Survey Uncovers What Keeps
Employees Satisfied

by The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

Nearly eight out of every ten employees are satisfied with their jobs and say benefits, compensation, and work/life balance are the most important factors to their overall job satisfaction, according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s Job Satisfaction Survey released recently.

Overall, Job Satisfaction Remains High

Nearly eight out of every ten employees are satisfied with their jobs and say benefits, compensation, and work/life balance are the most important factors to their overall job satisfaction, according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) Job Satisfaction Survey released recently.

“For organizations to be successful at competing for new talent and retaining employees, they have to know what workers want, what keeps them happy, and what makes them stay,” said Susan R. Meisinger, SPHR, president and CEO of SHRM. “Addressing the essentials, including fair compensation, valuable benefits, and the ability to balance work and life are critical components of an organization’s overall retention strategy.”

SHRM has conducted a series of job satisfaction surveys to discover what is important to employees. The survey questions were e-mailed to randomly selected SHRM members, yielding 505 responses from human resource professionals, and 600 randomly selected U.S. employees. The human resource professionals reported their perceptions of employee satisfaction while the employee sample reported how satisfied they were with their work. The findings are compared with previous surveys in the series to examine trends and shifts over the past three years.

Women and workers younger than 35 report work/life balance as the most important component to their overall job satisfaction. Men say that work/life balance is the fourth most important component to their overall job satisfaction and workers 56 years old or older do not rate work/life balance as one of their five most important components to their overall job satisfaction.



Changing demographic trends, a possible labor shortage, and retiring Baby Boomers makes addressing the needs of younger workers increasingly important. This group of workers will need to fill the knowledge and skills gaps in the near future. Younger workers value work and life balance more than the generations before them and will likely join organizations that best meet their needs. Businesses that know how to create an organizational culture that accommodates the needs of their targeted workforce will have the advantage in the competition for talent.

Some factors of job satisfaction are universal and consistent. Both employees and HR professionals note compensation and benefits are important to employee job satisfaction. However, HR professionals say that there are more important factors that contribute to job satisfaction, such as relationships with immediate supervisors, management recognition of employee job performance, and communication between employees and senior management. These factors have more to do with the organizational culture and working conditions in the company. Although employees did not rate these items high on their list, HR professionals know that when there are problems in these areas, employees note these factors as reasons for leaving.


The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Visit SHRM Online at www.shrm.org

 
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