Those working in the dairy industry say they are satisfied with their own jobs, but they are even more satisfied with their co-workers. As for their supervisor and senior leadership team: not so much. (See Table 1.)

 Satisfaction also depends on where ones sit. Almost all (96%) of company owners or presidents are satisfied with their jobs. But employees working in R&D, plant operations and sales are not nearly as happy in what they do.

Those are some results of a recent Dairy Foodssurvey of job satisfaction. The objective of the survey was to discover how happy employees are in their jobs and to identify employee benefits.

About 1 in seven (15%) of those surveyed are looking for a new job. What is it that they seek? More money, yes, but that’s not the top factor. A more challenging position ranks first (say 24% of respondents) followed by a higher pay (16%). 

Those who work at fluid dairy companies are most satisfied with their jobs (78%), according to the survey, followed by those who work at ice cream/frozen dessert companies (71%) and cheesemakers (69%). Only 60% who work in a headquarters or branch office and 56% of respondents who work at cultured product companies are satisfied with their current jobs. (See Tables 2 and 3 on page 14.)

For many surveyed, job satisfaction seems to depend most on pay, with nearly half indicating a higher pay would increase their satisfaction. A third are interested in more vacation time and about a quarter are looking for improved benefits. (See Table 4.)

About 20% of those surveyed have jobs in sales and marketing, 19% in plant operations, 17% in research and development and 15% are owners/presidents. The majority of those surveyed are salaried employees (93%). The average tenure in the dairy industry is 18 years and respondents have worked an average of 11 years at their current employer.

The benefits package

The majority of respondents receive fully paid vacation time, fully paid sick leave and bonuses at their company. And most have access to partially paid insurance (health, dental and vision). To see a more complete breakdown of this information, see Table 5 below. In addition, nearly two-thirds of companies offer training courses and/or college tuition reimbursement.  

A good reputation

Among those surveyed, 78% feel they are adequately qualified for their position and 74% feel they are compensated fairly for the work they do.

For the most part, employees are happy with their employer’s reputation. About half stated their company is a leader in the dairy processing industry and 26% say they work for “a leader among all food-related CPG companies.” Another 25% term their employer as “a follower, not a leader” and 5% said their company is not one you would want to work for.

About half of respondents indicated that they receive both regular feedback and formal reviews from their supervisors, while 16% receive neither type of feedback.

For those seeking new employment, here’s the complete breakdown of what respondents were looking for in a new position:

  • A more challenging position 24%
  • Higher pay 16%
  • A promotion 8%
  • Shorter commuting time 8%
  • A more prestigious company 4%
  • Better healthcare benefits 4%
  • Profit-sharing or a bonus 4%
  • Retirement benefits 4%
  • Other 28% (Responses include: a job to help individuals, a more proactive and strategic thinking/acting senior leadership team, adequate staff, input into decisions, location flexibility and respect for experience.) 

 The Market Research Division of BNP Media (Dairy Foods’ owner) conducted the job satisfaction survey from Sept. 25 to Oct. 9 from a random sample of the magazine’s circulation. Two $50 gift cards were used as incentives to complete the web-based survey.