For many, a job is about more than just money – meaning employee satisfaction is important within any company, perhaps because adults spend most of their waking hours in the workplace. Different to a couple of decades ago, many employees do not want to simply go to work, complete their tasks and return home. They instead want to reach the top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, feel valued in their job position and become an integrate part of the company’s culture.
Together with Impact International, experts in and advocates of employee engagement and change management, we look at the latest research surrounding employee satisfaction in the workplace:
What satisfies employees?
When investigating what satisfies employees, a 2016 survey, conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, revealed the top ten contributors to job satisfaction were:
- Respectful treatment of employees, this was ranked first
- Job security
- Opportunities to use skills and abilities at work
- Supervisor’s respect for your work
- Compensation and pay
Other findings included that Millennials valued career development opportunities, career advancement opportunities and job-specific training more than older employees.
How can you satisfy your employees?
As an employer, it can be easy to mistake workplace productively and results for employee satisfaction. However, productivity can increase with a happier workforce and it is worth implementing some of the following strategies to get the best out of your staff:
Respectful treatment of employees
As the main contributor of employee satisfaction, an employer should act upon this first and foremost. One way to ensure that your employees are being treated with respect is to maintain an approachable attitude. As a boss, if employees feel that they can come to you with issues, it will be easy to find out if anyone is being disrespectful. Employers can introduce regular reviews with staff to demonstrate their concern for welfare and provide opportunity for problems to be raised.
Feeling secure in your job role and in the company, can boost an employee’s moral, as looking for a new job can be stressful and, at times, demotivating. Feeling secure means employees can come to work feeling safe and happy. One way to implement this in the workplace is to keep staff informed of the financial situation of the business. Update members of the company with successes and profits to keep them in the loop.
Opportunities to use skills and abilities at work
Many staff like to make use of their skills and abilities, with the opportunity to take on new challenges – staff who lack opportunities to use their abilities to their full potential can feel overqualified and demotivated in their role. As the research showed, Millennials are happy to undertake job-specific training too, to develop their skills further. Bosses should aim to ensure that members of staff are in the correct role for their skillset. This can also be discussed in regular review sessions – perhaps a member of staff has more to bring to the company than you know of.
Supervisor’s respect for your work
It’s important for management teams and supervisors to appreciate the work that their staff do. Some employees may find it demotivating and upsetting when they spend time on a piece of work that goes unappreciated, or ‘unnoticed’. The key here is the approach to staff that supervisors take. By providing relevant feedback to employees or taking time out to thank them for their time, this can make staff feel more valued. Approaching members of staff this way may also encourage them to work hard in the future.
Compensation and pay
Salaries and compensation will always be a key aspect in employee satisfaction. They are both a big motivator for getting new employees through the door and a bonus to keep staff on board. However, this does not have to always be in the form of money or pay rises. Compensation can come in the form of a reward system. Perhaps the employee of the month may receive a prize or short trip somewhere. Offering trips and social events for employees can also encourage them to feel valued. It is a treat that they would not have received if they did not work there.
Employee satisfaction is heavily dependent on the atmosphere and attitudes in the workplace. As an employer, you can improve this without needing massive investments or having to compromise any business activity. You should be valuing your staff and encouraging employee engagement, in addition to making a happy workforce. You will see your productivity levels soar.