Nov 9, 2011
A recent survey* of young professionals by employer branding firm Universum found that job satisfaction among young professionals in the United States dropped precipitously in comparison to other countries. In 2010, the satisfaction among young professionals in the United States led all countries for which comparable data is available. In 2011, the United States slipped to third behind Norway and Sweden.
Participants were asked to rate their satisfaction with their current employer on a scale of 1-10. This year, the average in the United States was a 6.9, dropping from a 7.2 in 2010. China, a 6.3 in 2010, rose to a 6.5 in 2011 along with Sweden (7.0 to 7.1) and Norway (7.1 to 7.2). The only other country to drop was Poland, falling from a 6.3 in 2010 all the way down to a 5.8 in 2011.
To determine what could lead satisfaction to drop, researchers at Universum analyzed trends in the data and found that those who indicated they were more satisfied with an employer (rating them an “8” or higher), also had stronger image associations with their employer than those who rated lower.
“Employers who have a strong and clear employer image have more satisfied employees,” Melissa Burdette, research analyst says, “Therefore it is important for employers to understand and define who they are as an employer and make sure they demonstrate this internally to keep employees satisfied, as well as externally to attract new talent.”
In the survey, participants were asked, which drivers of employer attractiveness they associate with their current employer and which they associate with their most ideal employer. Overall, researchers at Universum found that if a company has a very strong and clear image, then they also have more satisfied employers.
A similar study conducted by Gallup found that the majority of Americans were not engaged in their jobs. 71 percent of those surveyed by Gallup claimed they were emotionally disconnected from their workplace, further demonstrating that the U.S. workforce is disengaged and unsatisfied with their current employment.
One easy way of discovering if there are unhappy employees is to talk to them. Dayna Paul, a writer for TLNT, expresses this in a recent article, “Communication is a key to keeping happy employees. And what better way to figure out what will keep your employees happy than hearing it straight from the “horse’s mouth?” If your company culture does not foster an open communication policy and not just an executive memo that states such, but truly open lines, then now is a great time to start.”
*The Professional Survey was conducted between the months of July 2011 and September 2011 – 6,698 Young Professionals completed the survey. A Young Professional has 1 – 8 years of working experience, 4 year bachelor degree with a maximum age of 40.