Advice for employers: Stress total rewards

The SHRM 2012 Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement survey published Oct. 3, 2012, includes commentary from several experts, as well as a few key recommendations for employers.

Among the recommendations:

Develop existing employees. Frequently, employees have skills and abilities beyond the position for which they were hired, the report notes. HR professionals can help their organizations identify such skills and prepare employees to fill higher-level positions, thus opening up positions that require lower skill levels, which might be easier to fill.

Communicate about total rewards. Research shows that compensation/pay is very important to employees, yet satisfaction levels are low. HR professionals can share information about the organization’s compensation philosophy, help employees understand how their compensation/pay is determined and communicate frequently to employees what their total rewards package includes.

Build a bridge between employees and senior management. Two of the top five contributors to employee job satisfaction were their relationship with immediate supervisor and communication between employees and senior management. Employers can train line managers regularly and involve them in strategy meetings and activities, so they better understand the organization’s vision and share it with their direct reports. Line managers can be encouraged to listen to and push employee feedback up to senior management.

In total, 600 employed individuals randomly selected from an outside survey research organization’s web-enabled employee panel completed the online 2012 Job Satisfaction and Engagement Survey.

Detailed statistics comparing findings over time, as well as by race, gender, generation and other factors, where statistically significant, are included in the report’s appendix.

Rebecca R. Hastings, SPHR, is an online editor/manager for SHRM.

©2012 SHRM. All rights reserved.

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