A test of the perception of knowledge of company benefits
Lindsten, Susan M.
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The purpose of this study is to explore the need for improving communications concerning employee benefits between public relations personnel and the employees of a Chicago-area food brokerage. The brokerage experienced what was considered to be a smooth and successful merger in July 1979. Since then, company administrators have planned to update a booklet on company benefits. This study seeks to determine if the employees are informed of their company benefits and to show the importance of updating benefit communications. Adequate communications concerning benefits are essential to the success of a company benefit program. A questionnaire was distributed to the total population of 70 full time employees during regular office hours that coincided with a regularly scheduled meeting of the company's 38 sales representatives. The questionnaire was completed by the employees and returned. The questionnaire, which was used to investigate knowledge of benefits as perceived by the employees themselves and to provide characteristics of the population, was designed to test 15 hypotheses. Responses to the 13 questions on employee benefits and the six questions on demographics were used to present a descriptive analysis using frequencies and percentages. Results showed the importance of updating the old benefit booklet used before the merger, since employees hired after the merger perceive themselves to be much less knowledgeable than other employees. The low ratings of perceived knowledge of benefits by the employees hired after the merger also indicate a need for the development of a new-employee orientation program. Results also showed that retirement benefits, maternity benefits, and life insurance need further emphasis and clarification in continued benefit communications. Employees also expressed a desire to have the benefits and policies of the company printed in separate publications. It was also established that employees are using their medical coverage, which could be attributed, in part, to the perceived ease of filing medical insurance claims with this company. The study showed that managers perceive themselves to be more knowledgeable concerning benefits than other employees. Female employees were shown to be much less knowledgeable than male employees. Employees rated their perceived knowledge of benefits as average or above average. Employees also rated their benefit program as average or above average. A relationship was found to exist between ratings given perceived knowledge of benefits and the ratings given the company benefit program.