SHRM surveyed 504 HR professionals on their degree of satisfaction with 26 different job attributes. The respondents’ top five concerns, in order, were:
- Opportunities to use skills and abilities — Exactly what skills and attributes are you interested in using? Does management even know that you have this ability or desire or are you keeping it to yourself? For example, if you’ve recently completed a course of self-study, does management know this?
- Relationship with immediate supervisor — This holds true for all employees, not just HR executives. What, if anything, feels “unfair” about this relationship? Have you been given time to discuss your agenda for the company and your career? Has your boss pooh-poohed some of your ideas? Does your immediate supervisor even know what’s most important to you in the relationship or are you hoping that he or she can guess at it?
- Communication between employees and senior management — It’s highly frustrating to be stuck in the middle when there’s a poor relationship between manager and employees. (Guess what? It’s your job to help improve this communication!)
- The work itself — If you find yourself doing under-valued work, whose fault is this? Have you made the case for ditching your $10-$20 per hour work so you can focus on higher value work? Can you show management the ROI on your moving up the ladder?
- Autonomy and independence — You want to do your own thing like everybody else. Have you earned the trust necessary to have this independence? What level of authority do you have?
Interestingly, compensation and pay came in at seventeenth place! As I kid in my workshops with HR executives, “They know this about you.” In my survey of HR executives, most of them tell me that what they want more than anything else is make a difference — which is great. Just don’t underestimate the importance of getting paid well to do it!