According to the survey report, both factors were ranked as “very important” by 59% of survey respondents. Specific benefits that ranked as most important among employees surveyed were health care benefits (60%), paid time off (55%), and retirement benefits (56%).
Other top contributors to employee job satisfaction were job security (53%), flexibility to balance work/life issues (52%), and communication between employees and senior management (51%), the data showed.
Benefits and compensation/pay have been rated by employees as the top two aspects most important to job satisfaction for the past four years of SHRM’s survey. “It should come as no surprise that employees remain concerned about their compensation,” said Susan R. Meisinger, President and CEO of SHRM, in a press release. “With the rising costs of health care premiums and prescription drugs, employees know they need to put more of their money toward covering health care and retirement.”
The survey found differences in what employees of different genders, ages, and at different-sized employers valued for job satisfaction. While male employees ranked health care/medical benefits as the top aspect for job satisfaction, female employees ranked feeling safe in the work environment as number one. In 2006, compensation/pay topped the list for both males and females.
Employees from large staff-sized organizations valued health care/medical benefits the most for job satisfaction, employees at medium staff-sized organizations selected compensation/pay as the top factor, and employees from small organizations chose feeling safe in the work environment.
For both the 35 and younger age group and the 36 to 55 age group, compensation/pay was indicated as the most important job satisfaction factor by employees. Employees age 56 and older ranked feeling safe in the work environment as their top factor.
As in other survey years, SHRM found that HR Professionals had different views of what is important for employees for job satisfaction. The top five factors as ranked by HR Professionals surveyed were relationship with immediate supervisor; compensation/pay; management recognition of employee job performance; benefits; and communication between employees and senior management.
The survey results were based on responses from 713 HR professionals from a random sample of SHRM members, and telephone interviews with 604 employees randomly selected from an outside survey research organization’s Web-enabled employee panel. The full survey report can be accessed by SHRM members at www.shrm.org/surveys .