Most NMU Employees Satisfied with Benefits Program
Nearly 97 percent of the 602 full-time employees who responded to an anonymous electronic survey earlier this year report they are satisfied to very satisfied with the total NMU benefits program. Paul Duby (Institutional Research) recently presented a summary of the results to the benefits advisory committee.
In addition to level of satisfaction, the survey measured employees’ knowledge of available benefits by asking which they personally use. Those with the highest use include dental/vision insurance, medical/prescription drug coverage, the Bookstore discount and the Health Center (pictured). Of the 80 percent taking advantage of the Health Center, more than 67 percent use it for primary care.
Other benefits, in descending order by level of use, are: recreation membership, 55 percent; supplemental life insurance, 54 percent; tuition scholarship program, 51 percent; supplemental retirement annuities (SRAs), 49 percent. The flexible spending accounts for health care and dependent care, which allow employees to set aside money tax-free for qualified expenses, report the least use at 23 and 7 percent, respectively.
The measure of employee satisfaction with each benefit topped 95 percent for the Health Center, tuition scholarship program, medical/prescription drug insurance, Bookstore discount and recreation membership. The university’s dental/vision insurance garnered the least positive response. Despite a high rate of use, nearly 30 percent of respondents were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the coverage and 57 percent recommended that it be increased to more effectively cover the actual cost of dental and optical services received. Other common suggestions were more doctors and extended hours at the Health Center and more information on the supplemental retirement annuities.
The Human Resources benefits staff earned more than 84 percent satisfaction in every category surveyed, including thoroughness, timeliness, knowledge and friendliness. HR will examine the results to see where additional information and benefit materials are needed to better inform full-time employees of the range of services and benefits available to them.
Duby said the survey’s response rate was 65 percent. The employee group with the highest percentage of members responding was the NMU-FA, but most of the other groups also had excellent representation, with 60 percent or more of their members participating.