More workers happy with managers, unhappy about pay
- More workers rate themselves as happy, rather than unhappy, when it comes to workload, growth, management support and meaningful work, according to data on worker satisfaction emailed to HR Dive from Peakon, an employee engagement platform. Compensation proved the only category to produce the opposite effect; 39% of the 15,000 respondents rated themselves unhappy about their rewards, while 26% said they are happy and 33% said they are neutral.
- The data also revealed that while more employees are either satisfied with their workload (36%) or neutral toward it (39%), 24% are unhappy with their amount of work. In the category of career growth, most employees (36%) said they are satisfied and even more rated themselves as neutral (33%). A significant percentage (29%) said they feel dissatisfied.
- The bulk of employees (58%) said they are happy with the support they receive from management, while just 14% are unhappy and 26% are neutral. Most workers (47%) said they felt happy with the meaningfulness of their work, 35% are unsure, and just 17% are unhappy.
Many workers like their jobs, a 2018 survey by The Conference Board confirmed. This doesn't mean that HR should stand idle, however. If the information revealed in the Peakon study is true of all workplaces, HR professionals may need to address some of the dissatisfaction described by respondents. The Peakon study found, for example, that 1 in 4 workers are unhappy with their workload, for example; this may prompt HR to work with managers to readjust workers' assignments to prevent fatigue and subsequent burnout — a major threat to engagement, research has shown.
Employee happiness may not always translate to retention. For instance, a study by Addison Group showed 72% of workers are satisfied, but 60% are still looking for a new job. The challenge for employers is to stay competitive by offering benefits and perks workers value, such as paid time off, flexible work schedules, career development, remote work options and meaningful assignments that are aligned with the organization's goals.
Money is still the top motivator for job seekers who are searching for a new opportunity and deciding to accept or reject a job offer, although workers participating in studies agreed they would turn down a pay increase for better benefits and a positive company culture. HR managers can review their organizations' compensation practices to see if pay levels and benefits are fair and competitive.