2011 Salary & Job Satisfaction Survey: Food Processors are Bringing Home the Bacon
Our fifth annual Salary & Job Satisfaction Survey finds salaries at 2009 levels – and that's an improvement.
By David Feder, R.D, Technical Editor | 07/11/2011
"Not enough personnel for amount of work to be done," was a common complaint. "Ridiculous deadlines that cannot be met by a human being; more work than one person can do." "More work and responsibilities without the staff to support." "I keep getting promises that I will be given more people in my area, but this never happens."
This increase in workload results in a loss of personal time – 44 percent did not use all their vacation time last year.
Another common complaint was the use of less-experienced – and, we assume lower-paid – workers. "Instead of promoting employees who are qualified to assume the roles left by departing mangers, our company brought in younger, inexperienced and unqualified applicants and placed them in management roles over the more experienced personnel."
Just over 29 percent of our contributors are more concerned about job security than they were in the previous year (that's an improvement over the 34 percent who were worried in our 2010 survey). Although exactly half are just as paranoid.
Actual satisfaction is down slightly. In our 2010 report, 66 percent considered themselves either "somewhat satisfied" or "very satisfied." This year, only 62 percent are in those combined categories. Conversely, 24 percent are either "very dissatisfied" or "somewhat dissatisfied," four percentage points higher than last year.
But positive comments outnumbered negative ones 294 to 174. For every "I'm so pissed I don't know where to begin" (from a 30-39-year-old Ontario man in marketing & sales, making $26,000-$35,000 a year, and he hasn't had a raise in 2-3 years) there was more than one of these:
"I have a great boss, who leaves me alone but is there to support me when I need it. He helped ensure that I recently got a promotion.
Although working very long hours, I am very satisfied with my current (and only) job. As I say to colleagues who gripe: ‘If you think it's bad here, try somewhere else. Based on what I hear, it will probably be much worse."
And it's not all about the Benjamins. Asked "What is most important in providing you with a strong sense of job satisfaction?" "challenging work" beats salary by nearly two to one.
At the end of the day, there appears to be a cautious optimism that has workers, if not putting a down payment on a new car, at least holding out hope that the recovery really will commence soon. And their complaints render their praise as a warning to owners who have turned their companies into giant games of "Jenga," by pulling out more and more staff to preserve unequally shared dividends.
That "compliments with caveats" paradigm is expressed most succinctly by a 40-49-year-old man at a North Carolina meat/poultry/seafood company. "Our company has had declining sales, increasing costs and other hardships the last few years — the same as most everyone else — but management continues to show appreciation for a job well done and communicates how they're working to improve the situation. This attitude makes it easier for everyone to accept lower pay raises and increased workloads versus a few years ago. It's too bad more companies aren't like this."
That, my friends, is a very good question.
All 28 questions -- and responses -- from our fifth annual Salary & Job Satisfaction Survey are in a PDF that you can download by registering via our 2011 Salary Survey Registration link.