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Your employees might not hate their jobs, but that doesn’t mean they’re motivated to do any more for your organisation than they have to. A new report by the Society for Human Resource Management found that 83% of American employees in 2011 were satisfied with their jobs, but far less — only a little more than half — were actually focused and enthusiastic about their work.
The biggest contributors to job satisfaction are job security and the opportunity to use their skills and abilities, which were ranked even more important than benefits and compensation.
While the responses are mostly positive, when it came to being engaged — which the report defines as being connected, committed to the organisation and motivated to work harder — the results aren’t quite impressive: only 52% of employees feel completely plugged in.
The findings are important because “many studies have linked employee engagement to employee performance, customer satisfaction, productivity, absenteeism, turnover and support of the organisation,” according to the report.
Since one of the most important things to employees was the opportunity to use their skills and abilities, the report suggests that employers can improve job satisfaction and engagement by tapping the talent within the organisation instead of hiring from outside.
Managers and HR professionals who make an effort to discover and use their employees additional skills help increase their current workers’ sense of focus and motivation, while helping the company retain their best talent.
Another big concern for employees was their relationship with their employers. Managers can improve this by partnering more with their employees and by valuing employee feedback by organising focus groups and putting their comments into action.