Posts Tagged ‘survey’

Most Bizarre Excuses for Calling in Sick Revealed in CareerBuilder Survey

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

Whether it’s to take a quick vacation, lay in bed all day, or run errands around town, it appears more workers are calling in to take a sick day this year than last. A new survey of more than 2,300 HR managers and 3,300 employees, conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Career Builder, has found that 38 percent of employees have called in sick when they actually feel well, up from last year’s 28 percent.

So what was the excuse as to why these employees couldn’t ‘make it into work’? Most of them run the gamut of normalcy, with 27 percent citing a doctor’s appointment as their reason, 21 percent saying they needed to catch up on sleep, and 12 percent blaming bad weather.

A few excuses, however, stand out among the rest.

When asked what the strangest excuse they had heard from employees calling in sick, managers listed the following unlikely tales:

  • Employee claimed his grandmother poisoned him with ham
  • Employee was stuck under the bed
  • Employee said the universe was telling him to take the day off
  • Employee poked herself in the eye while combing her hair
  • Employee was going to the beach because her doctor said she needed more Vitamin D

These employees’ stories certainly raise a few eyebrows, including those of their managers. Of the managers polled in the study, 33 percent admitted to checking in to see if an employee was telling the truth after calling in sick. So how did they investigate these tall tales? By going online.

Social media leaves trails of bread crumbs that are quite easy to track, and it appears employers are making use of it to ensure their employees are being honest.

According to the survey, 33 percent of managers have caught their employees lying about being sick by checking their social media accounts. Of that share of managers, 26 percent fired the employee for their dishonesty.

Whether it’s finding a photo on Facebook of an employee lounging on the beach while he claimed to be at the doctor’s office getting medicine for a bad cold, or tracking down an employee’s Tweets about the rock music festival she attended the day she maintains to have had a pounding migraine, social media is making it easier than ever to ensure employees are making honest use of their sick days.

The study found that 22 percent of employers have fired an employee this year for calling in sick with a fake excuse, up from last year’s 18 percent.

While it is important to respect your employees’ privacy, it’s also imperative that employers can determine whether their employees are being honest with them. Managers shouldn’t be investigating their employees’ every move, but would ultimately be doing themselves and their business a disservice by letting some of these more bizarre excuses for skipping out on work slip out from under their radar.

To read more about the survey, click here. For any further questions about what steps your business can take to protect itself from possible employee dishonesty regarding sick days, please give our Advice and Resolution Team a call at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Top 5 Things Employees Enjoy Most about Working for Their Company

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

In today’s video blog, Sean Walsh, CAI’s Survey Support Specialist, shares the top five reasons employees say they enjoy working for their employers.

He starts by asking, “Have you ever wondered what your employees think of your organization?”

Finding out whether your employees love or hate their workplace can be discovered by measuring employee attitudes through an Employee Opinion Survey (EOS). Sean says they are one of the tried-and-true methods of HR.

He shares that in 2014, over 3000 employees completed an employee opinion survey with CAI. In the video, Sean reveals the top five things that employees enjoy most about working for their current employers and why they enjoy these five workplace aspects:

 5) Benefits 

 4) Management

 3) Schedule / Hours 

 2) Job Responsibilities / My Work 

 1) Fellow Employees / Enjoy the People 

If you have any questions regarding Employee Opinion Surveys, or possibly conducting an Employee Opinion Survey yourself, please feel free to reach out to Sean at


N.C. Employers Receive Local Data with the 2012/2013 Healthcare Benefits and Cost Survey

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

North Carolina businesses that want to know how their benefits plan design and premium costs match up to other area businesses can quell their curiosity with the N.C. Healthcare Benefits & Cost Survey.  The survey, which is co-developed by CAI and HCW, shares local benchmark data from N.C. employers. Unlike most benchmark surveys that focus on national data, this annual survey offers N.C. employers specific information for managing employee benefits from their local peers.

Data Pool

Nearly 700 organizations from across the state provided data for the survey. More than half of the companies that participated are located in the Research Triangle Region and are small to mid-size employers with less than 1,000 employees nationwide. To capture a good picture of what benefits look like at N.C. companies, the survey includes data from 15 different industries. The top 5 industries represented include:industry table

1)      Professional/Scientific/Technical

2)      Durable Manufacturing

3)      Healthcare and Social Assistance

4)      Finance/Insurance/Real Estate/Rental/Leasing

5)      Non-Durable Manufacturing


Key Findings

Survey participants gave plan data for their traditional plan with the highest enrollment or consumer driven health plan with the highest enrollment, or both if applicable. Approximately 72 percent of employers gave data for a traditional plan, 11 percent gave data for a consumer driven plan and 17 percent provided data for both types of plans. Data revealed that most employers have a fully insured plan, while 26 percent have self-funded plans.

Review the key insights for traditional and consumer driven plans below:

Traditional Plans

Traditonal Data


  •  21 percent of employers with traditional plans offer a non-rollover Health Reimbursement Account (HRA)
  • 80 percent of employers with traditional plans have a PPO plan ,16 percent have a POS plan and 2 percent have an HMO plan
  • Average health plan premium for single coverage is $464.39 per month
  • Average health plan premium for family coverage is $1,335.03 per month
  • Employer contributes to 83 percent of single-coverage premium costs
  • Employer contributes to 55 percent of family-coverage premium costs

Consumer Driven Health Plans (CDHP)

CDHP plans


  • 78 percent of employers with a CDHP offer a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA)
  • 22 percent of employers with a CDHP have a rollover HRA
  • Average health plan premium for single coverage is $401.03 per month
  • Average health plan premium for family coverage is $1,145 per month
  • Employer contributes to 82 percent of single-coverage premium costs
  • Employer contributes to 57 percent of family-coverage premium costs

Please find more information on N.C. healthcare benefits and costs from the local survey here.

Three Reasons to Benchmark your Employee Benefits Plan

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

 Hill, Chesson & WoodyThe post below is a guest blog from Chris Tutino who serves as Communications Specialist for CAI’s employee benefits partner Hill, Chesson & Woody.

With January 1 annual renewals right around the corner for a majority of employers, how do you know if your employee benefits plan is in alignment with other plans around the country and state? What about within your company’s industry and size?

Early this year, we worked with our partner, CAI, on the 6th Annual N.C. Healthcare Benefits and Cost Survey. This benchmarking report is the only one of its kind in North Carolina and one of only a handful in the country. Typically, when a benefits plan is benchmarked, it is done against nationwide data. While this is better than not benchmarking at all, a statewide comparison provides a better data set and a more relevant look at who your organization is competing against.

There are a number of ways benchmarking benefits your company, one of which is the invaluable information gained by human resources managers and CFOs. And, in the wake of healthcare reform, experts agree that benchmarking has received a higher level of interest, albeit for different reasons.

Another reason to benchmark is because what used to be a way to look over the shoulder of your competition has turned into a means to determine whether to offer health benefits at all. And, if your organization does decide to offer benefits or is forced to do so because of healthcare reform, benchmarking allows you to see how your costs fall in alignment with like-sized companies in similar industries.

Lastly, employers who navigate healthcare reform effectively will emerge with plans that benchmark where they need to be in order to remain competitive, manage expenses in innovative ways, and do so with the confidence that options do exist should the plan ever become cost-prohibitive.

Check out the executive summary from the 2010/2011 NC Healthcare Benefits & Cost benchmarking survey to see how your company stacks up on some key metrics, today.

Top 10 Reasons Employees Stay with an Organization

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

If employee retention is a focus area for your organization, you may want to consider asking this question during the discussion phase when giving your next employee performance review:

“What would it take for you to leave?”

In fact, you may want to do it sooner.  You might be very surprised at the responses you hear. Many of your employees will not be able to think of a reason they would leave, which says a lot about your organization.  And those that do respond with reasons they would consider leaving your company provide valuable insight into how you can make improvements to retain your most valued employees.

Why wait until an exit interview to determine why an employee decided to leave? Engage your good performers when the opportunity presents itself and find out what might cause them to leave before they really do leave.

Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans surveyed more than 17,000 employees with various organizations for their book Love ‘em or Lose ‘em about reasons why employees stay with an organization. Below are the top 10 reasons from their survey:

  1. Exciting work and challenge
  2. Career growth, learning and development
  3. Working with great people
  4. Fair pay
  5. Supportive management/good boss
  6. Being recognized, valued and respected
  7. Benefits
  8. Meaningful work and making a difference
  9. Pride in the organization, its mission and its products
  10. Great work environment and culture

It’s often assumed that pay is the chief lure for an employee to jump ship.  However, that is clearly not the case.  Even if you’ve had to freeze salaries over the past couple of years, if you can provide your employees with challenging work, give them the opportunity to learn and grow, and have created a work environment of support and camaraderie, you have a very good chance of being able to retain your top performers.

But, of course, the best way to find out where you stand is by asking your employees directly.  Take some time to find out from your employees why they stay with your organization and, more importantly, why they might leave. If you have questions regarding employee retention, please contact a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: Shuttleworth Foundation

N.C. Employers: How Do Your Healthcare Benefits and Costs Measure Up?

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

On Nov. 15 CAI opened up our 6th annual N.C. Healthcare Benefits and Cost Survey.  Designed with our employee benefits partner, Hill, Chesson and Woody, this survey provides employers with the information that is critical to managing their employee benefits plan, allowing for a comparison of plan designs, premiums and cost-sharing arrangements with that of other N.C. companies.

The geographic focus is one of the things that makes this survey exceptional. It has more N.C.-based data than any other employer survey out there.  The 2009/2010 survey included data from 516 N.C. employers, and we anticipate that the 2010/2011 version will include more than 600 participants.

If you make decisions or are charged with gathering information about employee benefits for your organization, I highly encourage you to participate in this survey.  All survey participants will receive a free electronic report (early March 2011) and an invitation to an in-depth debriefing of the results.  The report and debriefing will help you and your organization:

  • Compare and benchmark your benefits plan with other N.C. employers with similar numbers of employees and/or by industry
  • Get access to the data you need to develop an effective employee benefits strategy
  • Learn how other employers are reacting to healthcare reform
  • Stay competitive in the labor market

Both traditional and consumer-driven health plans are covered in the survey.  Data is further filtered by number of eligible employees, industry and funding arrangement.  In addition to the yearly numbers, the survey addresses longer term trends and competitive practices within the market.

To take advantage of this opportunity to get critical information that will help you manage your employee benefits plan, please go to  For additional information or survey assistance, please contact our survey team at  For one healthcare plan the survey requires as little as 20 minutes to complete.  The survey will close on Dec. 17.

Photo Source: CarbonNYC

An Analysis of Our Social Media in the Workplace Survey

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

From July 29 through Aug. 29, 2010, CAI conducted a survey on “Social Media in the Workplace” with 227 member organizations. The results have been compiled and include some of the following observations:

  • Social media policies in member organizations vary widely. While 24 percent have formal policies in place, 33 percent have only guidelines and 43 percent have none.
  • Depending on job role, 41 percent allow employees to access social media during work hours. Fewer (25 percent) allow access regardless of job role, while 35 percent do not allow access at all.

  • More than a third of respondents reported obstacles to using social media in their organizations. They included lack of policies or guidelines in place (47 percent); impact on employee productivity (46 percent); concern about legal issues (46 percent); and lack of knowledge in using tools (44 percent).
  • Nearly half of all organizations surveyed use social media for networking/relationship building and branding/marketing. Another 20 percent are considering using social media for these initiatives.
  • Some 30 to 41 percent use social media for external communication, reaching new customers, recruiting and sales.
  • A large majority (84 percent) of organizations believe their use of social media for business purposes will increase over the next one to three years.

The results indicate that while most respondents believe social media will be part of the business world in the near future, if not already in their current activities, they are not necessarily setting any guidelines or policy on its use. Legal experts are warning that an absence of such rules can result in  situations of employees using social media that put employers at risk, including:

  • Revealing confidential or proprietary information via social media that can be viewed by millions.
  • Making discriminatory or other critical comments regarding the company, its employees and/or its clients.
  • Promoting the company’s services or products without disclosing the employment relationship.

CAI can provide your company with guidelines in developing a social media policy that satisfies any goals you and your organization have regarding using social media effectively for recruiting, sales and/or networking while providing you with adequate legal coverage for employees who abuse the privilege.

For information on how to create this policy or to discuss related issues to this item, including more survey results, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel team at (919) 878-9222 or (336) 668-7746.

Photo Source: Liako