Growing Employee Dissatisfaction

In 2010, nearly one in three of surveyed U.S. workers – 32% – said that they were seriously considering leaving their jobs up from 23% in 2005, according to a report by Mercer LLC. The report finds there are also fewer feelings of commitment, accomplishment and pride within the workplace.

The cause of the dissatisfaction is that employees increasingly feel their career expectations are not being attained in terms of either benefits or advancement. Particular causes cited included stagnant wages: when adjusted for inflation, the average American is making $400 less than in 1988.

Younger employees are particularly dissatisfied – Bloomberg News, reports:

  • 40% of employees aged 25-34 are seriously considering leaving their jobs
  • 44 percent of employees aged 24 and younger are seriously considering leaving their job.

Why aren’t more just leaving? According to the Wall Street Journal, it’s the economy.  Only 1.4 percent of employees voluntarily left their jobs in April, the lowest level since voluntary turnover began to be measured by the Department of Labor in 2000.

Employee Satisfaction = The Company’s Success

According to an article published in the Harvard Business Review,  employee satisfaction, particularly in an increasingly service-based economy, is essential for a firm’s success. It states that: “employee satisfaction results primarily from high-quality support services and policies that enable employees to deliver results to customers.” In other words, dissatisfaction is passed down the chain all the way to the end user.

Benefits = A Win Win Solution

 According to a study of 58 of The Principal’s 10 Best Companies for Employee Financial Security published in the Harvard Business Review showed that companies that supported their employees over the last decade with sustained, various benefits saw substantial positive effects on the companies’ growth and dividends.  The exemplary companies all either maintained or increased their benefits packages. Even though some shifted health insurance costs to employees, most of them absorbed the higher costs themselves.

Only one of the 20 companies that were interviewed for the poll byHarvard Business Review actually succumbed to cutting benefits to curb costs, so as not to sacrifice long-term positive effects for short-term cost savings. The payoff:

  • 75% of those surveyed said that benefits contributed to employee retention.
  • 72% reported that the benefits positively impacted employee loyalty.
  •  58% stated that benefits had a significant impact on the company’s ability to maintain a competitive advantage.

Across the board, the most visible motivation for retaining such high benefits standards was the protection of the financial well-being of employees. Of all the benefits offered, nine out of 10 employers said the most significant benefit is retirement programs and generous employer contributions. The report states:

At the most basic level, high retention translates into low turnover costs, and the 10 Best winners have, on average, voluntary turnover rates that are less than half industry averages.

In the last decade, 74% of the companies polled added a wellness program, 46% added group insurance benefits and 35% increased the company’s contribution to 401(k).   Across the board, the most common motivation for retaining these high benefits standards was a commitment to the protection of the financial well-being of employees. 90% of employers reporting that their most significant benefit are retirement programs and generous employer contributions.

These findings are consistent with research carried out by other thought leaders in financial services, such as Prudential and MetLife.

Snap! Principle of Employee Benefit Satisfaction

Your employees are vital customers. Their satisfaction is your success.