For the first time in several years, the number of employees who say they are satisfied with their current job took a big jump, rising from 81% in 2013 to 88% in 2016, according to the Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Report by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The improving economy was one factor in the high level of satisfaction, since employers have been more willing and able to boost salaries, benefits and perks for their workers. Additionally, as the labor market stabilized, job seekers took advantage of new opportunities for positions that best fit their skills and interests.
Most organizations strive for employee satisfaction, but not all attain this goal. That’s why it’s important for human resources professionals to know more about the factors that can increase employee satisfaction, and how it fits into a company’s overall success.
Factors of Workplace Satisfaction
Keeping employees engaged and satisfied takes more than just good pay and benefits. The following list reveals some of the key job satisfaction aspects cited by employees:
- Respect – According to the SHRM report, employees rate respectful treatment of all employees as the most important factor in job satisfaction.
- Trust – Perhaps because of workplace uncertainty in the years following the Great Recession, employees indicated that trust between themselves and senior management was another highly important satisfaction factor.
- Security – If you’ve ever had to go to work each day wondering whether your job is secure, you know it can cause a great deal of anxiety. Organizations can provide a sense of security through honest communication and transparency about the company’s health and long-term viability.
- Healthy Environment – Workplaces that are free from stress, morale issues, harassment and discriminatory practices can create a positive and healthy environment for everyone.
- Career Path – No one wants a dead-end job. Employees are more likely to excel when they can see an established upward path, with the opportunity to earn a higher wage and take on greater responsibilities.
- Pay and Benefits – Good wages aren’t the only reason employees find satisfaction in their jobs, but they typically rank high on the list. Competitive pay generally makes employees feel valued, and gives them less reason to look elsewhere for work.
How Important is Job Satisfaction?
There is little doubt that great employees are an organization’s number one resource. Keeping workers happy helps strengthen a company in many ways, including:
- Lower Turnover – Turnover can be one of the highest costs attributed to the HR department. Retaining workers helps create a better environment, and makes it easier to recruit quality talent and save money. The bottom line: satisfied employees are typically much less likely to leave.
- Higher Productivity – Irrespective of job title and pay grade, employees who report high job satisfaction tend to achieve higher productivity.
- Increased Profits – Keeping employees safe and satisfied can lead to higher sales, lower costs and a stronger bottom line.
- Loyalty – When employees feel the company has their best interests at heart, they often support its mission and work hard to help achieve its objectives. And, they may be more likely to tell their friends, which helps spread goodwill.
Keeping Employees Happy is HR Job #1
It doesn’t take much extra effort to keep employees happy. They want to feel respect and trust, while working in a safe environment, with good pay and opportunities to advance. When your company develops ways to deliver on these important factors, it can satisfy employees – and help build a stronger, more stable and profitable future.