Research conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) explains what it takes to keep employees satisfied and engaged, and the results may surprise you.

The top five contributors to employee satisfaction in 2014 were:

  1. Respectful treatment of all employees at all levels
  2. Trust between employees and senior management
  3. Benefits
  4. Compensation/pay (overall)
  5. Job security

Perhaps the most interesting piece of this research for small business owners is that the top two contributors for satisfied employees do not cost the company any money to provide. It isn’t always about bigger salaries or more extensive benefits.

Also interesting is the fact that benefits outranked compensation on this list. This is again great news for small business owners, who may able to find creative benefits solutions that cost less than increasing employee pay, but have an even bigger impact on employee satisfaction. Contact your Client Account Manager if you would like to explore additional benefits offerings. There are many low and no-cost solutions available.

The top five contributors to employee engagement in 2014 were:

  1. Relationships with co-workers
  2. Contribution to the organization’s business goals
  3. Meaningfulness of the job
  4. Opportunities to use skills/abilities
  5. Relationship with immediate supervisor (tied with the The work itself and Organization’s financial security for 5th place)

Once again, none of these factors are tied directly to how much an employee is paid. Instead the employee’s working conditions play the biggest role in their engagement. So while pay will always be important to employees, culture is perhaps even more important than compensation. Providing meaningful work for employees, helping them see how their work impacts the business as a whole, and providing opportunities for employees to create meaningful relationships with co-workers and supervisors may be even more important to your organization than increasing employee pay.