Workers Most Satisfied With Coworker Relationships, Workplace Safety

by Joseph Carroll

Workers least satisfied with on-the-job stress and pay

GALLUP NEWS SERVICE

PRINCETON, NJ -- Gallup's annual poll on work and education shows that workers are most satisfied with their relationships with coworkers and the physical safety conditions of their workplaces, while they are least satisfied with the amount of work-related stress and their incomes. Over the past year, workers have become more positive about the amount of recognition they receive for accomplishments, their coworker relationships, their bosses, and their job security. All in all, half of American workers tell Gallup that they are "completely" satisfied with their jobs.

Satisfaction With Job Characteristics

The Aug. 9-11 poll asked employed Americans to rate their levels of satisfaction with 13 different job characteristics. Topping the list were "relations with coworkers" (74% are completely satisfied) and the "physical safety conditions of your workplace" (73% are completely satisfied).

Additionally, at least half of workers are completely satisfied with the following workplace attributes: the flexibility of hours (62%), their bosses or immediate supervisors (60%), their job security (54%), the amount of work required of them (53%), and the amount of vacation time allotted to them (52%).

Less than half of American workers are completely satisfied with the amount of recognition they receive for their work accomplishments (48%). Workers are even less satisfied with their chances for promotion (40%), their health insurance benefits (39%), and their retirement plans (36%). American workers are least completely satisfied with the amount of money they earn (28%) and the amount of stress in their jobs (27%).

Satisfaction With Job Characteristics
Aug. 9-11, 2004

 

 

 

 

 

Completely satisfied

Total satisfied

Total dissatisfied

 

%

%

%

Relations with coworkers

74

96

2

Physical safety conditions of your workplace

73

92

7

Flexibility of your hours

62

86

12

Boss or immediate supervisor

60

84

10

Job security

54

82

17

Amount of work that is required of you

53

86

14

Amount of vacation time you receive

52

79

17

Recognition received at work

48

83

16

Chances for promotion

40

70

20

Health insurance benefits your employer offers

39

65

23

Retirement plan your employer offers

36

64

23

Amount of money you earn

28

74

26

Amount of on-the-job stress in your job

27

64

34

Over the past year, there has been an increase in the percentage of workers saying they are completely satisfied with 6 of the 13 characteristics rated in the poll. Gallup finds a seven-point increase among workers who are completely satisfied with the amount of recognition they receive, increasing from 41% to 48%. Although satisfaction with the amount of recognition received increased, the current results are essentially the same as they were in 2002, when 46% were completely satisfied.

There is a six-point increase among workers who are completely satisfied with coworker relationships (68% to 74%) and their bosses or supervisors (54% to 60%). The percentage of workers completely satisfied with their job security also increased six points this year, from 48% to 54%. However, two years ago, roughly the same percentage of workers as today (55%) were completely satisfied with their job security.

The poll also finds a five-point increase in both workers' complete satisfaction with their chances for promotion (35% to 40%) and their health insurance benefits (34% to 39%).

Satisfaction With Job Characteristics
Change From 2003 to 2004
percentage who say completely satisfied

 

 

 

 

 

2003

2004

Change

 

%

%

 

Recognition received at work

41

48

+7

Relations with coworkers

68

74

+6

Boss or immediate supervisor

54

60

+6

Job security

48

54

+6

Chances for promotion

35

40

+5

Health insurance benefits your employer offers

34

39

+5

Physical safety conditions of your workplace

69

73

+4

Amount of work that is required of you

50

53

+3

Flexibility of your hours

61

62

1

Retirement plan your employer offers

35

36

1

Amount of on-the-job stress in your job

26

27

1

Amount of money you earn

28

28

0

Amount of vacation time you receive

53

52

-1

Overall Satisfaction

According to the Aug. 9-11 poll, 50% of American workers (those who are employed full or part time) say they are completely satisfied with their jobs, and an additional 39% say they are somewhat satisfied. Only about 1 in 10 workers are dissatisfied with their jobs.

Current "complete" job satisfaction is up from 44% last year. When Gallup first asked the question in July 1989, just 28% of workers said they were completely satisfied with their jobs. Complete job satisfaction then increased to 35% in 1997, and has steadily increased since.

There are differences in job satisfaction depending on a respondent's gender, age, and income levels.

  • Fifty-three percent of men say they are completely satisfied with their jobs, compared with 46% of women.
  • Older workers (those aged 50 and older) tend to be more satisfied with their jobs than are young workers (those aged 18 to 49) by 59% to 46%.
  • By 55% to 42%, higher-income workers (those earning $50,000 a year or more) are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs than are lower-income workers (those earning less than $50,000 per year).

Job satisfaction seems to make little difference among employees of a private company (44% completely satisfied) and government or nonprofit employees (49% completely satisfied).

Over the past year, job satisfaction increased among most demographic subgroups. The largest increases in satisfaction between 2003 and 2004 are found among workers with a high school education or less (from 40% to 56%), those with a liberal ideology (from 32% to 47%), those living in the southern part of the country (from 42% to 53%), and workers with a conservative ideology (49% to 59%).

When looking at partisanship and job satisfaction, the current poll finds a 21-point gap between Republicans and Democrats, the widest gap Gallup has measured. The latest results show that 62% of Republicans are completely satisfied with their jobs, compared with 41% of Democrats. These differences still persist even when controlling for respondents' incomes. Last year, 46% of both Republicans and Democrats were completely satisfied. With the exception of the 2003 results, Republicans have consistently expressed higher levels of job satisfaction than Democrats have, but never to the extent found in the most recent survey.

Overall Job Satisfaction
by partisanship

percentage saying completely satisfied

 




Republicans




Independents




Democrats

Gap
(Republicans Minus Democrats)

 

%

%

%

 

2004

62

45

41

+21

2003

46

40

46

0

2002

50

37

42

+8

2001

47

37

38

+9

1999

50

33

35

+15

1997

41

31

35

+6

1989

32

28

23

+9

Survey Methods

These results are based on telephone interviews with a randomly selected national sample of 1,017 adults, aged 18 and older, conducted Aug. 9-11, 2004. For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum error attributable to sampling and other random effects is ±3 percentage points. For results based on the sample of 580 adults employed full or part time, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

15. How satisfied or dissatisfied are you with your job? Would you say you are -- completely satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or completely dissatisfied with your job?

[BASED ON 580 ADULTS EMPLOYED FULL OR PART-TIME]         

                       

Completely satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Completely dissatisfied

No
opinion

 

%

%

%

%

%

2004 Aug 9-11

50

39

7

4

*

2003 Aug 4-6

44

41

11

4

--

2002 Aug 5-8

43

46

9

2

*

2001 Aug 16-19

41

44

11

4

--

1999 Aug 24-26

39

47

12

2

*

1997 Aug 22-25

35

51

10

3

1

1989 Jul 18-21

28

61

8

3

*

22. Now I'll read a list of job characteristics. For each, please tell me how satisfied or dissatisfied you are with your current job in this regard. First, are you completely satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or completely dissatisfied with [RANDOM ORDER]?

[BASED ON –580—ADULTS EMPLOYED FULL OR PART-TIME]

A. Your job security

 

Completely satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Completely dissatisfied

No
opinion

 

%

%

%

%

%

2004 Aug 9-11

54

28

11

6

1

2003 Aug 4-6

48

35

7

8

2

2002 Aug 5-8

55

30

7

7

1

2001 Aug 16-19

54

30

8

7

1

1999 Aug 24-26

48

33

11

7

1

1998 Oct

52

35

6

6

1

1993 May 10-12

46

33

9

11

1

1991 Jul 25-28

35

44

12

7

2

1989 Jul 18-21

45

42

8

3

2


B. The amount of vacation time you receive

 

Completely satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Completely dissatisfied

No
opinion

 

%

%

%

%

%

2004 Aug 9-11

52

27

9

8

4

2003 Aug 4-6

53

26

9

8

4

2002 Aug 5-8

50

25

11

11

3

2001 Aug 16-19

52

25

9

9

5

1999 Aug 24-26

50

30

9

9

2

1998 Oct

47

34

9

9

1

1993 May 10-12

50

22

13

13

2

1991 Jul 25-28

35

43

12

7

3


C. The amount of on-the-job stress in your job

 

Completely satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Completely dissatisfied

No
opinion

 

%

%

%

%

%

2004 Aug 9-11

27

37

24

10

2

2003 Aug 4-6

26

36

23

11

4

2002 Aug 5-8

20

46

18

13

3

2001 Aug 16-19

22

40

23

13

2

1999 Aug 24-26

21

44

22

12

1

1998 Oct

22

42

23

11

2

1993 May 10-12

24

36

25

14

1

1991 Jul 25-28

17

44

24

11

3

D. The amount of work that is required of you

 

Completely satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Completely dissatisfied

No
opinion

 

%

%

%

%

%

2004 Aug 9-11

53

33

10

4

*

2003 Aug 4-6

50

31

13

6

*

2002 Aug 5-8

51

36

9

4

*

2001 Aug 16-19

47

35

13

5

*

1999 Aug 24-26

46

35

12

6

1

1998 Oct

45

40

11

4

*

1993 May 10-12

47

35

13

5

*

* Less than 0.5%

 

 

 

 

 


E. Your chances for promotion

 

Completely satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Completely dissatisfied

No
opinion

 

%

%

%

%

%

2004 Aug 9-11

40

30

11

9

10

2003 Aug 4-6

35

27

15

13

10

2002 Aug 5-8

35

30

14

11

10

2001 Aug 16-19

32

30

13

12

13

1999 Aug 24-26

32

32

15

12

9

1998 Oct

30

37

16

13

4

1991 Jul 25-28

20

40

18

11

11

1989 Jul 18-21

29

38

19

6

8

F. The flexibility of your hours

 

Completely satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Completely dissatisfied

No
opinion

 

%

%

%

%

%

2004 Aug 9-11

62

24

7

5

2

2003 Aug 4-6

61

25

9

4

1

2002 Aug 5-8

63

27

8

2

*

2001 Aug 16-19

57

28

9

5

1

1999 Aug 24-26

56

31

8

5

*

1991 Jul 25-28

39

44

10

6

1

1989 Jul 18-21

46

40

10

3

1

* Less than 0.5%

 

 

 

 

 

G. The health insurance benefits your employer offers

 

Completely satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Completely dissatisfied

No
opinion

 

%

%

%

%

%

2004 Aug 9-11

39

26

9

14

12

2003 Aug 4-6

34

34

11

11

10

2002 Aug 5-8

36

28

12

14

10

2001 Aug 16-19

36

27

11

15

11

1999 Aug 24-26

33

30

14

14

9

H. The retirement plan your employer offers

 

Completely satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Completely dissatisfied

No
opinion

 

%

%

%

%

%

2004 Aug 9-11

36

28

10

13

13

2003 Aug 4-6

35

31

9

14

11

2002 Aug 5-8

29

33

10

16

12

2001 Aug 16-19

31

34

8

16

11

1999 Aug 24-26

31

30

10

19

10


I. The recognition you receive at work for your work accomplishments

 

Completely satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Completely dissatisfied

No
opinion

 

%

%

%

%

%

2004 Aug 9-11

48

35

9

7

1

2003 Aug 4-6

41

38

12

8

1

2002 Aug 5-8

46

33

13

7

1

2001 Aug 16-19

39

36

13

10

2

1999 Aug 24-26

38

35

14

11

2

1991 Jul 25-28

24

52

17

5

2

J. The amount of money you earn

 

Completely satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Completely dissatisfied

No
opinion

 

%

%

%

%

%

2004 Aug 9-11

28

46

16

10

*

2003 Aug 4-6

28

46

17

8

1

2002 Aug 5-8

27

43

18

12

*

2001 Aug 16-19

24

46

18

12

*

1999 Aug 24-26

23

47

16

14

*

1998 Oct

21

48

19

11

1

1991 Jul 25-28

13

53

23

10

1

1989 Jul 18-21

16

56

19

8

1

* Less than 0.5%

 

 

 

 

 


K. Your boss or immediate supervisor

 

Completely satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Completely dissatisfied

No
opinion

 

%

%

%

%

%

2004 Aug 9-11

60

24

6

4

6

2003 Aug 4-6

54

28

9

5

4

2002 Aug 5-8

56

28

7

5

4

2001 Aug 16-19

51

29

8

6

6

1999 Aug 24-26

47

35

7

4

7

1998 Oct

47

38

7

5

3

1991 Jul 25-28

37

45

10

6

*

1989 Jul 18-21

40

45

9

4

2

* Less than 0.5%

 

 

 

 

 

L. The physical safety conditions of your workplace

 

Completely satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Completely dissatisfied

No
opinion

 

%

%

%

%

%

2004 Aug 9-11

73

19

5

2

1

2003 Aug 4-6

69

23

5

2

1

2002 Aug 5-8

69

23

5

2

1

2001 Aug 16-19

65

25

6

3

1

1999 Aug 24-26

63

28

5

3

1

M. Your relations with coworkers

 

Completely satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Completely dissatisfied

No
opinion

 

%

%

%

%

%

2004 Aug 9-11

74

22

2

--

2

2003 Aug 4-6

68

29

1

1

1

2002 Aug 5-8

66

28

2

2

2

2001 Aug 16-19

64

28

3

2

3

1999 Aug 24-26

67

27

2

1

3

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Gallup http://www.gallup.com/poll/12820/Workers-Most-Satisfied-Coworker-Relationships-Workplace-Safety.aspx
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