Can Offering Fewer Benefits Increase Employee Satisfaction?

Can Offering Fewer Benefits Increase Employee Satisfaction?

Keeping your staff happy is central to the long-term success of your business. So it’s understandable that many business owners believe in offering a comprehensive benefits plan to increase employee satisfaction. But offering the greatest number of benefits possible is not always the best solution. In fact, offering too many benefits is one of the top three mistakes that employers make when creating a group benefits plan

Do Benefits Increase Employee Satisfaction?

Too many benefits can be an error, but before slimming down your benefits package, it’s important to acknowledge that benefits do play a role in staff satisfaction. While salary generally dominates the discussion of workers’ pay, the benefits plan you offer is an essential element of their total compensation.

Recent surveys of workers have found that job satisfaction affects not only employee retention and output but also customer perception of your business. And the impact that your benefits plan has on your staff’s overall satisfaction is not just theoretical. A 2015 study found that 80% of employees preferred receiving benefits or perks over a pay increase. However, increasing employees’ satisfaction with their benefits does not necessarily mean splurging on the most comprehensive plan you can afford. 

Offering Too Many Benefits

As the famed business consultant Peter Drucker once said, “There is nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency something that should not be done at all.” More coverage is often conflated with your employees feeling more supported, but that’s only true if the team actually needs those benefits. 

In addition to paying for benefits your staff doesn’t need, sustainability is a serious concern. “Pulling the rug out” from under your employees by reducing the coverage they’re accustomed to can be hugely damaging to your workers’ overall job satisfaction. Even if you’re removing benefits that nobody uses, employees may feel that they’re losing something. As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that the plan you offer is feasible in the long term. 

Still, if you do find yourself with a plan you can no longer afford, reducing coverage is often your only viable option. Attempts to offset the cost of the benefits you already offer, such as through cost-sharing, are virtually guaranteed to increase costs for both staff and employers in the long run. This does not necessarily mean that you can’t restructure your plan effectively, but doing so in a way that minimally impacts employee satisfaction requires expert attention. 

How to Increase Employee Satisfaction with Benefits

If you can avoid mistakes like taking personalized benefits too far, tailoring the coverage you offer is an excellent way to get the most for what your spend. Understanding your staff’s needs allows you to avoid spending on coverage that won’t increase employee satisfaction. 

Often, business owners are sold coverage that’s not in line with their employee’s needs, just because it’s a “good deal.” Having a long list of benefits may seem attractive, but even these relatively inexpensive options come at a cost that could otherwise be put towards coverage that actually helps your staff. 

Part of the job of your employee benefits broker is to help you assess and understand these options. Working with an expert can help you ensure that your plan is serving your needs, rather than simply showing off and wasting resources.

Create the Perfect Benefits Plan with Zarmac

Zarmac Benefits has been providing benefit programs to both new and established businesses for over 20 years. We take the time to analyze what you need and customize a benefits package specifically for your business style, now and for the future. 

Zarmac provides critical analysis specific to your business to deliver real choices, advise on trends, streamline renewals, and optimize your plan design. We make it easy for you and your team by supporting the management of your program. We also proactively educate and eliminate questions to ensure there are no surprises.

Ready to protect your business and your team? Find out more about the Zarmac difference!


We have some exciting news at Zarmac Benefits! We are extremely pleased to announce our merger with Marquee Benefits Inc., a highly respected benefit and pension solutions consultant based in Barrie, Ontario. Our newly combined firm will be conducting its practice as Marquee Benefits Inc., effective February 13, 2024.

Marquee Benefits shares the same values as we do. A genuine approach based on extensive knowledge of the industry and genuine desire to help create the right benefit solution for your organization. Please feel free to connect with us if you have any questions.

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