Get access to the exclusive HR Resources you need to succeed in 2018.
Sign up for free email newsletters and get more SHRM content delivered to your inbox.
Is your employee handbook keeping up with the changing world of work? With SHRM's Employee Handbook Builder get peace of mind that your handbook is up-to-date.
Build competencies, establish credibility and advance your career—while earning PDCs—at SHRM Seminars in 14 cities across the U.S. this fall.
Gain the skills you need to rise to the next level in your career. Jon us at SHRM's Leadership Development Forum, October 2-3 in Boston.
Members may download one copy of our sample forms and templates for your personal use within your organization. Please note that all such forms and policies should be reviewed by your legal counsel for compliance with applicable law, and should be modified to suit your organization’s culture, industry, and practices. Neither members nor non-members may reproduce such samples in any other way (e.g., to republish in a book or use for a commercial purpose) without SHRM’s permission. To request permission for specific items, click on the “reuse permissions” button on the page where you find the item.
Job Satisfaction Wanes, but SHRM Survey Shows Majority of U.S. Employees Satisfied
Ability to use skills topples job security as biggest factor influencing how happy people are in their work
ALEXANDRIA, Va., Oct. 3, 2012 — Eighty-one percent of U.S. employees are satisfied overall with their current job, according to the
2012 Job Satisfaction and Engagement Research Report released today by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
But fewer than four out of 10 employees report being very satisfied with the elements that have the greatest impact on how they feel about work — opportunities to use skills and abilities; job security; compensation and pay; communication with senior management; and relationship with immediate supervisor.
In the 10 years that SHRM has conducted the annual survey, there have been fluctuations in employees’ overall satisfaction with their current job. Satisfaction has declined slightly since its peak at 86 percent in 2009. Still, it remains four percentage points above its low of 77 percent in 2002.
“Economic, demographic and social trends are among the factors that influence job satisfaction,” said Mark Schmit, SHRM’s vice president for research. “Satisfaction peaked in 2009 when employees were just glad to have a job. Now we are seeing it trend down some, which may be an indication that employees are starting to look at other opportunities again as the job market is starting to turn a bit more positive. Proactive employers will monitor job satisfaction and introduce change to retain top talent ahead of the trend.”
In 2012, opportunities to use skills and abilities bumped job security from the No. 1 influencer of job satisfaction. SHRM believes this provides an opportunity for employers that are experiencing a skills gap — difficulty recruiting applicants with the right skills for job openings. By training and promoting current employees to fill positions that require higher-level skills, Schmit noted, employers can open up easier-to-fill positions that require lower-level skills.
The annual job satisfaction survey also examined employee engagement — how connected or committed employees are to their organization. It found that, on average, employees were only moderately engaged.
More than seven out of 10 employees were satisfied with their relationships with co-workers, opportunities to use their skills, the contribution of their work to the employer’s business goals, and their relationship with their immediate supervisor.
But less than 50 percent of employees were satisfied with their career development.
The survey also found:
The survey polled 600 randomly selected employees at small to large companies. The survey produced industry-specific data that is available in SHRM’s employee job satisfaction and engagement survey service for employers,
survey report is available on SHRM Online.
A summary of the
job satisfaction results and a summary of
data on employee engagement also are available online.
Media: For more information about the survey or to schedule an interview, contact Kate Kennedy of SHRM Media Relations at 703-535-6260 and
firstname.lastname@example.org or Jennifer Hughes at 703-535-6072 or
Follow the Research Department on Twitter @SHRM_Research.
About the Society for Human Resource ManagementThe Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing about 260,000 members in more than 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China and India. Visit SHRM Online at
www.shrm.org and follow us on Twitter @SHRMPress.
You have successfully saved this page as a bookmark.
Please confirm that you want to proceed with deleting bookmark.
You have successfully removed bookmark.
Please log in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Please sign in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Please purchase a SHRM membership before saving bookmarks.
An error has occurred
Recommended for you
Choose from dozens of free webcasts on the most timely HR topics.
SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 10,000 companies