me regarding tax-advantaged accounts

Explorative questions

  • I would value and/or use a fertility/family planning benefit should my employer offer it
  • I would value and/or use a mental health benefit should my employer offer it
  • I would value and/or use outside professional development courses should my employer offer it

Demographics

It’s also important to ask a few demographic questions so that you can segment your employee population to gain better insight into how different groups value certain types of benefits. Demographic questions include:

  • Age 
  • Department
  • Office location
  • Seniority
  • Parental status
  • Full or part-time status

Above all, keep it simple 

Ultimately, simplicity is key when it comes to developing employee surveys. If it becomes too long or cumbersome, you risk lower participation levels. As your benefits programs evolve, so too will your feedback surveys. 

Have questions about how to create a benefits package that is flexible and adaptable to your employees’ individual needs? Drop us a line at sales@getbenepass.com.

Benepass Team