SHRM Annual Survey Lists Top Five 'Very Important' Aspects of Job Satisfaction

For Immediate Release

Jun 24, 2007
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Employees Place value on Compensation and Benefits

(Alexandria, Va., June 24, 2007) – Nearly eight out of 10 employees reported overall satisfaction with their current positions, according to the 2007 Job Satisfaction Survey Report released today by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Compensation/pay, benefits, job security, flexibility to balance work/life issues and communication between employees and senior management were the top five contributors to job satisfaction, according to employees. The top five employee aspects mirror last year’s findings; the main difference was that communication between employees and senior management replaced feeling safe in the work environment as the fifth important aspect.

For the past four years, benefits and compensation/pay have both been rated by employees as the top two aspects most important to their job satisfaction. In 2007, 59% of employees each reported that benefits and compensation/pay were very important to their job satisfaction.

“It should come as no surprise that employees remain concerned about their compensation,” said Susan R. Meisinger, President and CEO of SHRM. “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 also measured aspects of employee job satisfaction predicted by human resource (HR) professionals. The top five aspects were as follows: 1) relationship with immediate supervisor; 2) compensation/pay; 3) management recognition of employee job performance; 4) benefits; and 5) communication between employees and senior management.

Other findings of the report include:

  • Male employees listed health care/medical benefits as the top aspect, while female employees identified feeling safe in the work environment as the most important factor to their job satisfaction. In 2006, compensation/pay topped the list for both males and females.
  • Employees from medium and large staff-sized organizations selected compensation/pay and health care/medical benefits, respectively, as most important, while employees from small organizations identified feeling safe in the work environment.
  • Compensation/pay was indicated as the most important job satisfaction factor by employees aged 35 and younger and 36 to 55. Employees aged 56 and older indicated that feeling safe in their work environment was their top priority.
  • Career advancement opportunities, job specific training and networking were not strongly connected to employees’ overall job satisfaction. Contribution of work to organization’s business goals, variety of work and networking were perceived as the least important factors to employee job satisfaction according to HR professionals.
  • Similar to previous survey years, HR professionals perceived many aspects to be more important to employees than employees themselves did . HR professionals typically place a higher priority on relational aspects of a job, such as how an employee works with his or her immediate supervisor.

The results are part of an annual survey that SHRM has conducted since 2002 to determine factors that contribute to satisfaction in the workplace from the perspectives of both employees and HR professionals. The HR professional sample included 3,000 randomly selected SHRM members, and overall, 713 HR professionals responded. A sample of 604 employees was randomly selected from an outside survey research organization’s Web-enabled employee panel. The employee panel was based on a random sample of the entire U.S. telephone population. The findings were compared with previous surveys in the series to examine trends and shifts over the past five years. Analyses by HR professionals’ and employees’ organization staff size and industry were presented and discussed. Additional analyses by employee job tenure, gender and age were also conducted.

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