Nine in 10 workers say it’s important to work for a company with clearly stated values

By Emily Bader
Englewood Cliffs | Nov 5, 2019 at 12:10 pm

For many individuals, values matter in the workplace, or so says the latest CNBC/SurveyMonkey Workplace Happiness Index.

The pair announced on Monday the results of their third quarterly @Work Survey, a poll of more than 8,000 professionals that measures how Americans workers feel about their jobs. Workers reported consistent and positive scores across all key indicators of happiness: pay, opportunities for advancement, recognition, autonomy and meaning.

The latest measurement of the Workplace Happiness Index was 71 out of 100, a value unchanged since CNBC began recording the index in April 2019.

With happiness flourishing, particularly in the construction, real estate and technology industries, a sizable portion of workers (27%) said they feel threatened that the job they have now will be eliminated within the next five years as a result of new technology, robotics or artificial intelligence. However, the general gist on technological changes in the workplace is “more hopeful” (78%) rather than fearful. Nearly half (48%) said advancing the field of AI is important.

Feeling that work has meaning (35%) is the top factor in determining workplace happiness, the survey found. Nearly one-fifth (21%) said “being paid well” is the most important, followed by “having control over how you do your work” and “having opportunities to advance” tied at 16%.

Aside from a higher salary, employees said more training or learning opportunities (24%) is one change that would most improve their job satisfaction, followed by more paid time off (21%), a more flexible schedule (16%), a shorter commute (10%) and a new boss or child care/elder care benefits tied at 5%.

Workers still value the human element of a job with more than 9 in 10 saying it is both important to work for a company with clearly stated values (92%) and one who’s values align with their own personal values (91%).

Additional key findings include:

  • 85% said they are very or somewhat satisfied with their jobs;
  • 72% said they are very well or somewhat well paid for the work they do, with 27% saying they are not so well or not at all well paid.
  • 60% said Human Intelligence poses a greater threat to humanity than Artificial Intelligence;
  • Nearly equal responses (47% yes/51% no) on whether or not workers believe computers will someday be able to tell right from wrong;
  • 27% are “very worried” or “somewhat worried” that the job they have now will be eliminated in the next five years as a result of new technology, robots or AI. But 38% are “not worried at all.”

“Robots and artificial intelligence might be in our future, but workers today still highly value the human aspects of work,” Jon Cohen, SurveyMonkey’s chief research officer, said. “Sixty-nine percent of workers say it’s ‘very important’ to work for a company with clearly stated values. Any company trying to differentiate itself in a competitive labor market should take note — creating meaning could be foundational to your success.”

The poll was conducted from Oct. 14-20 among a sample of 8,115 workers in the U.S. The margin of error is +/- 1.5 percentage points.

Emily Bader | ebader@roi-nj.com | emilybader