UM system to offer benefits survey for employees

Thursday, January 21, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CST

COLUMBIA — University of Missouri System employees will soon be asked to analyze their current pay and benefits package.  

System President Gary Forsee wrote in an e-mail to employees that a confidential survey will be conducted online at the end of January to determine what faculty and staff value about their compensation and benefits.

Betsy Rodriguez, system vice president for human resources, said it has been at least 10 years since a survey of this kind has been conducted by the university. The survey questions will cover current benefit areas and are designed to allow employees an "avenue for input on the value of various benefits."

Forsee wrote that the results of the survey will be used to assess the value of benefits and determine which features have the most appeal. Different pay and benefit combinations will also be analyzed.

"For example, some employees may prefer that the university spend more on medical insurance and less on life insurance. Other employees may prefer that benefit dollars are directed toward salary," Rodriguez said.

Hewitt Associates, a human resources consulting firm, will be conducting and analyzing the results of the "Pay and Benefits Preference Survey."

"We have used them for a number of years in related surveys," Rodriguez said. "This survey will complement other Hewitt work for us."

Hewitt Associates conducts a benefits index survey which compares the university's benefits values to other universities. The upcoming employee survey will compare employee perceptions of value to the actual value of the benefit programs.

Although all employees are encouraged to respond to the survey, the expected response rate is approximately 45 percent, according to Rodriguez. The cost of the survey is $100,000 and will be coming from employee benefits. Overall, the university spends $300 million a year on employee benefits.

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Ellis Smith January 21, 2010 | 11:31 a.m.

"We are just here to help you."

Actually, the stated purpose of making the survey is not at all a bad one - whether the survey is being conducted in good or poor financial times. (When was the last year financial times were considered to be good?)

So why are they just now proposing to do it?

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