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Americans mostly happy at work

People hate their jobs, right?

Wrong.

According to a survey of 517 Americans by the Society for Human Resource Management, 88 percent of the nation’s employees report “overall satisfaction” with their current jobs. That’s the highest level of satisfaction in the past decade.

Only 17 percent said they are “very likely” to leave their current employer in the next year, while 22 percent called such a scenario “likely.” The other 61 percent of respondents said they would probably not leave their organization in the near future, with about half of those calling it “very unlikely.”

What do workers want most out of their workplaces? Two-thirds of the respondents said it’s important to work at a place where all employees — at all levels — are treated respectfully. Not far behind was compensation (63 percent), benefits (60 percent), and job security (58 percent).

Along those lines, just under a third reported being “very satisfied” with the treatment of employees and job security, and only 23 percent reported high satisfaction with compensation. Twenty-seven percent said the same of benefits.

Interestingly, there was no statistically significant difference in job satisfaction based on age, with nearly 90 percent of millennials, Gen Xers, and baby boomers reporting satisfaction with their jobs.

In fact, the report urged employers to be wary of generalizations about what millennials want. They’re not so different from their elders, it said.

“Putting excessive focus on generational differences only perpetuates these false impressions,” wrote the authors. “When designing training and development programs or benefits strategies, keep in mind other elements such as career level and life stage, not just age, to build an approach that is appropriate for various groups of employees.”

About the Author

Will Temby

Will has enjoyed a 20-year career in leadership positions in the hospitality and travel industry throughout the U.S. with the Hyatt, Sheraton, Hilton, Renaissance and Steamboat Ski and Resort corporations. Will received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. From 2000-2007, he served as President and CEO of the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce. He also served as Vice President-Special Projects for the University of Colorado Foundation from 2007 to 2009. Will is a past Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Homeland Defense Foundation and former member of the United States Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100. He is married to Nan, has five wonderful children, and enjoys coaching, traveling, hiking, golfing and skiing.

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