Skip to main content

See how EmployeeXM works

Watch On Demand Demo

Employee benefits surveys: what you need to know

4 min read
Providing excellent employee benefits is crucial to a company's success. They can increase employee loyalty, boost recruitment efforts, and show employees that you care about their wellbeing. In fact, employee benefits are so important that 79% of workers would choose additional benefits to a pay raise. Therefore, it's important to understand what benefits your employees value most.

What are employee benefits surveys?

Employee benefits surveys are questionnaires sent to employees on an annual basis to gauge which benefits are most important to employees. They ask questions about the quality of specific benefits, how they compare to other companies, and any additional benefits employees would like to see in the future. This can relate to annual leave, health insurance, parental leave, retirement, stock options, free meals, etc.

How employee benefits research can help your company

Benefits play a large role in employee satisfaction with your organisation and employee benefit surveys are an important part of understanding the needs of your employees. Some employees may not be aware of all the benefits you offer, so these surveys also keep your employees up-to-date with the benefits your organisation provides.

Employee satisfaction surveys that include a benefit assessment component provide much-needed information to your organisation. You can compare your organisation with national baseline data through the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ National Compensation Survey (NCS). You can also compare the incidence and detailed provisions of selected employee benefit plans in small private establishments, medium and large private establishments, and state and local governments.

Find out what employees really want with our free survey software

Free Account

What to include in the benefits survey

How do your employee benefits compare with other companies in your industry? You should know where you stand in all benefits areas so you can adapt your policies to meet your employee’s needs and stay relevant among the competition.

Benefits areas

When asking questions about new different benefit areas, it’s helpful to explain how the benefit works so the employee can determine if the benefit would be beneficial to them. For instance, if you’re considering offering a public transportation benefit, explain that which types of transportation it can be used for and how it can benefit employees.

You can also give descriptions of the current benefits you’re offering, just in case employees don’t understand the benefit. Depending on the benefits you currently offer or are considering, you might want to ask about these areas:

  • Health insurance
  • Retirement (both defined benefit and defined contribution components)
  • Stock options and equity
  • Child care resource and referral services
  • Parental leave
    • Maternity leave
    • Paternity leave
  • Food services and snacks
  • Time off
    • Sick time
    • Paid time off
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Learning allowances
  • Other health benefits such as gym reimbursements


It’s important to segment your results into different cohorts, as it will help you understand how certain groups of your company value different benefit types. Keep in mind that you will have a lot of this data in your HCMS already, so avoid asking questions you already have answers to.

  • Age
  • Department
  • Office location
  • Country
  • Gender
  • Full and part-time workers
  • Seniority
  • Parental status


For comparisons with national data, benefits data should also be qualified by establishment and employee characteristics such as:

  • Establishment size
  • Industry group
  • Profit vs. non-profit status
  • Time vs. incentive status

Once you’ve completed your survey, it’s important to analyse the results and see which benefits you need to add or make changes to. The goal is to put your money into benefits that are the most valuable for your employees. Benefits should be evaluated annually so you can understand if the needs of your workforce are changing.

Are you ready to send an employee benefits survey? Our new Qualtrics XM Solution for Benefits and Perks is included with most Qualtrics licenses.

Find out what employees really want with our free survey software