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What Makes Employees Happy?

What Makes Employees Happy?

"Does HR Know What Employees Value Most?"

What do workers say will make them happy? The answer varies depending on whom you ask.

Job Security
Employees say job security. Employees say "job security" is very important to their satisfaction levels. The top three aspects that are "very important" to worker satisfaction:

Job security (65%);
Benefits (64%); and
Communication between employees and management (62%).

HR professionals say communication. But what do HR professionals think workers need to be satisfied on the job? HR professionals ranked the following as "very important" to workers' happiness:

Communication between employees and management (77%);
Recognition by management (62%);
Relationship with immediate supervisor (61%).

Considering the differences in responses, the question raised is whether HR professionals are in tune with employees. The survey indicates that HR professionals believe that employees place a significant emphasis on workplace relationships. Employees, however, are focused more toward the tangible items like benefits and job security, possibly due to the current economic environment.

Demographics define differences. Opinions also differed by employees' age and gender. Workers age 35 and younger rated communication and work/life balance as equally important (66%), while older workers age 35 to 55 ranked job security first (71%). Women ranked flexibility to balance life and work issues (72%) and communication (71%) as their top concerns, while men placed benefits (62%) and job security (61%) as their highest priorities.

In terms of overall satisfaction with their current job, only 11 percent of employees responding said they were dissatisfied. The majority, a total of 77 percent, said they are either satisfied or very satisfied with their current job.

"Remembering the turnover that many companies experienced in the recent past when the labor market was very tight for skilled workers," says SHRM Vice President of Knowledge Development, Debra Cohen, Ph.D., SPHR, "it is interesting to note that most employees currently report the extreme importance of job security and a high level of job satisfaction."

The study surveyed more than 1,000 workers and human resource professionals.

Source: The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) press release.

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