Worker-Hooking-Up-Two-Parts

Want to Make Employees Happy? Provide Good Pay

"Incomes have grown slowly since the recession, and that undoubtedly is having an impact on workers' priorities and one explanation for the leap to the forefront by compensation," said Evren Esen, director of SHRM's Survey Research Center.

Moving from the third slot up to the first, employees are now rating pay as the top reason for job satisfaction.

Sixty percent of employees rated compensation/pay “very important,” and 36% rated it “important,” making it the top contributor to overall employee job satisfaction—up from the No. 3 position in 2012,  according to a new study Job Satisfaction and Engagement: The Road to Economic Recovery, a SHRM research report released in May 2014.

“Incomes have grown slowly since the recession, and that undoubtedly is having an impact on workers’ priorities and one explanation for the leap to the forefront by compensation,” said Evren Esen, director of SHRM’s Survey Research Center.

The report draws on SHRM surveys of U.S. employees and HR professionals conducted in the latter half of 2013.

Stephen Miller of SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) reported that the study also found that employees rated the importance level of four compensation factors:

  • Being paid competitively with the local market. More than one-half (56%) of employees viewed this aspect as very important, and 57% were satisfied with it. 
  • Base rate of pay. 53% of employees felt this aspect was very important, and 63% were satisfied with it. 
  • Opportunities for variable pay (e.g., bonuses, commissions, other variable pay, monetary rewards for ideas or suggestions). Roughly two-fifths (43%) of employees said variable pay or differential pay was very important, and 45% were satisfied with it. 
  • Stock options. Less than one-fifth (17%) of employees viewed this aspect as very important; however, 41% of employees whose organizations offered stock options were satisfied with them.
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