The biggest and most important part of any company are the employees. We all know it’s important to keep workers happy. So why is it that a big portion of American workers are barely engaged or satisfied with their workplace?
On one hand, it’s great that a spotlight is being put on employee happiness. On the other, the results of many of these surveys and studies is pretty disheartening. A company called Answers Corp., which is a platform leveraging Answers.com and the cloud based solutions that revolve around business and customer experience improvement, has come out with a study that focuses on employee satisfaction in America.
And the results aren’t very promising. The study Answers came out with, called “American Employee Study: A New Perspective on Employee Attitudes and Behaviors”, involved 4,000 employees in different positions from companies of varying sizes in different industries. They used something called a “Structural Equation Model” which is essentially a cause and effect methodology to really dive into the issue of employee satisfaction across the states.
What they found was that overall happiness in the workplace is a dismal 65 out of 100. Generally, a score of 80 would mean that businesses were meeting and/or exceeding worker expectations. But they didn’t leave it there. Instead, they zeroed in on employee engagement during their normal, daily operations. Only 27% were completely engaged in their duties. 28% were not at all engaged and 45% were in the middle. The senior director of Answers Cloud Services, Eric Feinberg, explained why these results are so troubling:
“Improving employee satisfaction leads to desirable employee behaviors, such as recommending the company to others, supporting its products and satisfying its customers,” said Feinberg. “Considering the high cost of replacing employees — anywhere from a fifth to 200 percent of the person’s salary — a true commitment to measuring and improving the employee experience should be an operational imperative for American employers.”
Besides these findings, Answers also included some other pretty important information. 48% of workers don’t think that their employers understand their career goals. 55% have coworkers that disrupt their productivity and impacts their satisfaction. 86% actually like their boss. Also, many employees agree that the areas that need improvement are compensation, leadership, and their relationship with managers.
Beth Kelly of the Grand Rapids firm HR Collaborative agrees that very few of us are truly giving 100% at work. She has found that’s mainly due to the fact that workers are unhappy because of lack of support from managers, issues with coworkers undermining or bullying each other, and not being trained enough or provided the right tools to do their job right. She said:
“That does kind of resonate with me, with the people that we talk to. Folks just really want to do a good job and be recognized for the contributions that they make to a company. That is a pretty simple equation when you think about it. It is just the implementing and the executing it that makes it so difficult.”
The Answers study also shows that there is a high level of happiness and engagement in the Millenials age group. 62% felt engaged at work compared to the 56% to 59% of other age groups. 66% reported overall satisfaction with their work. Kelly explained:
“This data indicates millennials just want to do good work. They want to do work they can be proud of and where they get recognized for doing that good work,” said Kelly. “It is a typical lifecycle for people who are between 20 to 25 and 35, that they want to sink their teeth in, put roots down and practice their craft. … We have been spending all this time (talking) about how mobile and finicky millennials are, and this survey says this is just not true.”
So where do we go from here? Take this information and run with it! Our Indianapolis productivity consultants are always searching for ways to improve employee satisfaction. It’s time to do massive overhauls in our workplaces. Need some help figuring out how to begin? Reach out to our business productivity consultants!