Faced with an unemployment rate that's at a 50-year low, U.S. employers are grappling with recruiting and retaining good employees, a new survey says.

In fact, nearly seven in 10 employers said employee turnover is among the biggest challenges they face, according to a survey by Limra.

The research found that 73% of employers said the top reason they offer benefits is to retain employees. Fifty-six percent said they offer benefits to attract new employees and 51% said they do it to stay competitive in the market.

Retaining employees is a significantly bigger motivation than attracting new employees because of the cost, the report said. With a healthy economy, employees are more likely to seek out other job opportunities, and each time an employee leaves a company, the employer has to spend on recruiting and training new talent. Therefore, it is more efficient and economical for businesses to keep good employees rather than recruit new ones, Limra said.

As employers strive to boost employee loyalty and improve satisfaction, they are worried about controlling benefit costs, managing benefit enrollment and plans, and keeping up with legal and regulatory requirements, the research noted.

“Balancing these with the desire to provide a benefits package that will best serve the employee and the company is often a difficult challenge for employers. In today’s work environment, employers recognize some of their employees are finding it difficult to afford benefits, yet employers are unable to absorb the cost increases themselves,” Limra said, noting that the average cost of benefits for private industry workers has risen 28% over the past 10 years.

Limra suggests that employers can better manage their benefits program by developing a comprehensive strategic approach. The research found barely four in 10 employers have a formal plan in place and only a quarter manage their health and retirement benefits as part of a broader total rewards compensation package.

The survey also found that 70% of employers believe that their current program meets their employees’ needs and offers them what they want. However, just 53% of employees said they are satisfied with the benefit packages offered by their employer.

The research also noted that only 18% of employers regularly survey their employees to find out what they desire in a benefits package and 48% rarely do it. Thirty-four percent of employers never solicit feedback about their benefits program from their employees.

Additionally, the research found few employers benchmark their benefits programs against their peers’ programs. Nearly one in five employees said their benefit package is not robust enough to prevent them from considering other employment options.

First « 1 2 » Next