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

An employee benefits survey delivers valuable feedback on your current programs. Here’s how to create a great one.

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An employee benefits survey is a valuable way to gain feedback on your current benefits programs and understand what matters most to your employees. 

Gym memberships, free office donuts, transportation reimbursement… while these perks may all sound fantastic, do they really produce a happier, healthier workplace? Without direct employee feedback, people leaders must make decisions in the dark, preventing them from allocating resources to the benefits most aligned with their employees’ needs. 

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 gather feedback about your team members’ experience of their existing benefits programs. They also ask what benefits workers would like to see in the future. Typically, employers send out these questionnaires annually. 

Why employee benefits surveys are important

HR departments have a whole list of employee surveys to send out, including engagement, pulse, and onboarding surveys—the list goes on. So, what makes employee benefits surveys worth your time? 

  • Surveys give your employees a voice: Benefits play a key role in recruitment and employee retention. For example, 73% of employees would feel motivated to stay at their company if they had better health insurance benefits. Surveys deliver insights into what employees want and need from their employers. 
  • Surveys allow you to adjust your employee benefits plan offering: Employers can also notice any shifts in requirements or participation. For example, your results may point to employees wanting more access to mental health resources. This could indicate that your team struggles with stress and anxiety, leading you to implement new programs to support their well-being.
  • Surveys aid decision-making: Employee benefits surveys offer valuable insights when reviewing or adjusting your current offerings. You may discover that participation in a particular benefit is low because users find the front end of the platform clunky to navigate. 

How to structure your survey

The perfect employee benefits survey is a balancing act. It needs to be easy for your survey respondents to digest and want to commit their time to completing. But it also needs to be structured in such a way that it delivers the depth of insights you need. Consider the following as you draft your survey: 

Survey creation 

Decide how and where you plan to distribute your survey; for example, by email, internal communication software, paper-based questionnaire, or an online survey tool. Also consider the range of devices they may use, such as desktop, tablet, smartphone, etc. to ensure your distribution method is compatible with their preferred hardware. 

Survey length 

A few carefully crafted questions will deliver the insights you need without taxing your employees’ time and energy. Short, easily digestible surveys can also lead to higher response rates. Keep it simple by focusing on topics and benefits that are most critical for your organization’s benefits strategy

Question formats 

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 coverage plans,” with response options being: 

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

Another option is to use open-ended questions, where you allow employees to provide more detail and examples in their responses. 

For example, “Can you give an example of a time when the company’s health insurance benefited you or your family?” 

Benepass tip: Use a mix of both Likert scale and open-ended questions to gather quantitative and qualitative data for a well-rounded understanding of employee sentiment. You might create your survey using a bulk of Likert questions, which are easy to measure and compare. However, including one or two open-ended questions at the end of your survey can provide those qualitative insights that dig deep into the employee experience. 

Question categories 

When structuring your survey, here are 10 common focus areas you might include: 

  • Office culture and infrastructure
  • Health benefits
  • Pre-tax benefit accounts
  • Transportation
  • Paid family leave
  • Retirement plans
  • Disability insurance
  • Wellness
  • Work-life balance
  • Explorative questions about benefits access and understanding 

Survey communication 

If survey participation is an issue for you, consider how well you communicate your survey process so your respondents understand: 

  • What the survey is for and how it can shape their employee benefits program
  • Who will read their survey comments and how they will be shared (Consider giving your employees the option to answer them anonymously, which may encourage more honest responses.)
  • What follow-up actions they can expect as a result of survey submission 
  • What the survey deadline is

Common employee benefits survey questions

Below are commonly asked employee benefits survey questions: 

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 
  • I am able to work productively in my current work environment
  • My employer offers a variety of workspace options (e.g., standing desks, private offices, etc.)

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

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


  • I am satisfied with the available transportation options my employer offers (e.g., parking, public transit subsidies, etc.)
  • I feel that my employer supports a healthy and sustainable commute for employees
  • My commute to work is manageable in terms of time 
  • I struggle to afford to attend the office 
  • I understand the benefits and limitations of my employer’s transportation offerings

Paid family leave

  • My employer’s paid family leave plan is inclusive and accommodating to my needs
  • I feel comfortable using the paid family leave offered by my employer 
  • I am satisfied with the amount of paid family leave my employer offers
  • I understand my employer’s paid family leave policies
  • My employer’s paid family leave policy is generous compared to other companies in our industry 

Retirement plans 

  • I am satisfied with the retirement plan options my employer offers (e.g., 401(k), pension, etc.)
  • I understand how to contribute to and manage my retirement plan
  • My employer provides adequate resources and education on retirement planning
  • I feel confident that I will have enough savings for retirement through my current employer’s plans
  • My employer’s retirement plans are competitive in terms of matching and contributions compared to other companies in our industry

Disability insurance 

  • I feel protected by the disability insurance options my employer offers
  • I understand the level of coverage provided by my disability insurance plan
  • My employer provides adequate support when I need to file a disability claim
  • My employer’s disability insurance policy covers a variety of needs and circumstances (e.g., injury, illness, etc.)
  • I feel confident that my current disability insurance will meet my needs in the future


  • 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 home office equipment adequately enables me to comfortably and productively work from home 
  • My company supports my mental health well 

Work-life balance 

  • I feel that my employer supports a healthy work-life balance for employees
  • My workload is manageable and allows me to have time for personal activities outside of work
  • My employer provides opportunities for flexible scheduling or remote work when needed
  • I know how to gain access to resources that support me personally and professionally
  • My employer provides benefits that support my work-life balance 

Explorative questions

  • I find it easy to access my benefits program and know exactly what it offers 
  • I am satisfied with the level of communication and transparency surrounding my benefits program
  • 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 them

Demographic information 

You might ask a few demographic questions to segment your employee population and gain better insight into how different groups value certain types of benefits. However, if you also promise survey anonymity, consider how these questions could identify respondents depending on the makeup of your workforce. Demographic questions might ask employees to divulge their:

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

Analyzing employee benefits survey results

Achieve commitment to your employee benefits satisfaction survey by thoroughly analyzing the results and acting on them. Your survey respondents will quickly lose interest if they don’t see any follow-up from the process. Focus on the following as part of your analysis:

Survey completion rates 

Survey completion is an important metric in itself. It signals how engaged your employees are with the benefits program, and by extension, their level of commitment to their role at your company. If survey completion rates are low, it’s worth exploring why.

Benchmarking and survey results alignment 

Maximize the value of conducting employee benefits surveys by making sure they’re not a one-time thing. Repeat the process with consistent questions and survey formats, enabling you to study result patterns over time. 

Companies can also compare their survey results against companies of a similar size and industry to ensure total rewards packages are competitive. For example, if a survey reveals a high demand for flexible work arrangements, and your competitors increasingly offer this benefit, you can adjust your programs accordingly to stay competitive.

Timely action 

Report back to your employees after survey completion with a summary of key findings and actions. If you’ve identified employee benefits that require attention, set a timeline for addressing concerns and communicate these clearly to your team. Taking swift action on the results demonstrates to your employees that you highly value their input. 

Design a simple, engaging benefits package with Benepass

Your survey feedback is likely to uncover one specific trend—employees value personalization from their benefits packages. 

That’s where Benepass comes in, as a versatile platform that allows companies to custom-design employee benefits plans using a mix of tax-advantaged and perks programs, such as Health Reimbursement Arrangements, Flexible Spending Accounts, Commuter Accounts, and Lifestyle Spending Accounts

Our platform receives 4.9 out of 5 from the G2 software review community, scoring highly (out of 10) in the following categories: Ease of Use = 9.6, Ease of Setup = 9.6, and Quality of Support = 9.7. 

Do you have questions about how to create a benefits package that is flexible and adaptable to your workers’ individual needs? Boost employee satisfaction by arranging a free Benepass demo today or contact sales@getbenepass.com to connect with a benefits specialist. 

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Rebecca Noori

Rebecca Noori is a freelance HR Tech and SaaS writer who is obsessed with our world of work. She writes about everything from employee benefits and performance management to upskilling and productivity tips. When she's not writing, you'll find her grappling with phonics homework and football kits, looking after her three kids.

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