Best Employee Surveys

How Pay and Benefits Impact Employee Engagement

How pay and benefits impact employee engagementIn order to truly understand what makes a company a great place to work, it's important to explore, evaluate, and improve many different aspects of the employee experience. Our Employee Engagement and Satisfaction Survey measures eight distinct areas of employee experience, including how satisfied employees are with their pay and benefits. It’s been several decades since the workplace experts started to declare that what someone is paid is not as important to them as the recognition they receive. The common theme was “They’ll get used to a raise, but a ‘thank you!’ and constant displays of appreciation will be remembered forever.” We do believe this to be true, but it should not be seen as an either/or proposition. 


Schedule time to talk to an employee engagement survey expert.


Discovering that recognition is a real motivator launched the exploration to find other factors that may be important to the employee experience as well. Today, knowing and leveraging those ideas will create a more engaged workforce for sure. All that being said, the “pay and benefits” pendulum has swung back, at least a little bit, in the analysis of what makes a difference. When we look at the top 10 drivers of employee engagement, employees still put compensation and benefits satisfaction on that list. This is certainly a more realistic approach which does not completely dismiss the idea that what someone makes, or thinks they should be making, matters.

As a result, one of our core focus areas looks at the satisfaction with pay and the various benefits. In this section of the employee evaluation we ask the employees to respond to the following statements (Disagree Strongly, Disagree Somewhat, Neutral, Agree Somewhat, Agree strongly, N/A):

The Employee Engagement and Satisfaction Survey

Our Employee Engagement and Satisfaction Survey is comprised of 78 questions, rated on a 5-point Likert scale, that measure attitudes in eight core focus areas. Additionally, there are two open-ended questions at the end of the survey in which respondents can share what they love about working for their employer as well as what they’d like to see improve. 

We surveyed nearly one million employees in the last 12 months and we asked them each a standard set of eleven questions to measure role satisfaction at their roughly 6,000 respective organizations. Over the past 15 years, we've learned that when employees agree with the statements below, they are satisfied with their current pay and benefits. 


1. My pay is fair for the work I perform

As Brian Hodges emphasizes in his blog post, 'Tis the Season for Salary Increases: Part 1, having a deep understanding of what the job roles within your organization truly encompass, is crucial to assessing fair and adequate compensation. Regular reevaluation of these roles helps to keep pay in alignment with the work expected as well. 

2. Overall, I’m satisfied with this organization’s benefits package

According to the 2017 Employee Benefits Report published by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), to remain competitive in the talent marketplace, one-third of organizations increased their overall benefits offerings in the last 12 months. Employers understand that benefits are increasingly important to employees in a strong job market.

3. Specifically, I’m satisfied with the_______.

In addition to asking for feedback about pay and benefits in general, we drill down on specific benefits to best understand how employees feel about these offerings:

  • Amount of vacation (or Paid Time Off)
  • Sick leave policy
  • Amount of health care paid for
  • Dental benefits
  • Vision care benefits
  • Retirement plan benefits
  • Life insurance benefits
  • Disability benefits
  • Tuition reimbursement benefits


Learn More

It's powerful to know what your employees think! You can identify problems like poor supervision, communication breakdown, and mounting plans to leave your company before expensive turnover affects your business.

When you’re ready to learn more about employee survey timelines, process and pricing, schedule a time to meet with one of our employer coaches. We'll get all your questions answered.

Tags: Employee Retention, Employee Surveys, Employee Engagement, Employee Satisfaction, Survey Rationale

Best Employee Surveys
With more than 15 years of experience and collected data, Best Employee Surveys administers recognized survey tools and delivers comprehensive reporting you can trust. Our customizable options ensure that your organization is capturing data in the most effective way for your reporting needs. Because we survey nearly 6,000 companies and their 1,000,000+ employees each year, you can feel good about using our extensive database as a comparative benchmark for your results; it is of the highest quality and is also used to support trending analyses and ongoing research performed by a number of scholars, authors, and presenters worldwide. Visit for more information.
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