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HR Tip: SHRM Satisfaction Survey: Compensation tops list for first time in five years

The annual Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey of job satisfaction, which was conducted in May 2013 and released last month, revealed that employees are more focused on pay than on job security. The last time compensation topped the list was in the pre-recession year of 2007; the following four years compensation took a back seat to job security as the No. 1 reason for job satisfaction and in 2012 the opportunity to use one's skills and abilities topped the list.

From the report, employers can get a glimpse at the how employees view four aspects of compensation:

Also important to employees is the relationship with their direct supervisor. It has been among the top five for the past three years, and rose from No. 5 to No. 3 in this survey. Benefits that did not appear among the top five in 2012, rose to No. 4 in this survey.

SHRM cautions that the manager-employee conversation should never be "only about pay." "Current SHRM research shows that organizations do not often leverage their benefits packages to recruit or retain employees," the report notes. "Developing a 'total rewards' strategy that incorporates employer-sponsored benefits to attract top talent could be valuable for organizations, especially when trying to target certain (highly skilled) employee groups."

Click here to see the full report.