Monday, November 16, 2009

Employees say recession not reducing overall job satisfaction

Employees say recession not reducing overall job satisfaction, annual SHRM survey finds -

The majority of employees (58 percent) report the current economy has no effect on their overall job satisfaction, according to the 2009 Job Satisfaction Survey, released on June 28 by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) at its 61st Annual Conference and Exposition in New Orleans.

Employees at organizations "somewhat affected" by the recession are more likely to be satisfied than employees at organizations that have been "greatly impacted" by the economy. More than 40 percent of those surveyed said they are "very satisfied" with their jobs and 45 percent are "somewhat satisfied."

"Although employees say the weak economy has no negative impact on overall job satisfaction, the recession is the reason why job security is the top-ranked factor to workplace satisfaction among HR professionals and employees in 2009," said SHRM president and CEO Laurence G. O’Neil. "Job security is the number one aspect of job satisfaction this year, topping benefits, compensation and feeling safe at work."

Participating employees ranked the following as being the top-five most important aspects of job satisfaction:

Job security (63 percent);
Benefits (60 percent);
Compensation pay (57 percent);
Opportunities to use skills and abilities (55 percent); and
Feeling safe at work (54 percent).

"When it comes to benefits, employees rank healthcare, paid leave and retirement, in that order, as being most important," said Steve Williams, Ph.D., SPHR, director of research at SHRM. According to the survey, employees view healthcare and medical benefits (64 percent) as more valuable than paid time off (58 percent), defined contribution plans (41 percent), defined benefit pension plans (39 percent) and family-friendly benefits (29 percent).

Participating HR professionals created a similar list of the top-five most important aspects of job satisfaction:

Job security/relationship with supervisor (72 percent);
Benefits (69 percent);
Communication between employees and senior management (66 percent);
Opportunities to use skills and abilities (62 percent); and
Management recognition of employee job performance (61 percent).

"This year’s survey tells us that in spite of the economy, people still appreciate and enjoy their jobs," said Williams. "Even though much has been made of the number of employees expected to get out when the recession turns around, we believe the opposite is true. In fact, three out of four employees say they will stay put. This is a huge credit to HR and to managers within organizations."

The annual survey also revealed:

Employees with longer tenure at organizations rank benefits, such as defined contribution plans and defined benefit pension plans, as most important to job satisfaction than do employees with shorter tenure.

More females report paid time off, the relationship with the immediate boss and coworkers and flexibility to balance work and life issues as being important to job satisfaction than do men.
Employees 35 years old and younger said family-friendly benefits were more important than did employees age 56 and older.

Career development and networking opportunities, paid training and reimbursement programs, meaningfulness of job and an organization’s commitment to a green workplace were among the job satisfaction aspects that were least in importance to employees between 2008 and 2009.

Source: Society for Human Resource Management;

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