Employees more Satisfied than Employers Think

June 26, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The 2006 Job Satisfaction Survey released by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that 80% of employees reported overall satisfaction with their current jobs.

According to the report, four-in-ten employees reported they were “very satisfied” with their current positions. Only 16% of HR professionals said they believed employees were very satisfied.

The top five “very important” aspects of job satisfaction, according to employees surveyed, were:

  • compensation, 70%,
  • benefits, 66%,
  • job security, 64%,
  • work/life balance, 58%, and
  • feeling safe in the work environment, 57%.

The findings were very similar to the 2005 survey in which benefits topped the list rather than compensation.

HR professionals had predicted a very different ranking of contributing factors to job satisfaction including relationship with immediate supervisor, management recognition of employee job performance, benefits, communication between employees and senior management, and compensation.

An analysis using employee organization size revealed that for employees in small organizations job security was the most important factor to their job satisfaction, while employees at medium and large organizations placed more value on benefits and compensation, respectively.

In 2006, compensation was the most important contributor to job satisfaction for both males and females, compared to 2005 results where work/life balance topped the list for females.

Likewise, compensation was indicated as the most important job satisfaction factor for employees aged 35 and younger and 36 to 55. Employees aged 56 and older, however, indicated that feeling safe in their work environment was their top priority.

There were no differences in overall job satisfaction by employee organization size, industry or job tenure, though employees aged 56 and older indicated that they were more satisfied with their jobs than any other age group.

The 2006 Job Satisfaction Survey can be viewed by members on SHRM’s Web site at www.shrm.org .