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Salary, Flex Schedules Top the List of What Employees Want

Jan. 28, 2013 — While upward mobility is a key factor in job satisfaction and employee retention, having a certain title isn't important to more than half of workers (55%). The majority (88%) reported that salary matters more. These are the findings of a CareerBuilder survey exploring which job factors are more important to today's workers. More than 3,900 full-time workers nationwide participated in the survey conducted online by Harris Interactive from Nov. 1 to Nov. 30, 2012.

Nearly one-third of employers (32%) reported that top performers left their organizations in 2012 and 39% are concerned that they'll lost top talent in 2013. While most workers (66%) said they are generally satisfied with their jobs, 1 in 4 (25%) said they will change jobs in 2013 or 2014.

Other factors that outrank job title in what is most important to workers are:

  • Flexible schedule (59%)
  • Being able to make a difference (48%)
  • Challenging work (35%)
  • Ability to work from home (33%)
  • Academic reimbursement (18%)
  • Having an office (17%)
  • Company car (14%).

26% of workers said that providing special perks is an effective way to improve employee retention. When asked to identify one perk that would make their workplace more satisfying, early dismissals, convenient gym access and casual dress scored highest:

  • Half-day Fridays (40%)
  • On-site fitness center (20%)
  • Ability to wear jeans (18%)
  • Daily catered lunches (17%)
  • Massages (16%)
  • Nap room (12%)
  • Rides to and from work (12%)
  • Snack cart that comes around the office (8%)
  • Private restroom (7%)
  • On-site daycare (6%).

The majority of workers (70%) reported that increasing salaries is the best way to boost employee retention, while 58% pointed to better benefits. Other actions workers said employers should take to reduce voluntary turnover include:

  • Provide flexible schedules (51%)
  • Increase employee recognition (awards, cash prizes, company trips) (50%)
  • Ask employees what they want and put feedback into action (48%)
  • Increase training and learning opportunities (35%)
  • Hire additional workers to ease workloads (22%)
  • Provide academic reimbursement (22%)
  • Carve out specific career paths and promote more (21%)
  • Institute a more casual dress code (14%).

"What determines job satisfaction is not a once-size-fits-all, but flexibility, recognition, the ability to make a difference and, yes, even special perks, can to a long way," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of HR at CareerBuilder. "Being compensated well will always be a top consideration, but we’re seeing work-life balance, telecommuting options and learning opportunities outweigh other job factors when an employee decides whether to say with an organization."

This survey was conducted online in the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,611 hiring managers and HR professionals and 3,991 workers (employed full time, not self-employed, non-government) between Nov. 1 and Nov. 30, 2012.

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