Designing an Effective Employee Benefits Survey: Key Questions and Best Practices

19 Jul


Attracting and retaining top talent heavily relies on providing comprehensive benefits packages. However, without proper insights, it can be challenging to determine which benefits resonate most with your team and identify areas for improvement. A recent Aflac survey found 80% of organizations believe their employees are highly satisfied with their benefits; however, only 58% of employees report high satisfaction.

 Employee benefits surveys bridge this gap by actively involving employees in the decision-making process and ensuring benefits align with their expectations and preferences. These surveys offer a confidential platform for employees to express their opinions and concerns, enabling organizations to address issues and allocate resources effectively.

In the following sections, we will explore the advantages of using these surveys, share best practices for designing effective assessments, and provide sample questions to help you craft impactful employee benefits surveys that drive employee retention and promote organizational success.

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What Are The Advantages of Using Employee Benefits Surveys?

Employee benefits surveys offer several advantages that can significantly impact your business. The insights gathered during the survey process produce both actionable results (i.e., identify which benefits are worth keeping or dropping) and help build a culture of empathy while sending a message that your teams’ opinions and needs are valued.

Here are some key areas where this effort pays off:

1. Employee Benefits Satisfaction: By conducting surveys, you can gauge the satisfaction levels of your employees regarding the benefits they receive. This insight enables you to make informed decisions and tailor your benefits program to better meet their needs. According to MetLife, employee satisfaction with benefits is at a 10-year low, reaching 61% in 2023, down from 64% in 2022.

2. Enhanced Employee Engagement: Engaging employees in the decision-making process fosters a sense of ownership and involvement. Surveys provide a platform for team members to voice their opinions, leading to increased engagement and a positive work environment.

3. Retention and Talent Management: A well-designed benefits program plays a crucial role in attracting and retaining desirable talent. Employee benefits surveys help you understand which benefits are valued most by your employees, allowing you to align your offerings with their expectations and improve retention rates. The Employee Benefit Research Institute notes 80% of employees who ranked their benefits satisfaction as extremely or very high also ranked job satisfaction as extremely or very high.

Best Practices for Designing Your Survey

When it comes to designing your employee benefits survey, following best practices is key to obtaining accurate and meaningful insights. Employing proven tactics ensures that your survey is effective, engaging, and capable of capturing the information you need to generate the best benefits program analysis possible.

By incorporating certain guidelines, you can maximize participation and obtain valuable data to inform your decision-making process. To gather the highest quality benefits feedback, consider these recommendations:

1. Define Clear Objectives: Clearly outline the goals and objectives you want to achieve through the survey. This will help you structure the questions and analyze the results more effectively.

2. Keep it Concise: Long surveys can be overwhelming and lead to lower response rates. Keep your survey concise by focusing on the most important aspects of employee benefits, such as the specific types and usage of offerings. This will increase participation and improve data quality.

3. Use a Combination of Question Types: Incorporate a mix of multiple-choice, rating scale, and open-ended questions. This variety allows for a comprehensive understanding of employee preferences and provides valuable qualitative feedback.

4. Ensure Anonymity and Confidentiality: Assure employees that their responses will remain confidential and anonymous. This encourages honest feedback and increases the likelihood of obtaining accurate and valuable insights.

5. Regularly Review and Update: The needs and preferences of employees change over time. Periodically review and update your survey to ensure it remains relevant and aligned with the evolving needs of your workforce.

Sample Questions for Your Benefits Survey

To effectively gauge employee benefits satisfaction and gather helpful information, it is essential to include well-crafted questions in your survey. These queries allow you to delve into specific areas of employee benefits and capture meaningful feedback. You can also gauge interest in topics like financial planning workshops and webinars. A few sample questions to consider include:

General Questions:

  • What type of employee benefit do you value the most?
  • How satisfied are you with the overall benefits package provided by the company?
  • Are there any benefits we currently offer that you don’t want or won’t use?
  • How well do you understand the enrollment process for benefits?
  • Do you feel adequately informed about the available options and how to make choices during open enrollment?
  • How would you rate the communication and support you received during the previous open enrollment period?
  • Do you believe our benefits package meets your needs and those of your family, if applicable?
  • Do you feel that the benefits offered by our company are competitive compared to other companies in our industry?
  • Are there any benefits or perks that you feel are missing from our current package?
  • Are there any changes or improvements you would like to see in our benefits package?
  • Have you ever utilized any of the ancillary benefits offered by our company (e.g., pet insurance)? If yes, which ones and how satisfied were you with the experience?


  • Are you satisfied with the current healthcare coverage provided?
  • Would you prefer more options in terms of healthcare providers?
  • Do you have any questions about using in-network providers?
  • Have you used telehealth services (if applicable)?

Retirement Planning:

  • How well do you understand the retirement savings options available to you?
  • Are you satisfied with the company’s contribution to your retirement savings?
  • How confident are you that you will be able to retire based on the current retirement package available to you?


  • Do you feel that the current financial wellness programs offered are beneficial?
  • Would you like additional financial planning resources or workshops?

By implementing employee benefits surveys, you can gauge employee satisfaction, improve engagement, and enhance retention rates. Understanding the needs and preferences of your workforce allows you to design a benefits program that aligns with your team’s expectations, fostering a positive work environment and acting as a beacon for top talent.

If you would like assistance with crafting effective employee benefits surveys, optimizing your benefits program, or exploring 401 (k) retirement benefits, schedule a free benefits consultation.

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