American employers need to improve in these 5 areas, data shows

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Americans’ confidence in job market hits new high: Poll

CivicForumPAC Chairman Ford O’Connell and Payne Capital senior wealth advisor Courtney Dominguez discuss why Americans are more enthusiastic about the job market.

Many companies have shortcomings. Some don't offer ample vacation time. Others don't do a good enough job of supporting career development. If you're an employer, it's important to know what areas you're falling down in to avoid losing talent when better opportunities present themselves.

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To this end, financial technology company Self Lender enlisted the help of OnePoll to ask 2,000 Americans how their companies could improve. Based on that survey, these are the top five ways U.S. companies are letting workers down.

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1. Salary

Of the various ways American employers are falling short, salary tops employees' list: A good 54% of workers feel that they're not paid fairly.

If you can't remember the last time you did an internal salary review, carve out some time to do some research and see how your compensation holds up to what competitors are paying. It may be worth allocating more resources to salary if it means retaining key talent you don't want to lose.

2. Benefits

Benefits are an essential component of compensation, yet 43% of workers aren't happy with the benefits package offered by their companies.

Therefore, it pays to assess your benefits and see if there's room to improve. You may decide to offer better health insurance, a more generous 401(k) match, or wellness programs to help employees better manage their stress. Less common benefits, like pet insurance, can also go a long way.

3. Working hours

An estimated 34% of employees aren't happy with their working hours. And given that many companies expect their workers to be perpetually available, that's not shocking.

If your company tends to demand extra time from employees, it may be time to rethink that practice. Asking too much of your workers could lead them to burn out completely, and that, in turn, could cause them to either jump ship or simply give up on doing a good job. Neither is good for your company.

4. Management

For 33% of workers, bad management is the source of their discontent. Even if your managers are seasoned professionals who know the industry well, that doesn't mean they're overseeing employees effectively.

So spend some time observing your managers and seeing how they interact with their direct reports. Are they making themselves available enough? Are they treating workers with respect? Do they support their team members when challenges arise? Do some digging to see how good a job your management team is doing, and consider some training, or even an overhaul, if you find that your workers are being let down.

5. Workload

Given the amount of time most workers spend on the job, it's natural that they'd want their hours to be filled with interesting, meaningful tasks. Yet 31% of employees aren't happy with their actual workload and the tasks they're assigned on a regular basis.

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To avoid losing people because of this, encourage your workers to give their managers feedback about their job responsibilities, and make it clear that your company is willing to invest in helping steer their careers in different (and more fulfilling) directions. At the same time, give your employees tools and training that will help them better manage their existing workloads and minimize their stress.

The more satisfied your employees are, the less likely you'll be to see them move on. Take some time to see if your company is falling down in the above arenas. A little effort could save you a whole lot of recruiting in the long run.

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