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Surprisingly, it isn’t money
When Dennis Kaldenberg, PhD, director of research and development at Press, Ganey Associates in South Bend, IN, looked at the relationship between staff happiness and employee satisfaction in health care organizations (see related story, p. 61), part of the exercise included looking at just what mattered most to employee satisfaction. The answers were surprising.
Measuring the feelings of nearly 4,000 employees, he came up with a list that ranks 37 items as they related to employee satisfaction. Money doesn’t even make the top 20. What is more important is making sure staff feel they can succeed at their job, that they are in control of processes for which they are held accountable, and that they enjoy the people with whom they interact.
Danny Frankel, PhD, vice president of Martin/Frankel Associates in Winston-Salem, NC, agrees that money isn’t always an issue. "If people perceive they are underpaid in the market, they will be unhappy. But, for most people, what is more important is that they feel they are treated fairly. Recognition and reward is usually more important."
Here is the complete list, in order of importance, of what Kaldenberg’s study found was most important to employees:
1. Pride in work and workplace.
2. Communication by administration.
3. Respect shown by manager/supervisor.
4. Manager response style to problems.
5. New ideas accepted by manager/ supervisor.
6. Encouraged to think/act independently.
7. Adequacy of supervisor support.
8. Realistic organizational goals.
9. Ability to disagree with manager/ supervisor.
10. Accuracy/fairness of evaluations.
11. Other employees’ attitudes about working here.
12. Creative freedom on the job.
13. Authority to handle responsibility.
14. Acknowledgment of a job well done.
15. Understandable discipline policies.
16. Clarity of organizational goals.
17. Clarity of work policies.
18. Overall level of teamwork
19. Opportunities for advancement.
20. Manager/supervisor availability.
21. How well grievance procedures work.
22. Receiving information from other departments.
23. Resources to do the job effectively.
24. Adequacy of training.
25. Programs to aid with personal problems.
26. Other departments understand job.
27. Likelihood of receiving merit raises.
28. Satisfaction with salary.
29. Likelihood to attend company events.
30. Space/equipment safe from hazard
31. Cleanliness of work environment.
32. Knowledge of grievance procedures.
33. Satisfaction with sick/personal time.
34. Absence of work-related stress.
35. Adequacy of retirement plan.
36. Satisfaction with vacation time.
37. Adequacy of medical insurance.