Employees are more satisfied with their jobs now than they have been in the past 10 years, according to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The 2016 study, Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement, reports that 88-percent of U.S. employees reported overall satisfaction with their current job. That is the highest proportion of employees reporting job satisfaction since SHRM began the study in 2002. The study also showed that while employees place value on the pay and benefits, they also place high value on job culture.
When asked what contributed to their overall job satisfaction, 67-percent of survey respondents said “respectful treatment of all employees at all levels” was very important. This is the second year in the row that this factor has been at the top of the list.
In the other top five factors contributing to job satisfaction, pay was in second place, with 63-percent of respondents saying it was important. Benefits ranked third and job security was in fourth place. The fifth aspect employees said was very important to job satisfaction was a tie between opportunities to use skills and abilities, and trust between employees and senior management.
The findings from the survey gave several indications about how employers can structure the workplace to retain quality employees. Merely leveraging pay and compensation as a recruitment or retention tool isn’t enough. Employees want a workplace where they feel respected, valued and included. This means employers need to encourage constant communication and feedback at all levels of the organization. The survey shows this trend has been consistent, even as the importance of wages and benefits has risen. In addition, these priorities tend to be similar across generations. For best results, employees need to consider multiple elements when structuring a recruitment and retention strategy for a total rewards program, says SHRM.