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Most Employees Say They’re Happy

A total of 89% of employees say they are satisfied overall with their jobs, according an annual survey by the Society for Human Resource Management.

That represents a slight increase from 88% in 2016 and 86% in 2015. Of this year’s overall number of satisfied employees, 38% reported being very satisfied and 51% were somewhat satisfied.

“Fairness and transparency are significant themes that repeatedly appeared throughout the top job satisfaction contributors and employee engagement” factors cited in the survey, notes Evren Esen, SHRM’s director of workforce analytics.

“This indicates the importance of these concepts when creating a workplace culture that thrives and inspires continuous success,” he adds.

In spite of a relatively high level of job satisfaction, 40% of employees reported (to some degree) the possibility of seeking employment outside of their current organization within the next 12 months.

The leading reason for employees looking for external positions was higher compensation/pay, followed by better benefits, more job security and additional career advancement opportunities.

Even with overall satisfaction high, gaps persist between what employees consider important and their levels of satisfaction. The largest discrepancy was found in compensation (35%).

For the third year in a row, the largest percentage of employees (65%) indicated that respectful treatment of all employees at all levels was a very important contributor to their job satisfaction.

Female employees (72%) were more likely to report this aspect as a very important contributor to job satisfaction than their male colleagues (57%).

A greater proportion of Millennials (45%) said they were very satisfied with this aspect, compared with Generation Xers (31%).

Other top contributors to job satisfaction were job security and opportunities to use skills and abilities.

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