Feeling Safe At Work Becomes More Important

April 29, 2004 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - More than six out of 10 (62%) employees says feeling safe at work is "very important."

Overall, the number of employees who report feeling safe at work is a priority to their job satisfaction has jumped from only 36% in 2002. Women (71%) placed more importance on feeling safe in the workplace than did men (52%), yet both genders said that feeling safe in the workplace is one of the top five aspects of their overall job satisfaction, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and CNNfn’s Job Satisfaction Survey.

“Terrorist warnings in the US and the wars in the Middle East have put employees’ concerns for safety at the forefront,” said Susan Meisinger, SPHR, president and CEO of SHRM. “Employers need to be keyed into what’s important to employees in order to implement practices that will keep valuable employees satisfied and productive in the workplace. It’s a priority for all employers to do all they can to create and maintain a safe workplace.”

Largely, the vast majority of employees continue to report being satisfied with their jobs, with 77% reporting overall job satisfaction, up from 72% reporting satisfaction in October 2003.

Toping the list of components rated “very important” to overall job satisfaction were benefits and compensation, followed by feeling safe in the work environment, job security and flexibility to balance work/life issues. By comparison, the components that were the least important include networking, relationships with co-workers, job-specific training, organization’s commitment to professional development, and work to organization’s business goals.

On the wane was the importance in career development and advancement opportunities compared with the 2002 findings. Career development was important to 51% of employees in 2002 but only 40% in the 2004 survey, while advancement opportunities were important to 52% of employees in 2002 and only 37% in the current survey.

The survey questions were e-mailed to randomly selected SHRM members, yielding 429 responses from human resource professionals, and randomly selected employees in the United States, yielding 604 responses.