As wages for workers have stagnated in recent years, many employees have become increasingly appreciative of the benefits their employers provide.
A recent survey by consulting-firm Mercer shows benefits now play a more important role in a worker's decision to join an organization and stay with it. However, satisfaction with overall benefits packages -- health care benefits, in particular -- is down compared to five years ago, according to the firm's latest What's Working survey of American employees.
"In uncertain economic times, U.S. workers are placing greater emphasis on elements of the employee value proposition that represent a safety net for them -- base pay, retirement benefits and health care benefits," says Sharon Cunninghis, a senior partner at Mercer.
That creates a dilemma for employers about the role that benefits should play in attracting talent, Cunninghis says.
"Employers must decide whether benefits should be a differentiator in attracting, retaining and engaging workers," she says. "In most cases, employers do not want employees to be attracted to them solely on the basis of the benefits they provide."
At the same time, Cunninghis says, employers have to gauge the extent to which benefit programs help achieve company goals while keeping on an eye on the bottom line.
For more on the role benefits play in attracting and keeping employees, check out the infographic below by Mercer Insights.
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