Are You Satisfied: Job Satisfaction in the Ceramic Industry
How satisfied are workers in the ceramic, glass, refractories, brick and related industries? Our exclusive survey has the details.
Ceramic Industry recently surveyed our print magazine, digital edition and eNewsletter subscribers to find out how satisfied they are with their jobs. Overall, the majority of respondents (72%) are either very satisfied or extremely satisfied with their current position (see Figure 1). While this number is encouraging (just 51% of workers in the U.S. report being satisfied with their job, according to a recent survey1), it does represent a decline from last year’s 77% satisfaction level for our industry.
We also saw a slight decline in satisfaction related to coworkers, with 71% of this year’s respondents indicating they are either very satisfied or extremely satisfied, compared to 75% last year. On the other hand, you supervisors out there must be doing a great job: Respondents’ satisfaction with their supervisors increased this year, to a resounding 76% from last year’s still-strong 69% (very satisfied or extremely satisfied). Satisfaction with company leadership remains fairly strong, with 59% of respondents reporting they are either very satisfied or extremely satisfied; this is down a bit from last year’s level of 63%.
Qualifications and Training
While the majority (68%) of our respondents this year report that they are qualified for their current position, this number is down from 82% last year. Nearly one-third (32%) of respondents indicated this year that they are overqualified for their position.
Perhaps the increase in perceived job qualification could be the result of employee efforts to expand their skills and knowledge. Most (83%) of our respondents indicated that they have taken, are taking or plan to take courses in order to improve their job skills. Less than half (42%) of respondents indicated that their company offers training classes, and even fewer employers (37%) offer tuition reimbursement for college-level coursework. Interestingly, perceptions regarding compensation remained fairly stable compared to last year’s results, with 64% of respondents indicating that they are fairly compensated for their current job (essentially flat compared to last year’s 63%).
Improving Job Satisfaction
As one might expect in an industry that enjoys such high overall job satisfaction, just 21% of our respondents are actively seeking a new job. Of those folks, higher pay is the top attribute they’re looking for, followed by a more challenging position and more management involvement.
Employees in the ceramic and related industries report that they receive a number of partially or fully paid benefits from their employers. Nearly all (91%) enjoy paid vacation time, and over three-quarters receive retirement benefits (e.g., 401k or pension), health insurance, and paid sick leave—78%, 78% and 77%, respectively. Additional benefits include: dental insurance (64%), a bonus (64%), vision insurance (60%), life insurance (59%), profit sharing (44%), fuel allowance (41%) and a company vehicle (33%).
Of course, there’s always room for improvement. (I suppose I should say almost always: 10% of respondents indicated that they are completely satisfied with their job. Part of me is convinced these people are actually unicorns disguised as human respondents. But I digress.)
To find out what could make employees even more satisfied with their job, we asked respondents what three things would most improve their satisfaction. Almost half of respondents (46%) chose higher pay, while about one-quarter of respondents selected technical knowledge/skills (26%), retirement benefits/increase in existing retirement benefits (24%) and company communications surrounding the organization’s vision (23%).
See Figure 2 for a full breakdown of job satisfaction improvement drivers. Luckily for employers, at least a couple of these drivers could be relatively easy to address, leading to even higher overall employee satisfaction in the future.
1. “Labor Day Survey: 51% of U.S. Employees Overall Satisfied with Their Job,” The Conference Board, August 29, 2018, www.conference-board.org.
This article is based on information from the November 2018 “Ceramic Industry Job Satisfaction Study” by Clear Seas Research. The entire report, including additional details regarding industry challenges and technology adoption, is available to purchase and download. For details, visit https://clearseasresearch.com/product/2018-job-satisfaction-study-ceramic-industry/?r=7.
- The majority of respondents are full-time (96%) and salaried (90%).
- Respondents have been in the industry for an average of 23 years.
- Around four out of 10 (43%) respondents have been with their current company for 11 years or more.
- The average age of our respondents is 52, and most (95%) are male.
- Over one-third of respondents (36%) have a bachelor’s degree, while 44% have taken some graduate work or hold advanced degrees.