Human Capital Management Blog

Strategies for HCM Professionals

3 key stats reflecting how people feel about their jobs today

coworkersIt’s easy to lose sight of this, amid all the innovations that get tossed around in HCM circles nowadays, but the ultimate goal in human capital management is still the same – it’s to keep people happy. If your people are content with their jobs, they’re far more likely to work productively. In the end, what you get out of that is a successful business.

So it’s high time we explored this fundamental issue – are people happy with their jobs these days, or aren’t they? It may sound like a big question, but if you do a little digging, it’s easy enough to find answers.

In fact, the Society for Human Resource Management recently explored this topic in depth, surveying hundreds of workers and asking them about their current levels of job satisfaction. Here are the three key facts they uncovered…

Job satisfaction is running high
Employees might grumble about work from time to time behind their bosses’ backs, but for the most part, they’re just venting. Despite the occasional frustration, people are largely happy with their jobs. SHRM found that in 2015, 88 percent of people considered themselves at least “somewhat content” with work, and 37 percent went so far as “very satisfied.”

These are all-time highs since SHRM began gathering this data back in 2002, so the news is obviously good. That said, there are still ways that companies can keep improving. Pay raises, better benefits, stronger job security and better trust between employees and managers are all elements that can help drive satisfaction even higher in 2016.

Employee engagement is doing OK … ish
Satisfaction is one thing; employee engagement is in the same vein, but a little different. It’s a matter of reframing the question – are people passionate about their work? Are they ready to come in each day, focus intently and be maximally productive? For the most part, people are, but there’s still room for improvement.

SHRM polled people on their engagement levels by asking for a score from 1 to 5, and the average result they turned up was a 3.8. This is fairly stagnant compared to previous years. It’s believed that to get this figure closer to 4 in the future, the top thing companies can do is build stronger relationships between people and their immediate supervisors. If there’s trust on both sides, people are more likely to engage fully in their positions.

Work conditions are mostly satisfactory
What about the specifics of people’s jobs? Are they happy with the positions they’re in? Do they feel that their conditions are fair?

For the most part, yes. SHRM found that 75 percent of people are indeed happy with the conditions surrounding their jobs. These include strong relationships with co-workers, ample opportunities to use their skills and a sense that their work is meaningful.

All of the above are key components of long-term job happiness. The goal is to keep people satisfied today and also improve conditions for the long haul. If your company pays attention to all of the above factors, you just might pull this off.


Join us for one of our related conference sessions at INSIGHTS 2016 in Las Vegas (July 11-15)!

  • PD105 Driving Engagement Through Career Development
  • PD115 Engaging the Millennial Workforce

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