Rising Economy Doesn’t Reflect in Rising Employee Satisfaction

by: Nichole Gunn April 20, 2011

MarketTools released the findings of a new study that shows employee satisfaction hasn’t been affected much by the upswing in the economy. Although jobs are much more stable, and opportunities for employment are improving, the data shows that almost 50 percent of workers are contemplating jumping ship.

While almost half of the respondents are thinking about it, 21 percent have actually applied to other companies for new jobs. The writing is on the wall, and employers need to pay attention by addressing employee loyalty and retention.

One of the primary factors for the slip in employee satisfaction and the incentive to leave for greener pastures is salary. The study data shows that just about 47 percent of participating employees feel they should seek new employment options in order to earn more money. Other statistics from the study show three other major factors for possible defection:

  • 24 percent of the respondents are unhappy with the workload
  • 21 percent feel that advancement opportunities are lacking
  • 21 percent believe their relationship with supervisors or direct managers need improvement

Along with this data, a whooping 72 percent of the respondents reported that their employers do not have a system in place for employee feedback, at least to their knowledge. The report clearly demonstrates that employee engagement is significantly low despite the improving economy.

Fortunately, there are areas of optimism in the regard to employee satisfaction. Earlier this year, The Memorial Hospital (TMH) in Craig, Colorado, reported results from a survey they conducted with Press Ganey. The purpose of the study was to measure the happiness of its workers, including how employees feel about the workplace environment, teamwork, resources, leadership and other factors. The findings were positive.

The results, according to the Craig Daily Press, showed that TMH received a total Partnership score of 73.7 out of 100, bringing the organization into the 66th percentile of the 418 responding medical centers. While other organizations are feeling the affects of employee dissatisfaction, TMH improved its score from 2009 by 5.4 percent.

The survey sample was taken in November 2010, and 77 percent of TMH workers participated.

Chief of organizational excellence at The Memorial Hospital Jennifer Riley explained, “We do believe that an engaged and happy workforce leads to better customer service and higher patient satisfaction.”

Riley went on to say that its enhanced employee satisfaction ratings are most likely due to the relocation of the facility’s new center; she feels confident that after settling in, employees felt more satisfied.

“We’ve got this brand new, beautiful facility,” she told the Daily Press. “People are pretty well ingrained in their new routines, their new jobs, so I think people were satisfied and enjoying it. Who wouldn’t like to work in a brand new building?”


About Nichole Gunn

Nichole Gunn is the VP of Marketing at Incentive Solutions, an Atlanta-based incentive company that delivers advanced, agile B2B customer loyalty and channel sales incentives programs.