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Employee Satisfaction: Recent Studies Cite Significant Disengagement

Employee Satisfaction: Recent Studies Cite Significant Disengagement

How do job seeker and workers rank their level of employee satisfaction? How do they feel about their current job and workplace?  How do they define fulfilling work?

Two recent surveys shed light on these questions, revealing some surprising results. 

Dissatisfaction at a High
A recent Monster Workforce Talent Survey of nearly 6,000 registered Monster users found employee satisfaction levels at a low.

“Our survey revealed that an overwhelming number of job seekers are in search of a more fulfilling job experience,” said Jeffrey Quinn, Vice President of Monster’s Global Insights.

According to the Monster survey, conducted from mid January, 2013 to February, 2013:

  • 42% of respondents said they are dissatisfied with their current job
  • 81% of those surveyed who are employed plan to actively search for a new job in the next year

These findings parallel results of a recently-released Gallup report, State of the American Workplace: Employee Engagement Insights for U.S. Business Leaders. The report found that 70% of surveyed workers are unhappy at work:

  • 20% report being actively disengaged 
  • 50% are not engaged and are uninspired by their work or their managers

The Gallup study, based on interviews with approximately 150,000 workers, highlights findings from Gallup’s ongoing study of the American workplace from 2010 to 2012.

Satisfaction Varies by Industry
While these studies rank job dissatisfaction high overall, Monster Survey results reveal a wide diversity in current levels of job satisfaction among employed job seekers by profession, with engineers and finance professionals expressing the most satisfaction among the pool of surveyed talent.

Conversely, employed job seekers who are less satisfied and more likely to be actively job searching include workers in customer service, manufacturing, skilled trades, and education.

What Job Seekers Want
Given the levels of dissatisfaction at work, it’s helpful to ask, “How do today’s job seekers define fulfilling work?”

The Monster Survey reports nearly all (97%) job seekers surveyed who are looking for more fulfilling work value the use of their skills and abilities and the enjoyment of their work.

Additionally, Monster survey participants responded: 

  • 97% rank the need for respect and appreciation among the highest desired traits of a new job 
  • 96% rate salary as an important factor
  • 95% highly value job security
  • 40% value flexible work schedules and the option to work from home

The Impact of Job Dissatisfaction
Gallup research estimates that active disengagement is costing the US economy an estimated $450 billion to $550 billion annually. The cost to the company bottom line, while not tallied, is estimated to be as significant.

As an employer, how can you increase employee satisfaction in your workplace?

These expert recommendations will help get you started:

  • Begin by understanding how your employees feel about the company, its culture and business practices. These ten critical areas can derail employee engagement
  • Many workers, including those with working families as well as Gen Y employees, seek  greater workplace flexibility. Still think that employees work best in the office? If so, author Jody Thompson says it’s time to reevaluate your management strategy.
  • How can your managers improve employee engagement and your employees’ sense of well-being?  Authors Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer offer ten ways to help them increase joy and employee engagement
  • As Bob Kelleher points out, good workplace communications are the cornerstone of engagement. The good news, as Patrick Alain points out, the keys to effective workplace communications to effectively communicate are both simple and direct.