Research shows increased employee satisfaction from 2011-2012
According to research released by Harris Interactive on behalf of the American Psychology Association, employee satisfaction has increased since 2011. The “Stress in the Workplace” study, conducted January 12–19, 2012, surveyed 1,714 adults ages 18 and older who reside in the U.S and who are either employed full-time, part-time, or are self-employed.
Compared to 2011, general employee satisfaction seems to be on the rise in 2012. The below statistics highlight the change from 2011 to 2012 in various areas of workplace satisfaction; statements represent the responses of participants who answered “strongly agree” or “agree” with the following:
- All in all, I am satisfied with my job (70 percent in 2012; 69 percent in 2011)
- Health and safety practices of my employer (73 percent in 2012; 70 percent in 2011)
- Amount of control and involvement I have at work (64 percent in 2012; 62 percent in 2011)
- Work-life balance practices offered by my employer (60 percent in 2012; 57 percent in 2011)
- Employee recognition practices of my employer (48 percent in 2012; 46 percent in 2011)
- Growth and developmental opportunities offered by my employer (46 percent in 2012; 44 percent in 2011)
Although the numbers have not jumped dramatically since last year, there is still a discernible increase in all areas of workplace satisfaction in 2012. Nearly three quarters of workers are satisfied with their jobs, but just under half are satisfied with employee recognition programs and growth opportunities, indicating there is still some work to be done in the future.
Although the sample size is small, this recent study conducted by Harris Interactive and the American Psychology Association provides additional validation of broader trends on the employee engagement front – specifically, employees feeling like they have growth/development opportunities and employees feeling like they are adequately recognized for their work are in the minority. As business leaders, we should be concerned with these survey results. These findings represent tremendous opportunities for management to quickly improve and enhance employee engagement within their organizations. If senior leaders are seeing similar results on their engagement surveys, it should prompt them to evaluate their current employee engagement strategies to identify areas of opportunity for managers to personally connect with their employees with meaningful and memorable recognition that is closely aligned with the career development plans they have discussed together. Personally, it feels like these should be perceived as the “free moves” on the employee engagement front. Managers just need to take the time to connect the dots.