Job Satisfaction Hits 51% But Small Businesses Must Still Work to Retain Employees

2018 Job Satisfaction Statistics: On the Fence -- 51% of Employees Satisfied With Their Jobs Today

More than half (51%) of U.S. employees are experiencing greater job satisfaction today than ever before. This follows seven consecutive years of improved employee attitudes about wages and job security, according to a recent study conducted by The Conference Board, a global, independent business membership and research association headquartered in New York City.

The Conference Board surveyed approximately 1,500 employed individuals who together comprise a snapshot of the U.S. workforce, to ascertain the level of employees’ job satisfaction. Participants weighed in on 23 components that contribute to job satisfaction.

If you’d like to retain more of your small business employees, the study’s findings provide useful insights. It highlights what employees say gives them the greatest satisfaction in the workplace.

Factors Contributing to Employee Job Satisfaction

According to The Conference Board, employees are looking at the people at work, followed by commute to work; interest in work; supervisor; and physical environment when gauging job suitability. If you are worried about job hopping, those are the key factors you should be addressing to improve job satisfaction and enhance workers’ productivity in your small business.

“To attract and retain the most productive employees in today’s labor market, companies must make a bigger commitment to addressing the factors [that contribute to job satisfaction] within their control,” Rebecca L. Ray, Executive Vice President at The Conference Board and a co-author of the report, says in a statement. “Among other steps, that entails addressing the job components with which employees are least satisfied, including job training, the performance review process, and promotion policy.”

2018 Job Satisfaction Statistics

The greatest disappointments for employees in their jobs were identified as workload; educational/job training programs; performance review process; bonus plan; and, in last place, promotion policy.

2018 Job Satisfaction Statistics: On the Fence -- 51% of Employees Satisfied With Their Jobs Today

Generally, employees want to feel like they are growing professionally. And so they are prioritizing components relating to their professional development. If this need is not met, and they don’t get the job satisfaction they want, employees are voluntarily leaving their jobs at a record rate, the report finds.

“As workers continue to voluntarily leave their jobs at a record rate, the need to prioritize components relating to their professional development could not come at a more pressing time,” Ray says.

Stop Employees Voluntarily Quitting Their Jobs

Employees are quitting jobs confident they’ll get a better one since there are too many jobs and not enough workers to fill them, the report says.

To stop employees quitting their jobs, employers are finding they have to keep sweetening the pot to satisfy their workers for retention and productivity. And this trend is set to continue in coming years.

The Conference Board projects the labor market will continue to tighten through 2018 and 2019.  The organization says the tightening labor market will benefit employees and challenge employers.

As a small business owner, you MUST prepare for what’s coming.

“In 2019, we forecast unemployment to dip close to 3.5 percent, a low rate not seen since the 1960s,” Gad Levanon, another author of the report and Chief Economist for North America at The Conference Board, says in a release. “As a result, we can expect employers to continue reducing educational requirements in the hiring process, leading to fewer workers feeling overqualified in their jobs, which further raises their job satisfaction.”

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David William David William is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. He covers franchises, brick and mortar businesses, public policy and other small business issues. He is also founding editor of WebWriterSpotlight.

3 Reactions
  1. I guess it goes without saying that it must be done. You need to do your share to not only grow your business but also nurture the employees that make it possible.

  2. Nice to see 51% are satisfied, but that means that basically 1 in 2 employees aren’t satisfied so employers have some work to do. If half your employees are basically flight risks you’re in a precarious place.

  3. This woke up my senses. Thanks for the informative article.