New Jellyvision Survey: Employees Have an Increasingly Negative Impression of their Employers

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Over the last few months, we’ve released a Jellyvision report that reveals updated insights on how employees are feeling about their personal finances and benefits in light of COVID-19.

As the economy continues to evolve and the global pandemic remains a part of our daily life, we were curious to find out what’s changed since last month. Are employees more or less worried about the current state of the world? How do factors like age, location, and income play a role in their concerns?

We surveyed a new group of 1,000 employees to find out. We’re seeing some positive improvements, but there are also some areas of concern for employers. Here’s what we learned:

The good news: employee financial concerns are decreasing

Since last month, employees overall were 8% less likely to be concerned about their current financial situation.

High- and low-income employees

Even better, there were big leaps in confidence on both ends of the income spectrum. Employees with a salary under $35,000 and over $200,000 changed the most drastically from last month.

I’m worried about my current financial situation

Urban employees

Urban employees saw some of the most positive improvements in financial worries since last month as well. They were 13% less likely to be concerned about furloughs or layoffs, and 16% less likely to be worried about their own finances.

I’m worried about my current financial situation

As businesses slowly reopen and furloughed employees are brought back to work, there seems to be less concern across the board. But we’re hardly in the clear—as the economy continues to fluctuate and the possibility of another shelter-in-place order looms, it’ll be important to keep an eye on these employee worries.

The bad news: employees have an increasingly negative impression of their employer

While employees might not be as concerned about their own bank accounts this month, they’re holding their employers to high standards.

Compared to last month, employees were 5% less likely to have a positive impression of their employer. And when it comes to physical, financial and mental health, they want your support, and they feel like they’re not getting it. In June, employees were…

  • 3% more likely to say their employers aren’t doing a good job supporting their physical health
  • 6% more likely to say their employers aren’t doing a good job supporting their financial health
  • 5% more likely to say their employers aren’t doing a good job supporting their mental health

Rural employees

Since last month, rural employees are 10% more likely to say they’ll be paying more attention to their benefits this year. And they’re also…

  • 9% more likely to say their employers aren’t doing a good job supporting their physical health
  • 8% more likely to say their employers aren’t doing a good job supporting their financial health
  • 12% more likely to say their employers aren’t doing a good job supporting their mental health

As COVID-19 continues to spread and smaller towns become increasingly affected, rural employees are feeling the burden—and aren’t getting the support they need from their employers to cope with the current moment.

Government and education employees

Employees who work in government and education took the biggest dip from last month when it comes to feeling like their employers support their financial health. Uncertainty around schools reopening may play a role in how educators are feeling, and government employees continue to be one of the most concerned groups month-over-month.

My employer is doing a good job of supporting my financial health

What this means for you: get open enrollment right

Your employees aren’t feeling as good about you as they did last month, and they’re looking for more support in navigating the many challenges we’re facing thanks to COVID-19.

The good news? Open enrollment is right around the corner, and it’s a golden opportunity to remind employees of the resources available to them, help them plan for their future, and make smarter health and financial decisions. How?

1.   Reframe open enrollment as a financial check-in

Your employees are actually paying attention to their benefits right now. Instead of seeing open enrollment as a chore, and just auto-renewing in the same old plans they choose every year, they’re more likely to spend some extra time making decisions that will help them save more.

So this year is an opportunity for you to position open enrollment as a personal check-up. It’s like going to see a financial advisor, or mapping out a personal budget. Remind employees that open enrollment is a good time to think about the year ahead, plan for what’s coming, and choose plans that will help them save more throughout the year.

2.   Show them the cold, hard numbers

It’s the advice your English teacher always gave you—show, don’t tell. It’s one thing to tell employees that they could save more money by enrolling in one plan over another, but it’s a very different thing to show them exactly how much they could put back in their pocket this year.

We know that HSAs and retirement accounts help your employees save more on their taxes. So show them—with easily understandable graphs and visuals—if you invest $5,000 in your HSA, you’ll add almost $1,000 back to your paycheck every year.

How to save more money on healthcare

3.   Highlight your mental health benefits

Like you, your employees are stressed right now. Employees are facing countless added stressors this year—from financial insecurity to health risks to dealing with family dynamics while everyone’s sheltered at home. So if mental health services and EAPs are a part of your benefits package, making them a central focus during open enrollment will do you some big favors in terms of employee satisfaction and benefits engagement.

And even if you don’t have a dedicated mental health benefit, be proactive about directing employees to any resources you do have—like free yoga and meditation, relaxation apps and opportunities to connect with coworkers through support groups or virtual social events.

Bonus Resource

Download the full COVID report


This survey was conducted in June 2020 by Maru/Blue on behalf of Jellyvision. It surveyed 1,000 US adults (ages 18+) who currently get their medical insurance through their employer as an employee benefit. Both fully-employed and furloughed employees were included in this research.

Respondents were asked about their feelings on their current financial situation, their employer, and their benefits. Other information, such as basic demographic data and employer industry, was also collected.

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