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Employee Satisfaction - 3 Best Practices to Retain Your Most Valued Employees

Healthcare News • December 2, 2013 at 3:00 PM • Written by: Christina Merhar

A vital part of any successful business is attracting and retaining productive, happy employees. Whether it’s a competitive salary, professional growth, or a rewarding office environment, employee satisfaction is an important ingredient to a profitable business. Identifying what incentives and best practices attract and keep the top talent happy, however, can be difficult to pin-point. 

A recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) polled ~600 working adults on employee satisfaction. The survey offers insight on employee satisfaction and best practices for retaining the most valued employees.

Overall, the American worker seems content with his or her current job but that doesn't mean they aren't looking for employment outside their current workplace. According to the SHRM study:

  • 81% of American workers are very or somewhat satisfied with their job. 

  • Yet, 44% of respondents say they are likely to look for work outside their current organization in the next 12 months.


Chart Source: SHRM


3 Best Practices to Retain Your Most Valued Employees

SHRM relates this eagerness to make a career move as evidence of optimism in the job market. While bad news for businesses, it points to optimism in the job market.

So what can businesses do to retain employees -- even employees who are happy? Here are three best practices for increasing employee satisfaction (and retaining your most valued employees).

1. Develop Existing Employees By Offering Opportunities to Use Skills and Abilities 

According to the survey, 63% say opportunities to use their skills and abilities is a key to their satisfaction. This was the number one response, replacing job security as number one in 2011. Employees frequently have skills and abilities beyond the position for which they were hired. By developing existing employees into new roles, it's a win-win for the business and employees.

2. Communicate About the Total Rewards and Compensation Package 

According to the survey, employees rated compensation and pay as the third most important key to satisfaction. While 60% of employees said compensation was important, only 22% were actually satisfied with their current compensation. To help bridge this gap and improve satisfaction around compensation, SHRM recommends:

  • Sharing information about the business's compensation philosophy

  • Helping employees understand how their pay is determined

  • Frequently communicating with employees about their total rewards package such as other rewards or perks 

3. Connect Employees and Senior Management

According to the survey, 54% of respondents say a good relationship with their superiors is a key to their satisfaction. And, 57% of respondents say communication between employees and senior management is important for their satisfaction. Employees value their relationship with their supervisor and senior management. An intentional two-way street can lead to increased employee satisfaction.

The 24 Contributing Aspects to Employee Job Satisfaction

The survey detailed out 24 of the most important aspects of employee job satisfaction. Here is a run-down of their findings:

  1. Opportunities to use skills and abilities (63%)
  2. Job security (61%)
  3. Compensation and pay (60%)
  4. Communication between employees and senior management (57%)
  5. Relationship with immediate supervisor (54%)
  6. Benefits (53%)
  7. Organization's financial stability (52%)
  8. The work itself (52%)
  9. Management's recognition of employee job performance (50%)
  10. Autonomy and independence (48%)
  11. Flexibility to balance life and work issues (46%)
  12. Career advancement opportunities (42%)
  13. Relationships with co-workers (40%)
  14. Meaningfulness of job (38%)
  15. Organization’s commitment to professional development (36%)
  16. Job-specific training (36%)
  17. Contribution of work to organization’s business goals (34%)
  18. Career development opportunities (34%)
  19. Variety of work (33%)
  20. Organization’s commitment to corporate social responsibility (28%)
  21. Paid training and tuition reimbursement programs (28%)
  22. Networking (27%)
  23. Organization’s commitment to a diverse and inclusive workplace (27%)
  24. Organization’s commitment to a “green” workplace (17%)


Read the full survey here: Society for Human Resource Management: “Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement”

What do your employees value?

What are strategies are you implementing to increase employee satisfaction?

Leave a comment below to join the discussion.

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