What drives job satisfaction the most? SHRM’s survey on job satisfaction has the insights you need to improve the employee experience.

Believe it or not, respect drives job satisfaction more than compensation. Results from the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM)’s survey show that it was close, but respect beat salary by 4 percent points when it comes to  job satisfaction.

Alarmingly, only 38 percent of employees are satisfied with how their company treats employees. To improve employee relations SHRM recommends a number of training programs.

Although respondents rated respectful treatment higher than compensation, pay is the main reason employees will stay with or leave an organization. Only 26 percent of workers are very satisfied with their earnings, but the 9 percent drop in employees who received bonuses might have something to do with that. SHRM suggests clearly communicating compensation to avoid misunderstandings that could affect employees attitudes towards pay.

Other Job Satisfaction Drivers and SHRM’s Tips to Improve Them

Trust between employees and senior management was equally as important to employees as pay, but just 33 percent of employees are very satisfied with their level of trust towards the organizations they work for. SHRM’s solution to building trust is having an open door policy and practices that allow employees to express themselves freely.

Opportunities to use skills and abilities at work is very important for 56 percent of employees surveyed. There’s only a 12 percent gap between importance and satisfaction, the smallest of all job satisfaction contributors surveyed. It’s an important factor for retention as challenging work is more likely to keep employees versus cause them to leave. SHRM’s tips for higher satisfaction with job opportunities are for employers to conduct a job analysis and identify and train employees with potential.  

Job security is another major contributor to employee satisfaction. It’s a tricky one, because it’s all about perception and emotional intelligence. An employee could be completely secure in their position, but an emotional reaction might make them feel insecure. SHRM’s report advises, “HR professionals may begin with helping employees acknowledge their feelings and evaluate whether their response is appropriate for the situation,” in order to help them build emotional intelligence and have a more accurate understanding of their job security.

SHRM’s survey results give employers an overview of how their employees might be feeling and offers reasonable solutions to improve job satisfaction. Employees who are satisfied with their jobs are more likely to be productive, stay with the company and refer quality hires. Given the current labor market, what more can you ask for?

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