Work Environment, Job Satisfaction, Top Employees Work Interests

  • James B. Kliebenstein (Iowa State University)
  • Terrance Hurley (University of Minnesota)
  • Peter F. Orazem (Iowa State University)
  • Dale Miller (National Hog Farmer)
  • Steve May (National Hog Farmer)


A survey of pig producers and employees was conducted to document rends in the industry. These surveys have been conducted four times: 1990, 1995, 2000, and 2005. Trends show that hours worked per week in 2005 declined from the 2000 levels. Employees indicated that they worked, on average, 45.3 hours per week in 2005 as compared to 48.7 hours in 2000, a decrease of 7 percent. The typical U.S. worker reported the average work week to be 33.8 hours, 25.4 percent less than the level reported by pig production employees.

Flexibility of work schedules appears to be increasing again. In 1995 26 percent of employees indicated that their weekend schedules were flexible or staggered by working part of Saturday or Sunday. In 2000 only 17.8 percent of employees reported this flexibility. This increased back to 20.6 percent of employers in 2005.

Dust masks or respirators were provided by most producers (89.2%) and available to most employees (92.2%). However, the use of dust masks and respirators is low. Only one in four employees used them and onethird of producers used them. Ear protection was worn by a larger share of employees (64.5%).

The rapid increase in the size of hog production facilities and their increased reliance on hired labor requires producers to be able to manage personnel. Use of employer handbooks, written job descriptions, work plans, work reviews and evaluations can help with this task. Surveys indicate that the majority of producers do not take advantage of these methods. However, the use of methods such as employer handbooks, written job descriptions, work plans have increased from 1990 to 2000. Interestingly, their use declined from 2000 to 2005. Employee satisfaction is high. In 2005 79.9% of employees indicated that they were either satisfied or very satisfied. Satisfied employees tend to work harder and are less likely to call in sick and are more productive. Employee aspirations and attitudes toward the pork industry have changed over time. For example, fewer employees want to own their own operation some day. They are looking at the industry as where they will be employed. Also, a high percentage (81.4%) felt their salary and benefits were competitive in their community. Women were less likely to feel this way.

Keywords: ASL R2166

How to Cite:

Kliebenstein, J. B., Hurley, T., Orazem, P. F., Miller, D. & May, S., (2006) “Work Environment, Job Satisfaction, Top Employees Work Interests”, Iowa State University Animal Industry Report 3(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.31274/ans_air-180814-867

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Published on
01 Jan 2006
Peer Reviewed