Worker satisfaction at highest level in 10 years

More U.S. workers are satisfied with their jobs than at any time since 2005, according to a new survey by the Society for Human Resource Management.Satisfaction with benefits

SHRM’s annual Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Survey, conducted in late 2015, found that 88% of employees said they were satisfied overall with their jobs—37% reported being very satisfied, and 51% were somewhat satisfied. The previous high was in 2009, before many of the effects of the Great Recession began roiling the economy.

“What a difference a few years—and an improved economy—make in how workers view their jobs,” said Evren Esen, director of SHRM’s survey programs. She noted that the percentage of satisfied employees has been trending up since 2013.

For the second year, the most important contributor to employee job satisfaction was “respectful treatment of all employees at all levels,” a factor cited by 67% of respondents. Other top contributors were compensation/pay (63%) and overall benefits (60%). Drilling down, paid time off contributes most to employee satisfaction.

What else do employees want?

You already offer employees health care, dental care, vision care and retirement benefits. So what else can you dangle?

Commuter benefits. Commuting costs take a hefty chunk out of employees’ pay. You can make it so that every time they board a bus or train and pay the fare, they’re reminded that you’re getting them a break.

Educational assistance. Employees who have access to continuing education generally feel that their employers value them. They may even be more concerned about student loans hanging over their heads. PricewaterhouseCoopers offers employees $1,200 per year for student loan debt reimbursement; can you offer a similar perk?

Concierge services. Life is full of little annoyances, like having to pick up laundry or take the car for an oil change. Concierge services relieve employees of those routine tasks so they can concentrate on their work.

The freedom to telecommute.
Telecommuting offers self-determination in how, where and when employees work, and that has a way of making them feel more like entrepreneurs.

Encouragement for volunteerism.
Employees at Salesforce receive six days of paid volunteer time off a year. If they use all six, they receive a $1,000 grant to donate to a charity of their choice. Do you have a way of promoting employees’ efforts for change outside the office?