Employee Engagement

7 employee & job satisfaction statistics & trends (2023)

By JD Farrugia

Jul. 7, 2023


  • Flexibility has become a vital component of employee satisfaction — More

  • Restaurant workers have a net promoter score of 14% — the lowest-scoring industry — More

  • LGBTQ+ employees rank their workplace experience 6% lower than non-LGBTQ+ workers — More

  • Executives reported a 1.3x higher overall job satisfaction than non-executive employees — More

  • Work atmosphere and career development potential are the biggest contributors to employee satisfaction — More

  • About half of US workers are “quiet quitters”— More

  • A company’s digitalization levels have significant, indirect effects on employee satisfaction — More

Tom Smith, co-founder of Partners in Leadership and three-time New York Times bestselling author, once said, “An attitude of accountability lies at the core of any effort to improve quality, satisfy customers, empower people, build teams, create new products, maximize effectiveness, and get results.”

That attitude of accountability is directly related to employee satisfaction. Harnessing job satisfaction should be a top priority for human resources professionals, but it’s become increasingly difficult since the pandemic.

Work is changing. As hybrid and remote work have become a priority for many workers, the Great Resignation rages on, and quiet quitting is a new workplace phenomenon.

In this article, we’ll share current employee satisfaction statistics and trends affecting today’s work environment. We’ll also provide tips on how utilizing technology like workforce management software can increase your team’s job satisfaction rate.

Satisfied employees mean higher levels of employee engagement and retention. Job satisfaction has a positive effect on people’s well-being, which, in turn, boosts productivity and innovation.

1. Flexibility from hybrid and remote work leads to higher levels of satisfaction

Flexibility is a key to job satisfaction. According to Future Forum, 80% of respondents said they wanted flexibility on where they work, and 94% cited flexibility on when they work as important.

Full-time, in-office workers reported lower scores relating to employee experience than their hybrid or remote colleagues. Only 21.6% of in-office workers said they were happy with their work environment, compared to 28.3% of hybrid workers and 35.4% of remote workers. Only 17.1% of in-office employees were satisfied with their work-life balance, compared to 25.1% of hybrid workers and 33.2% of remote workers.

According to research by UBS, 69% of workers are ready to leave their current jobs if they’re unable to work how they’d like — with more flexibility.

Creating flexible work environments can be particularly tricky for shift-based companies. By using a digital scheduling solution, this becomes simpler. Employees have greater control over their own schedules in a way that’s visible to their colleagues and management through dashboards and employee apps.

Shifts get covered quickly and easily, making it easier for employees to move things around when needed. It’s also easier to pick up additional shifts if they’re looking to earn some extra cash.

2. Restaurants and other labor-intensive industries are struggling with low employee satisfaction levels

Restaurants have the lowest net promoter score among employees at 14%, according to Statista. This was followed by the commerce industry (20%) and the public service sector (22%). In fact, resignation rates in leisure and hospitality were the highest recorded — 971,000 in August 2021.

A report by One Fair Wage shed some light on why restaurant work, in particular, exhibited low job satisfaction statistics and employee turnover rates. They found that 76% of restaurant workers were leaving their jobs because of low wages and tips.

Hostility and harassment were also factors behind restaurant employees wanting out. Thirty-nine percent of restaurant workers had concerns about hostility and harassment from customers and 26% from their coworkers and/or management.

Restaurant owners and HR staff should not take these figures lightly. There needs to be an open and constant dialogue with employees about working conditions and employee well-being. Schedule regular team and one-to-one meetings, and have anonymous feedback forms available in order to find out more about your employees’ concerns.

3. LGBTQ+ employees report lower employee job satisfaction than their colleagues

When asked to rate their companies, LGBTQ+ employees ranked their workplaces 6% lower than non-LGBTQ+ workers, according to Glassdoor. Transgender employees rated their employee experience the lowest at 3.43 out of 5.

The highest-rated industries for LGBTQ+ employees are real estate, IT, and legal. The lowest-rated industries are retail and wholesale, restaurants and food service, and personal consumer services.

According to Glassdoor data, these employees are less satisfied with their jobs due to burnout and discrimination. To ensure a safe and equitable environment, companies can provide ongoing DEI training and include zero-bullying policies in their employee handbooks.

4. There is an executive-employee disconnected when it comes to work experience

The executive-employee disconnect was observed by Future Forum in the fall of 2021. According to Future Forum’s 2022 data, executives continue to report higher scores related to employee experience compared to their non-executive teammates.

In the past year, executives reported a 1.3x higher overall satisfaction with their work environment than non-execs. Non-exec employees scored 1.5x lower than executives for work-related stress and anxiety.

Companies need to remove this disconnect and ensure non-exec employees are enjoying the same levels of satisfaction (if not more) as executives. This involves training managers to move away from being information gatekeepers and move toward being coaches who empower their teams.

Managers must be trained to give regular feedback and recognition. According to SHRM, 68% of human resources professionals feel that employee recognition activities contribute to increasing employee retention. Fifty-three percent of employees strongly feel their organization’s culture through being recognized or celebrated

Giving feedback through solutions like shift feedback tools helps to foster a company culture of feedback and appreciation. Managers provide staff with regular and standardized feedback in all areas of work via the app. This shows employees which areas they’re succeeding in and which require some improvement.

5. Work atmosphere and development possibilities are key to employee satisfaction

Research by Statista shows that a favorable work environment and opportunities for career development are the factors most connected to an employee’s satisfaction in the workplace. Other important factors the study found include diversity and the company’s image. Surprisingly, salary and compensation only ranked fourth.

Workforce management software has an important role to play in creating a positive work atmosphere and helping employees be better prepared for further career advancement. Employee self-service (ESS) through the use of technology means that team members are empowered to handle more tasks related to HR, IT, and other administrative needs they might have.

ESS makes employees feel more empowered due to increased accountability while lightening the administrative burden on other departments. These factors all contribute to a work atmosphere that’s centered on empowering employees and equipping them with better career development prospects.

Workforce.com’s Employee App is built on the concept of ESS, allowing employees to take more control of things like shift management and cross-departmental communications.

6. At least half of US employees are quiet quitting

Gallup estimates that 50%, if not more, of US workers are quiet quitters. Quiet quitting refers to how people are doing just enough to meet their job responsibilities and not get fired.

In the second quarter of 2022, they found that the ratio of engaged employees to actively disengaged employees currently stands at 1.8 to 1 — this is the lowest it has been in nearly a decade.

Gallup attributed quiet quitting to poor management, and they offered four tips on how to improve it:

  • Address manager engagement. Gallup found that, currently, only one in three managers are engaged at work. They recommend managers be trained to be better suited for new hybrid ways of working.
  • Managers need to speak with employees and find ways to reduce disengagement, minimize burnout, and prioritize mental health.
  • Managers should have at least one meaningful one-to-one conversation per week. These conversations could uncover the initiatives and changes management needs to make to create more satisfying work environments.
  • Managers need to create a sense of accountability among employees. Employees should see how their work affects the overall business goals. This is obtained by creating more transparency and including employees in conversations about individual goals and performance indicators.

7. Digitalization has an indirect but significant impact on satisfaction

In their research, Statista found that a company’s level of digitalization provides the greatest variety of employee satisfaction scores across industries. While digitalization itself was found to have a low impact on employee satisfaction, other important factors are influenced by digitalization — such as the need for good working equipment. Improving a company’s digitalization leads to improvements in other areas that are directly linked with satisfaction.

Digitalization makes it easier to adapt, which increases a company’s ability to remain stable and competitive in ever-changing environments. This means great job security for a company’s employees.

Satisfaction with digitalization was found to be lowest for employees with repetitive tasks. This shows an opportunity for workforce management solutions in shift-based industries that involve such tasks. Workforce.com is a great operations solution that promotes greater productivity through the optimization of frontline operations.

Workforce.com offers labor forecasting functionality that allows HR professionals to schedule based on demand. It uses historical data to accurately forecast future demand and help build the most effective schedules. This way, companies avoid understaffing and overstaffing, resulting in less stress and burnout among employees.

Boost your employee engagement strategy

Building a workplace culture that fosters employee engagement requires time, dedication, and a clear leadership mandate.

Download our ebook Boost Your Employee Engagement Strategy.

Learn more about how to implement and measure your strategies and how HR and senior leaders can work together and utilize technology to make this happen.

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