The job market in America may be improving, but employee satisfaction at those jobs is at an all-time low. According to a recent survey of over 150,000 US employees, over 70 percent of full-time and part-time workers questioned are unhappy with their current jobs. Furthermore, the study states that for employees that are unhappy with their job, office perks don’t help.
While only 30 percent of employees report high satisfaction with their jobs, 52 percent are underwhelmed by their position. A staggering 18 percent of employees are “actively disengaged” with their work; these truly unhappy employees cost U.S. businesses up to 550 billion annually in lost productivity.
An ongoing corporate fad is that of providing perks for employees in the office. Things like beer taps, Ping-Pong tables, and Google’s infamous “Wall of Cereal” are all intended to improve employee morale at work. It turns out that these perks aren’t what employees are looking for.
"There's a lot of research out there that says, although it depends on the employee, the perks come out as less important as job satisfaction," Said Randy Allen, a dean of Cornell University’s Graduate School of Management.
Even a pay raise, which once seemed to be a guaranteed way to make employees happy, may not be enough to inspire corporate engagement.
The only thing proven to make employees happier, and thus work harder, is a corporate culture that encourages workers to speak their opinions, and work together for success; such an environment is easier said than done.