June-July 2015

Workers are more satisfied now than in the past five years

In April, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) released the findings of its latest Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Survey. The survey showed 86 percent of employees are satisfied with their jobs, the highest percentage since 2009.
 

(Click chart for larger version.)

Evren Esen, director of SHRM’s survey programs said, “We are moving away from a period of uncertainty.” As the economy becomes more stable, workers have the ability to find a career that fits their skill-set and desires, leading them to work where they want to work.
 
Engaged employees are committed to their organizations goals and values, motivated to contribute to the organization’s success, able to grow, and more productive than those who are unengaged. As a result, organizations with a more engaged workforce are more productive than organizations with an unengaged staff.
 
“Workers have shown an increased preference for understanding their role and how it aligns with the success of an organization,” said SRHM researcher Christina Lee. “What’s important to employees now is a collaborative environment that encourages feedback and interaction among coworkers and between employees and their supervisors.”  

Our employee engagement survey results

TASB HR Services has conducted 17 employee engagement surveys during the 2014‒15 school year. When reviewing employees’ responses regarding their own job satisfaction, they said the following factors are most important: 
  • Meaningful work
  • Liking their work
  • Understanding what is expected
  • Feeling good about their accomplishments
  • Relationships with coworkers
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Opportunities to use their skills and abilities
Note that compensation and benefits was not the most important factor mentioned by school district employees. This means districts can improve engagement (and possibly employee morale) without increasing the budget. Pay is still important, but workplace culture could play a larger role than originally thought. Workers now have more job opportunities, so cultivating positive relationships with coworkers and supervisors is important.
 
Other important factors in fostering a positive work environment are employee wellness and allowing employees to partake in meaningful professional development. Employees who gain new skills and abilities will, in turn, use them in their careers and benefit the district.