Healthy Workers Are Happy Workers

Employers seeking to improve employee-retention rates may want to consider offering a more attractive health-care benefit package, according to a survey conducted by Scottsdale, Ariz.-based WorldatWork and the Washington-based Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). The study, "2000 Value of Benefits Survey," examined the attitudes of 875 full-time workers and 125 part-time employees. It found 65% of workers view health-insurance benefits as most important while 17% rank health benefits second. "Health insurance is overwhelmingly the most important benefit to today's workers -- apparently because of its more immediate value," says Dallas Salisbury, president of the EBRI. Fourteen percent of all workers surveyed said they have passed up a job opportunity because they were not satisfied with the health benefits offered, while 43% said they turned down a job because health benefits were not being offered. Employers who provided health benefits spent an average of $3,800 per employee on health insurance. More than three-quarters of these employees said they preferred to have the money applied toward health insurance rather than their paychecks. WorldatWork is a nonprofit professional association that assists companies in employee-retention strategies. EBRI is a private, nonprofit research organization that seeks to improve employee-benefit programs.

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