Upcoming survey to assess employee preferences regarding benefits programs

November 20, 2018

UW–Madison faculty and staff will have an opportunity to weigh in on employee benefits as part of the Title and Total Compensation Project. On Nov. 26, UW­–Madison will issue a survey to employees that will solicit feedback on employee benefits programs, including satisfaction levels with the current offerings and ideas for future enhancements.

The employee benefits preferences survey, which is being conducted in partnership with UW System, is designed to provide insights about what employees value in benefits programs. The survey results will help shape UW–Madison’s benefits offerings in the future. There is no intent to reduce or eliminate benefits.

Survey process ensures confidentiality and accessibility

The survey is being administered by Mercer Consulting, an independent human resources consulting firm with expertise in administering benefits surveys.  To ensure confidentiality, all survey responses will go directly to Mercer for compilation and analysis. Survey results will be provided to UW–Madison in compiled form only; survey responses will not be connected to individual names.

The survey will be administered securely online and should take approximately 15–20 minutes to complete. The survey will be open Nov. 26 through Dec. 14, although employees are encouraged to complete the survey as soon as possible.

Benefits-eligible employees recently received an email from Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Laurent Heller advising them to watch for an email with a personalized link to the survey. The email subject line will read “UW Employee Benefits Preference Survey” and the email will be from universityofwisconsin@mercer.com. Survey responses go directly to Mercer’s server.

Schools, colleges and divisions have identified employees who require paper surveys because they lack computer access or would be more comfortable responding to the survey in a language other than English. Group sessions will be held in English, Spanish, Tibetan, Nepalese, Hmong and Chinese for employees who need special accommodations or assistance completing the survey. These efforts will help ensure that everyone has an opportunity to participate in the survey.

“Broad participation in the benefits preferences survey is vital to the success of this project,” says Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Laurent Heller. “We have a large and diverse workforce here at UW–Madison. It is not enough to hear from some employees and not others. We need to hear everyone’s voice, so that we can enhance our benefits offerings in a manner that truly responds to employee needs and wants.”

Paving the way for future enhancements

Survey results will be used to develop a long-term benefits strategy for UW–Madison. This may result in enhancements that respond to employee needs and wants in new ways. For example, funding may be reallocated to benefits that align more closely with employee preferences than the benefits programs offered today.

“One of our strategic priorities is to be able to attract and retain talented employees,” Heller says. “Benefits are an important part of an employee’s total compensation package, and this survey will help us move toward a compensation package that is competitive relative to our peers and market medians.”

The Title and Total Compensation Project is a two-year redesign of job title and compensation structures being conducted by UW–Madison and the University of Wisconsin System. The project will result in relevant and market-informed job titles and total compensation packages, including benefits.

For more information, visit the Title and Total Compensation Project website. Questions about the benefits preferences survey can be directed to the human resources contact in an employee’s school, college or division, or to the Title and Total Compensation Project.