SHRM: Most Employees Satisfied With Jobs, Cite ‘Respectful Treatment' as Top Reason

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By Genevieve Douglas

May 1 — The vast majority of employees are satisfied with their jobs, according to survey results released April 28 by the Society for Human Resource Management, which found that 86 percent of employees felt overall satisfaction with their jobs in 2014, matching the highest level recorded by SHRM during the past 10 years and an improvement of 5 percentage points over 2013.

“We're moving away from a period of uncertainty,” Evren Esen, director of SHRM's survey programs, said in a press release announcing the survey results. “Organizations now have more flexibility in hiring and benefit offerings, and there is a renewed focus on retaining employees. At the same time, workers are more confident in the job market and are seeking out jobs that are more compatible with their needs and wants. It all adds up to a change in how workers view their work and greater satisfaction on the job.”

SHRM's annual “Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Survey” found that the top contributor to job satisfaction was “respectful treatment of all employees at all levels,” cited by 72 percent of employees, followed by “trust between employees and senior management” (64 percent) and employee benefits (63 percent).

Based on these responses, SHRM recommended that HR professionals ensure their workplace culture and employee engagement strategies are attended to in a manner that recognizes their equal importance with compensation, benefits and other traditional rewards.

While the category of compensation and pay was rated “very important” by 61 percent of survey respondents, SHRM advised HR to consider incorporating a “total rewards program” that doesn't rely solely on monetary awards to motivate and reward employees.

The survey is based on responses from 600 randomly selected individuals who were employed in full- or part-time roles.

Employees Are Committed, Engaged 

The survey also measured employee engagement—defined as “employees' commitment and connection to their organization”—and found that 79 percent of respondents were satisfied with their relationships with co-workers, and 76 percent were satisfied with the contribution their work made to the employer’s business goals.

Other top engagement findings included:

• 92 percent of employees were confident they could meet their work goals;

• 88 percent of employees were determined to accomplish their work goals;

• 76 percent of employees had a clear understanding of their organization’s vision/mission; and

• 74 percent of employees said they were highly motivated by work goals, which is an increase of 10 percentage points from the year before.


According to SHRM, workers have shown an increased preference for knowing their role and where they fit into the success of the organization.

These findings show that HR professionals should make the goals of their organization clear to all workers and illustrate how those workers’ responsibilities contribute to the achievement of organizational goals, SHRM said.

“This can be achieved in a collaborative environment that encourages regular feedback and interaction among co-workers, as well as between employees and their supervisors,” according to the SHRM report.

To contact the reporter on this story: Genevieve Douglas in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Nadel at

Text of the survey results is available at