5 Important Takeaways from the 2017 Sanofi Employee Benefits Survey

For us benefits consultantsthe Sanofi Survey is almost like a holy text. The information gathered from this survey comes from all of North America’s largest insurance providers to better understand what both employers and employees think of their benefit plans. When you boil down the data, you get very actionable steps of how to improve your small business benefits plans, which in turn will improve employee engagement, health, happiness, and productivity in your workplace.

Here’s our top five takeaways from the 2017 survey:

1) Employees are less likely than ever to say benefits meet their needs. 

As it stands, only 53% of employees say they are satisfied or very satisfied with their benefits plans. This is down from 78% of satisfied or very satisfied employees from the first Sanofi survey in 1999.

What you should do about it:

Reading this blog is a really good start. However, you could also poll your employees to find out what their needs are. Knowing your employee’s needs is half the battle when building a plan. You want to make sure you hit the mark and covering items that are of value to your employees.

2) Employers that offer wellness plans are more likely to have satisfied employees.

63% of employees with wellness plans give employers top marks in coverage compared to 43% who have no wellness plans.

What you should do about it:

Get a wellness program! Wellness is proving year after year to be one of the top ways to engage and retain employees. It also keeps them healthier, which keeps other medical and chronic illness costs down. Despite Wellness Plans being one of the best ways to boost employee satisfaction, only 51% of employers are offering them. And this number has stalled in recent years.  

3) 31% of employees say the stress from work has caused them to feel physically ill.

Read that again. Stress in the workplace is a big deal. Also note, only 50% of employees think their workplace helps them manage stress.

What you should do about it:

Poll your employees to see what are the major causes of stress at work. Chances are, it’s going to involve creating more balance between work life and home life. An increasing number of people (49%) are finding work-life balance a challenge. And again, a wellness program will help with this problem.

4) Employees think Employers are more concerned with costs than providing the best coverage. 

Employees increasingly think employers are more concerned with keeping costs downSanofi reports 68% of employees think employers are more concerned with costs than providing the best coverage.

What you should do about it:

Be transparent with employees about how much health care is costing you. If they understand how much money goes into coverage, they are more likely to understand how you are providing the best possible coverage you can afford. This might also translate to employees taking more responsibility for their spending.

5) People with Health Care Spending Accounts (HCSA) are also more likely to give their benefit programs top marks.

60% of employees with HSCA give their employers top marks, when compared to 50% of employees with other types of benefit plans.

What you should do about it:

This can be an effective way of providing diverse and effective coverage, in a more affordable way. HSCAs also make employees more accountable to their health care spending. There are CRA rules and regulations involved with a HCSA, so checking with things out with your accountant is also a good idea here. You can also Contact us to see what plans are available and what’s eligible.

Benefits can be tough to navigate, but messages in this year’s Sanofi survey come out crystal clear. A combination of wellness programs and health care spending accounts might be a good direction to head if you’re finding employees are stressed and unhappy with coverage.

If you want to provide better benefits to your employees, but lack the time or knowledge, maybe it’s time to call in a consultant.  
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