April 25, 2017

The 2017 State of Employee Satisfaction and Loyalty

Every year, it seems, the Gallup polls and business monthlies and human resource blogs sign a secret compact to lament the state of employee affairs. In a way, this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: the more ruckus people raise about employee disillusionment and low pay and tough hours, the more employees find themselves staring out the window, thinking, “Yes, I really am unhappy.”

ALSO READ: 19 Really Obvious Signs Your Employees Are Unhappy

Modern HR managers (and business owners, for that matter) fight an uphill battle. They are tasked not only with hiring workers and administering benefits, but with the more nuanced, strategic responsibilities of talent management. Maintaining a skilled, motivated, high-performing workforce can make a huge impact on your company’s competitive edge, but it’s easier said than done.

To shed light on some of these struggles and concerns, TechnologyAdvice conducted a nationwide survey of 360 full-time employees. We asked each participant about performance, feedback, rewards, job satisfaction, and loyalty to their employer.

You can preview the full report below, or click here to download it

Key Survey Results

Across all job functions, frustrated or disillusioned employees are in the minority. As you can see, roughly two-thirds of all survey respondents are happy at work, and three-quarters are loyal to their employer — or at least, they feel loyal. There’s a clear disparity between attitude and action, given that almost half of the same audience admits to considering other job opportunities.

2017 State of Employee Satisfaction and Loyalty

It should be alarming for HR managers and business leaders to know that 42 percent of your employees have irons in the fire and that these same employees may outwardly exude contentment and dedication. 

Millennials at Work

It would be a high crime to conduct an employee satisfaction survey without addressing the infamous and now preponderous millennial demographic. In our analysis, we found that millennial tendencies re: satisfaction and loyalty aren’t noticeably different from those of Gen-Xers, or even Baby Boomers. 

They do, however, exhibit a stronger proclivity to “job hop,” with 27 percent noting specific departure plans. While millennials aren’t necessarily more likely to search for new jobs, they are more likely to accept an opportunity, should one arise. 

2017 State of Employee Satisfaction and Loyalty

Room for Improvement

No matter how talent management and the job market evolve, employers will always struggle with the same challenges: keeping their workforce engaged and productive, and suppressing turnover. 

To that end, here are a few specific recommendations, based on our analysis:

  • If you don’t already have one in place, institute a performance review process. Your employees are hungry for feedback about their work, but they aren’t getting enough of it. Align performance reviews with predictable incentives to boost motivation.  
2017 State of Employee Satisfaction and Loyalty
  • Check in with employees face-to-face to see how they’re doing, offer feedback, and coach them toward greater success. Make sure each team member has a clear understanding of the growth opportunities available to their role. 
  • Reassess employee salaries and wages, based on national averages. Matching the average is good. Beating it is better. You should revisit compensation in tandem with quarterly or biannual performance reviews. 
  • Make sure managers and company leaders are aligned with specific strategies to build rapport among their teams and communicate effectively
  • Reassess your HR technology stack. Do you have the necessary systems in place monitor and manage hiring, employee performance, compensation, benefits, training, and succession planning at scale? To compare solutions and get a custom recommendation, use our Product Selection Tool.

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The full report also includes data on top employee grievances, owners and executives in the workplace, and a breakdown of survey demographics. You can read it in the preview panel above, or download the PDF to share. 

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