Job Satisfaction Statistics: Keep Your Workers Happy and Your Business Healthy
In this competitive market where unemployment is low, competition is fierce, and turnover is expensive, employers have been paying more attention to staff contentment levels in an effort to retain high-performing workers. And they are definitely on to something.
Recent research on HR and employee engagement has produced compelling evidence of the benefits satisfied and engaged workers bring to both their organizations and themselves.
Job satisfaction statistics highlight the fact that happy employees really make a difference in any organization. Those who show up at work with an eagerness to overcome challenges, solve problems, and achieve set goals are the driving force of any business. Unfortunately, at the moment, only a third of the US workforce feels this enthusiastic about their job.
This puts the ball in the employers’ court. They are the ones who can spike these numbers by showing employees they truly care, by rewarding hard work and dedication, and by making employee wellness and engagement a priority. To discover how employee happiness can boost an organization’s productivity and to learn how to deploy a winning staff engagement strategy, dive into our list of employee satisfaction and engagement statistics.
Key Job Satisfaction Statistics - Editor’s Pick
- 72% of surveyed professionals say having more work benefits would increase their job satisfaction.
- 51% of US workers say they get a sense of identity from their job.
- 13% of employed Americans are actively disengaged at work.
- 30% of American workers say their job is “just a job to get them by.”
- Only 46% of employees place “a great deal of trust”in their employers.
- Employees who feel their superiors treat them with respect are 63% more satisfied with their jobs.
- 79% of American workers say company culture is an important factor in job satisfaction.
- 83% of millennials consider work-life balance to be the most important factor in evaluating a potential job.
Job Satisfaction Stats
Employees who feel their superiors treat them with respect are 63% more satisfied with their jobs.
(Harvard Business Review)
Employers who treat their workers respectfully have much to gain and nothing to lose. As a recent Harvard Business Review report confirms, when employees are respected by their leaders, their job satisfaction levels go up by as much as 63%. This, in turn, creates a 55% spike in engagement, while employees’ focus heightens by 58%. This work satisfaction report also shows that appreciated employees are 110% more likely to stay with their organization.
62% of employees in managerial positions report high job satisfaction levels.
(Pew Research Center)
Even though a management role entails a lot of responsibility and is often stressful, it comes with a set of perks that make up for it. Top-notch healthcare, paid time off, a retirement savings plan, maternity/paternity leave, and professional development programs are some of the core benefits that compensate for the stress and create good work-life balance. Pew Research’s job satisfaction statistics confirm that executives are particularly likely to say they’re ‘very satisfied’ with their jobs, compared with only 48% of those who work in manual or physical labor jobs.
72% of surveyed professionals say having more work benefits would increase their job satisfaction.
The majority of employees feel that additional benefits would improve their overall job satisfaction. Medical insurance paid fully by the company is desired but not received by 58% of respondents, as is fully company-paid dental insurance (53%). Employee motivation statistics reveal that other perks workers desire but don’t get include work-from-home/remote days (40%), performance bonuses (35%), transportation allowance (32%), catered meals (31%), and student loan reimbursement (29%).
61% of employees with an annual family income of less than $30,000 say they are ‘very satisfied’ with their family lives, compared with 80% of workers whose family income is $75,000 per year or more.
(Pew Research Center)
But it’s not just the perks that matter. A study conducted by Pew Research Center on 5,000 working American adults from all 50 states shows that a higher income is directly related to overall satisfaction and happiness in terms of both professional and family life. Happiness and productivity at work statistics show that eight in 10 adults living in high-income households (with an annual income of $75,000 or more) reported being “very satisfied” with their family lives, whereas only six in 10 adults from low-income families (with an annual income of $30,000 or less) reported the same level of satisfaction.
51% of US workers say they get a sense of identity from their job.
(Pew Research Center)
Americans are divided on whether their job is merely a source of income or a more meaningful aspect of their lives that gives them a sense of identity. The same job satisfaction in the US study indicates a little over half of working Americans find purpose in their work. Another 47% of US employees say their job is just what they do for a living, while the remaining 2% hold multiple jobs and did not answer this question.
70% of adults working in education say their job gives them a sense of identity.
(Pew Research Center)
Some jobs are just more fulfilling than others. According to career satisfaction statistics, most educators (70%) think their work makes them who they are. Healthcare workers feel the same way, with 62% of them saying their job gives them a sense of identity. On the other hand, only 42% of people working in hospitality and just 36% in the retail or wholesale trade identify with their job.
79% of American workers say company culture is an important job satisfaction factor.
When asked whether company culture is important to them, almost 80% of US professionals responded in the affirmative. Not only that: 57% said they would take a job with a competitor if they felt that company’s corporate culture were better than their current company’s. According to Speakap’s company culture statistics, respect and fairness, trust and integrity, and teamwork are the most important attributes of a strong culture.
More than 50% of CEOs say corporate culture influences productivity, creativity, profitability, company value, and growth rate.
And while eight in 10 employees consider company culture vital to workplace engagement, only five in 10 top managers recognize this. Recruit Loop reveals that a little over half of CEOs surveyed admit the effects of corporate culture on how productive and creative workers are, how much revenue the company generates, and how quickly it grows.
58% of US managers say they haven’t received any management training.
Perhaps the discrepancy between the percentage of workers and executives who understand the relevance of corporate culture can be accounted for by this shocking stat. CareerBuilder’s nationwide survey conducted on 2,480 US employers and 3,910 US workers reveals that nearly 60% of managers get into leadership positions without receiving any training for the task. According to these HR statistics, the biggest challenges executives name are dealing with issues between co-workers on their team, motivating team members, performance reviews, and creating career paths for employees. Basically, all the tasks they find daunting reflect their lack of managerial training.
23% of employees describe their leaders’ performance as “poor” or “very poor.”
Unsurprisingly, the same study found that almost a quarter of US workers rate their corporate leaders’ performance as “poor” or “very poor.” CareerBuilder’s job satisfaction statistics further explain that employees who are unsatisfied with their superiors think they don’t make an effort to listen to employees or address employee morale. Employees also cite a lack of transparency and honest communication, major changes made without warning, unreasonable workloads, and impossible productivity demands as reasons for their poor evaluation.
30% of American workers say their job is “just a job to get them by.”
(Pew Research Center)
Nearly a third of employed adults in the US work just because they have to. They consider their job neither a career nor a stepping stone to one. Luckily, the number of devoted workers who believe they are on the right path is higher, with 50% of respondents saying they view their job as a career. Another 20% of Americans believe their current job is the starting point that will lead to a career, according to recently published employment satisfaction statistics.
Only 25% of employees who quit their jobs cite money as the main reason for leaving.
Even though most employers are blissfully oblivious, with 89% of them thinking workers leave for financial reasons, in reality only 25% of employees abandon their jobs because of unsatisfactory pay. In fact, it’s usually the employer who chases people away. Officevibe’s turnover statistics show that 75% of people who end up leaving don’t quit their job; they quit their boss.
Women (44%) are more likely than men (39%) to leave their current job for a new one with a flexible work environment.
Women, who often need to juggle various responsibilities both at home and in the office, are more interested in a flexible work environment than men. Almost half of female respondents said they would quit their job to go work for a company that permits them to work from home occasionally, with flexible working hours. Men were less interested in this perk - only 39% of them would jump ship for this reason.
Men (40%) are more likely to leave their current job for a higher position in a different company than women (30%).
Better-ranking positions tend to motivate men more than flexibility. Yoh’s workplace statistics show that male employees often change jobs because of the prestige and power associated with executive roles. Their female counterparts are less inclined to switch work environments for a high-status position.
83% of millennials consider work-life balance to be the most important factor in evaluating a potential job.
Achieving work-life balance is a priority for a handsome majority of millenials. A whopping 83% of people born between the early eighties and mid-nineties assess a potential job on how time-consuming it will be. If they judge it will leave little to no free time, millennials won’t accept such a position, as we can see from a range of job satisfaction statistics. When it comes to baby boomers, though, only 62% consider work-life balance a factor when deciding whether or not to take on a new role.
More than three-quarters of employees would not accept a better-paid job from a company that failed to act against employees who were involved in sexual harassment.
More money would not be incentive enough to attract professionals to a company with unethical practices. A 2019 study published by The Manifest shows that 79% of employees wouldn’t come to work in a firm that neglects to act on sexual harassment accusations. Other intolerable practices, as reported in these retention stats, include selling users’ data without their knowledge (76%), creating environmental problems (72%), and paying female or minority-background employees less (71%).
Workers who say their company provides equal opportunities are almost four times more likely to be proud to work for the company.
Creating a workplace where everyone’s voice is heard and all have the same chance of getting ahead exclusively based on merit is an excellent way of motivating employees. Working for an equal-opportunity company makes staff 3.8 times more likely to feel proud of their employer and team.
42% of employed Americans would change jobs for another that offers the possibility of working remotely, but only 24% would switch jobs for a shorter commute.
Work place statistics let know that US employees deem remote work possibility more important than short commute when considering a job change. If offered a position in a different company that would allow them to get things done without coming into the office, 42% of employed Americans would accept it. A job closer to home with reduced commute time would motivate only a quarter of US employees to leave their current job.
Only 46% of workers have “a great deal of trust” in their bosses.
(Harvard Business Review)
A global study that included 9,800 full-time workers aged 19 to 68 from eight countries shows only 46% of workers trust their employers greatly. According to Harvard Business Review employee loyalty statistics, 39% of surveyed employees say they have “some trust,” while 15% report “very little” or “no trust at all.” Employers who want to improve engagement and retention should keep in mind that people believe a high level of trust in their company has a major influence on them being happier at work, staying at the company, doing higher-quality work, and recommending the company to others.
66% of Gen Z workers consider equal opportunity for pay and promotion as ”very important” factors that would influence their trust in an employer.
(Harvard Business Review)
To earn the trust of Generation Z, companies need to implement fair practices. Employee satisfaction statistics indicate that two-thirds of employees just entering the workforce consider equal advancement opportunities and merit-based salaries “very important” factors in shaping how much they trust their employer. Learning and advancement opportunities are also very important for 66% of young workers when deciding whether to trust their companies.
More than two in five workers have gained weight at their current job.
Career Vision’s corporate wellness statistics reveal that 56% of the nation's workforce believe they are overweight, and 45% believe they've gained weight at their present job. When asked what contributed to their weight gain, 51% said sitting at a desk most of the day, 45% said they were too exhausted from work to exercise, and 38% blamed stress-eating.
28% of employees say their company provides gym passes, workout facilities, or wellness benefits, but 63% of employees from this group don't take advantage of those perks.
Employee engagement statistics indicate that more than a quarter of companies try to keep their workers happy and healthy by providing workout passes. Despite this, 63% of people who have access to these wellness benefits do not use them. On the other hand, 64% of workers say their employers do not offer such perks, but if offered, 42% think they would take advantage of them.
With a job satisfaction score of 4.6 out of 5, recruiting managers report the highest job satisfaction levels.
A job satisfaction by profession study published by Glassdoor in 2019 reveals that recruiting managers, with a median base salary of $70,000, tend to be happiest at work. Second place is shared by three professions: dental hygienists, who make $67,250 annually, sales operations managers ($93,000 per year), and product designers ($100,000 per year). All of these jobs have satisfaction levels of 4.5 out of 5. This data shows that, while money is important, it isn’t the decisive factor in determining how one feels about their job.
75% of US professionals think new technology is contributing to their job dissatisfaction.
(The Economic Times)
As many as three-quarters of American workers believe new technology causes dissatisfaction at work, only 20% say tech innovation and new gadgets are responsible for raising their job satisfaction, while 5% are indifferent. These employee dissatisfaction statistics reveal that fear of immediate job loss, concern about fewer jobs in the future, and poor workplace ethics are the main reasons for this dissatisfaction.
Employee Engagement Stats
Only 34% of US employees are engaged at work.
But according to Gallup’s latest employee engagement statistics, the percentage of workers who are passionate about their job and feel committed to their work and their workplace is actually at an all-time high. The American analytics agency started conducting a yearly survey on employee engagement in 2000. In the nearly two decades since, the percentage of actively disengaged workers has never been lower, either. Employees who feel miserable about their work environment currently make up only 13% of the American workforce.
91% of highly engaged employees report being satisfied with their professional development opportunities.
But why is employee engagement important? Because it creates pleasant workplaces people don’t want to leave. When employees feel like valued team members whose contribution is recognized and appreciated, they are 87% less likely to leave their job, according to Recruit Loop’s retention statistics. The bottom line is that it makes more sense, financial and otherwise, to invest in keeping high-performance workers than to constantly spend money finding and training new personnel.
Engaged teams generate 21% more profit than their disengaged counterparts.
When people are satisfied with their job, have good communication with their superiors and their colleagues, and set clear goals, they are motivated to achieve great results. And they often do. According to Gallup’s engagement statistics, teams that work in companies that nurture a high-engagement culture reward those companies with higher productivity, better customer engagement, better employee retention, and a 21% increase in profitability.
Employers who increase their workers’ engagement by just 10% can boost profits by $2,400 per employee every year.
Recruit Loop provides more detailed information on the financial rewards employers can reap if they increase worker engagement. Raising staff morale can also boost company profits. Getting employees to care just 10% more about the work they do and their company can bring in $2,400 per employee each year, according to these productivity stats.
Actively disengaged workers cost the US between $450 billion and $550 billion in lost productivity per year.
Keeping severely disengaged workers - the ones who are so unhappy with their job they undermine the achievements of engaged employees on purpose - costs American companies a hefty sum each year. In fact, Gallup estimates the combined cost in lost productivity these workers cause amounts to $550 billion annually.
US companies spend $11 billion annually on employee turnover.
Staff rotation costs are another huge financial burden relating to employee engagement. Finding ways to keep workers motivated and truly connected to the company will ensure they are loyal to their organization. Failing to do this, however, means constantly having to search for new employees and spending time and money training them. Bearing in mind recent employee turnover statistics that reveal American companies allocate as much as $11 billion every year on replacing staff, it’s undoubtedly more profitable to retain existing workers.
47% of HR chiefs cite employee retention and turnover as their top workforce-management challenge.
As clear as it may be that employee retention is beneficial to any organization, HR leaders agree it is the biggest obstacle they encounter while managing personnel. Nearly half of HR specialists cite retention and turnover as the most challenging aspects of their job, followed by recruitment and culture management.
96% of employees believe showing empathy is an important way of improving employee retention.
Employers who care openly about their staff have an excellent shot at earning their workers’ loyalty, according to Forbes’ employee retention statistics. Human capital is a company’s most valuable asset, so why not show some human interest in your workers? Celebrating important life moments, encouraging employees to use vacation time, providing company gym passes - these are all ways of showing the people who work for you that you care about them.
70% of organizations have adopted values-based employee-recognition programs.
Fostering employee engagement in an organization goes hand-in-hand with letting employees know their hard work is noticed and appreciated. Tying these recognition programs with core values of a company is becoming notably popular among HR leaders. Why? Because values-based employee-recognition plans reward employees while reinforcing and driving business goals at the same time.
Employee-recognition programs funded with at least 1% of payroll are more likely to be rated successfully by HR managers than underfunded programs or programs with zero budget.
Workhuman’s job satisfaction statistics emphasize the importance of investing in programs that make employees feel appreciated. HR experts agree that underfunded employee recognition initiatives or initiatives with no budget at all give unsatisfactory results. A certain amount of funds - usually at least 1% of payroll - need to be set aside for these programs to be effective.
Organizations with ethnically and gender-diverse staff are 21% to 31% more likely to have financial returns above industry medians.
Women and minorities remain underrepresented in many workplaces despite the fact that diversity has been proven to improve businesses’ performance. US job statistics recently published by McKinsey bring to light just how big an effect diversity has on company revenue. Businesses that are in the top quartile for gender diversity are 21% more likely to exceed their industry median profits. In the case of ethnically diverse teams, the likelihood of exceeding median industry revenue goes up by 31%. It makes perfect sense; in diverse teams everybody brings their own perspective to the table, strengthening the company.
Empowering women and advancing their equality in the workplace could add $12 trillion to the global GDP by 2025.
McKinsley’s productivity statistics point to the enormous power of inclusion. Working towards empowering women and engaging them in the workforce around the world would be extremely beneficial to everyone. To put it in financial terms, the global GDP would increase by mind-boggling $12 trillion in the next six years if this goal were achieved.
A great onboarding experience can lock down 69% of employees for at least three years.
Onboarding is the employer’s first chance to shape an engaged worker. Successfully communicating the company mission, setting clear goals and expectations, providing adequate training and mentorship, and checking in on each new employee’s progress are some of the most important ways to retain staff. Employee engagement and retention begin on day one. If done properly, these initial actions can ensure the majority of workers stay with the organization for a minimum of three years.
Up to 20% of employee turnover happens within the first 45 days on the job.
Just as effective onboarding has the power to lock down new hires for years, a mishandled onboarding process can drive new employees away in just 45 days. As O.C. Tanner’s employee retention stats show, a fifth of all employee churn happens during this short period of time. Deploying the previously mentioned techniques reduces the likelihood of employee walkout, both at the beginning of employment and later on.
60% of employers don’t set clear goals for new hires in their first year.
Almost two-thirds of employers make the huge mistake of not determining well-defined goals for new hires during their first year on the job. Even though it may seem sensible not to put too much pressure on new team members and give them time to learn the ropes, it is detrimental for the organization not to set clear targets for the first year on the job. According to employee engagement data, if workers don’t see management taking interest in their results, monitoring them, and providing constructive feedback, they can easily become disengaged.
86% of both employees and executives cite a lack of collaboration and ineffective communication as the main reason for workplace failures.
Employees and their bosses are on the same page when it comes to pinning down the reasons for workplace failures. The large majority of all workers think clearer communication and more collaboration would lead to better results, but only 18% of employees are evaluated on communication in their performance reviews.
When employees take part in special projects, they are 50% more likely to learn new and valuable skills that help with their current roles.
O.C. Tanner’s recently published employee development statistics point to the importance of involving employees in projects that go beyond their everyday tasks. Constantly focusing on just a few assignments kills workers’ motivation. So, when a new project arises, make sure to include not just the employees who can contribute, but also those who can learn from it.
For every 10% increase in racial and ethnic diversity on the senior-executive team, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) go up by 0.8%.
People from different backgrounds have different perspectives. Thanks to their unique set of previous experiences, they view problems from a range of angles and come up with different solutions. When people with different outlooks bounce ideas off of each other, they think of better solutions than like-minded people from the same culture. As McKinsey’s employee engagement statistics show, executive teams composed of ethnically and racially diverse members generate higher earnings.
Nine in 10 HR leaders agree that ongoing peer feedback and check-ins have a positive impact on their organizations.
Regularly checking in on employees’ progress, results and issues they face helps organizations a great deal. This practice gives managers a chance to guide workers in the right direction at the right time. Instead of employees feeling stuck and abandoned with a task, regular check-ins ensure problems are tackled by both the staff and their leaders. This system, paired with ongoing peer feedback, is among the top employee engagement and retention strategies of 89% of HR experts.
80% of HR managers say there is an employee-recognition program in their organizations.
HR managers agree that their employee-recognition programs contribute to a positive employee experience (89%), good employee relationships (86%), organizational culture (85%), employee engagement (84%), and organizational values (83%). Keeping in mind all these benefits, HR leaders recommend treating employee recognition as more than just a program. They believe it should be a management practice with a real and measurable business impact, according to Workhuman’s HR and employee engagement statistics.
Happy Employees = Productive Company
As our list of job satisfaction statistics reiterates, companies do very well when their employees are happy at work. Engaged employees are likely to feel great about their job, achieve better results, have a good work-life balance, and feel appreciated. All these positive feelings they generate spill over into the company’s performance, resulting in higher productivity and more revenue.
If you aren’t already doing so, you should start expressing appreciation for your employees immediately. After all, they are your business’s most valuable asset.
Job satisfaction, as the name indicates, refers to the level of fulfilment an employee gets from their job and work environment. When workers are satisfied, they are self-motivated, content, and productive. They show up to work ready to face new challenges. Companies whose workers feel highly satisfied with their job outperform their competition. Innovation and great results happen when workers feel respected and valued at work.
There are many factors that contribute to employee engagement. Clearly defined goals and expectations, ongoing feedback from peers and superiors alike, open communication, employee recognition programs, internal career development programs, competitive benefits, positive corporate culture, and flexible work environment are among the best employment engagement strategies.
People quit for various reasons, but according to 2019 data from Statista, a quarter of Americans cite better pay as the main reason for leaving a company. The second-most common reason is dissatisfaction with their current organization (16%), followed by workers who are looking for companies with values more similar to their own (14%). Relocation (11%) and changing part-time gigs for full-time jobs round up the top-five list of reasons why US workers change employers.
The latest statistics on employee engagement published by Gallup in 2018 show that the percentage of engaged workers has never been higher. But with only 34% of workers describing themselves as engaged, there’s still a long way to go before America reaches its full productivity and engagement potential.
While a little over a third of employed Americans identify as “actively engaged” at work, 53% of them say they are ‘not engaged’. Workers from this group are generally satisfied with their job but say they lack an emotional and cognitive connection with their work environment. Employee disengagement statistics show that 13% of workers are “actively disengaged,” meaning they are very discontent with their job, so much so they actively undercut the work their engaged coworkers do.
The benefits flow thick and fast when for both workers and corporations when staff members are engaged. Appreciating the human capital of a company leads to higher job satisfaction rates as well as improved employment retention rates. When employees are engaged at work they tend to have fewer accidents and miss work less. Engaged personnel generate more revenue, provide better customer service, makes more sales, and create more profitable organizations. Also, engaged and satisfied employees achieve a better work-life balance and are healthier.
Relying on the latest data from Statista and Gallup, we’ve calculated that there are approximately 44.5 million full-time workers in the US who love their job. According to a Statista report published in June 2019, the number of full-time workers in the US amounts to 131 million. Gallup’s latest annual survey suggests 34% of working Americans are fully engaged – happy and committed – at work. Therefore, the number of people who love their job is a little over 44.5 million.
Basing our estimates on the previously mentioned statistics about jobs, we reached a number of some 17 million US employees who hate their job. Let’s consider that the 13% of actively disengaged workers from Gallup’s yearly employee engagement study hate their job. From that, we calculated 13% of Statista’s data on the number of US employees who hold full-time positions. According to this data, more than 17 million Americans are miserable at work.
Ivana is a staff writer at SmallBizGenius. Her interests during office hours include writing about small businesses, start-ups, and retail. When the weekend comes, you can find her hiking in nature, hanging off of a cliff or dancing salsa.
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