Top 5 Things Employees Seek

by Mike O'Neill

As an employer, have you ever wondered, what do my employees really want?  What matters most to them? What should we be offering to attract & retain great employees? The Society of Human Resource Management publishes an annual Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Survey. Here is their Top 5:


  1. Respectful Treatment of All Employees at All Levels
  2. Trust Between Employees & Sr. Management (tie)
  3. Compensation/Pay (tie)
  4. Job Security
  5. Opportunities to use your Skills & Abilities in your Work

Respectful Treatment of All Employees at All Levels was again the top-rated contributor to overall job satisfaction. Workplace environments that demonstrate fairness and allow employees to freely discuss opposing views are more likely to thrive as a result of this factor’s importance.

Trust Between Employees & Sr. Management  and Compensation/Pay were tied for 2nd & 3rd.

Trust Between Employees & Sr. Management is critical in any organization. To improve trust, leadership should address any past mistakes or shortcomings that may have contributed to employee’s skepticism. Moving forward, leadership should strive for consistency in words & actions to regain employee’s trust. Leadership should get out of their offices and interact with staff to forge better communication channels.

Compensation/Pay links employee’s most fundamental safety & security needs by offering financial stability. Employees’ understanding of the pay structure and its administration is a product of how well managers explain the system and how fair & unbiased the process is.

Job Security Any risks that potentially interfere with the continuity of worker’s employment can inflict a significant amount of harm to individuals and organizations alike.

Opportunities to use your Skills & Abilities in your Work rounds out the Top 5. Employee empowerment & job enrichment influence job satisfaction, which affects turnover. Not surprisingly, executives were more likely to be satisfied with opportunities to use their skills and abilities compared with lower-level employees.

So what do these findings mean for our organizations? Pay is important, but Culture may mean more. HR & Senior Leadership should ensure that their workforce culture and employee engagement strategies are of equal importance to compensation, benefits and other responsibilities.

To read the full report, please click this link: 2017 SHRM Job Satisfaction & Engagement Survey


“Engaged, enthusiastic, and loyal employees are pivotal drivers of growth and health in any organization.

– Patrick Lencioni

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