If you're happy on the job, join the club, says survey

CHICAGO: PR firms seem to be getting the message about what makes employees happy, according to the latest Thomas L. Harris/Impulse Research Employee Satisfaction Survey.

CHICAGO: PR firms seem to be getting the message about what makes employees happy, according to the latest Thomas L. Harris/Impulse Research Employee Satisfaction Survey.

CHICAGO: PR firms seem to be getting the message about what makes employees happy, according to the latest Thomas L. Harris/Impulse Research Employee Satisfaction Survey.

One-quarter of the 3,621 employees surveyed said they were 'very satisfied' with their jobs, while another 40% said they were 'satisfied.' An additional 20% responded 'somewhat satisfied.'

There was also good news on the pay front, with 77% of respondents saying they are fairly or very well rewarded for their agency jobs. The survey this year added questions on overall job satisfaction and salary, so there are no '99 numbers to use for comparison.

'Agencies are doing a very good job in satisfying both the financial and psychological needs of their employees,' said Tom Harris, the longtime Chicago PR man who runs Thomas L. Harris & Co.

Bob Novick, president of Los Angeles-based Impulse, said the survey shows agencies are listening to employees.

The largest jump in employee satisfaction this year compared to '99 was in opportunities for training to improve skills. This year, 71% of respondents agreed either strongly or somewhat strongly that their present jobs provide those opportunities (compared with 64% last year). Roughly 67% said they are appreciated in their jobs, a 6% increase from 1999. But only 60% said they have sufficient time for their personal lives (versus 56% last year), showing agencies still need to address that issue.

Despite the lack of free time, however, stress doesn't seem to be an issue. Only 33% said they wanted little stress on the job, but a surprisingly large 57% said they experience little stress. The most important characteristic of their job, cited by 87% of respondents, was working with people they like.

It also turns out that agency employees feel well informed about salary, benefits, job responsibilities and company performance, but not well informed about advancement opportunities (only 47% said they were very well or well informed) or changes in the industry (43%).

E-mail is the main way employees receive company information, with 89% saying they get company e-mails at least twice a month compared to 85% last year, followed by meetings with immediate supervisors (71% versus 67%), rumors (60% versus 57%) and the head of their office (55% versus 51%).

The number of people saying they wanted to become managers at their current firms dropped slightly from 34% to 31%, as did the number saying they see themselves at a client company (10% versus 13%). The biggest increase was freelancing, with 6% saying they'll be freelancing in five years compared to 4% last year.

- See editorial, p8

HOW SATISFIED ARE YOU WITH YOUR JOB?

Very satisfied 25%

Satisfied 40%

Somewhat satisfied 20%

Somewhat dissatisfied 9%

Dissatisfied 5%

Very dissatisfied 2%

No reply 1%

HOW WELL REWARDED DO YOU FEEL?

Very well rewarded 8%

Well rewarded 31%

Fairly rewarded 38%

Under-rewarded 22%

No reply 1%

Source: Harris/Impulse Survey







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