What Can HR and Employers Do to Improve Employee Satisfaction?
Employee retention is a struggle that many employers face in the modern recruiting market. In order to remedy high turnover rates, employers must find ways to keep employees satisfied with their work and the company. What should HR know about workplace satisfaction, and what positively impacts employee satisfaction?
Assessing Employee Job Satisfaction
Employee satisfaction describes how positively an employee views their work experience. An organization can measure satisfaction aggregately throughout an organization, within a single department, or even within a single team. Three key factors influence employee satisfaction:
- The feeling of respect or being respected in the workplace
- Recognition of achievements
- Compensation that matches an employee's performance or output
- When teammates contribute to the organization's goals in unique and productive ways
There's a strong correlation between employee satisfaction and workplace productivity. When employees are content, they are more engaged and motivated to achieve a higher level of output. This can also improve retention. On the other hand, employees who are not happy tend to do the minimum and eventually quit their jobs on bad terms.
What Improves Employee Satisfaction?
To get the most out of any workforce, companies need to implement measures to increase employee satisfaction. A few ways great organizations foster employee satisfaction include:
- Mutual Trust and Respect Between Employers and Employees: Modern, thriving workplace cultures empower their employees to do the best work they can. As a result, this approach can foster stronger trust and respect among employees and their managers.
- Company Outings and Events: Whether in celebration of meeting a goal or simply to build team camaraderie, company outings and events are popular rewards in modern workplaces.
- Collective Team Incentives: Encouraging teams to work together to achieve certain goals—and receive subsequent rewards for their efforts—is popular in building a modern workplace culture and driving productivity.
- Work-Life Balance: Employers are catching on to the importance of work-life balance in their teammates. But the U.S. is still behind many other countries. According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development—or, the OECD—11% of employees in America work 50 or more hours per week, on average. This puts the U.S. at 29th out of 40 countries in the organization.
- Flexible Workplace Policies: In many industries, workplace policies have relaxed as technology has advanced. For example, an Owl Labs study indicated that 62% of employees between 22 and 65 say they work from home at least occasionally. This would’ve been unthinkable even 10 years ago, let alone 30 or 40. But also, dress codes are changing. A study from Indeed showed that half of all workplaces allowed casual dress codes, and nearly two-thirds allow casual dress at least once a week. Not only that, but the study found that casual dress codes can drive recruitment for top talent.
- Team-Building: Slightly different from company outings, activities that build bonds among coworkers should be seen as investments, according to Forbes. And they don’t even have to be explicitly work-focused!
How Employee Engagement Impacts Workplace Satisfaction
Similar to employee satisfaction, employee engagement is driven by company culture and explains a teammate's motivation regarding their role, position within the organization, work, and more. Likewise, how engaged an employee is often determines their overall satisfaction with their job.
Consider three key ways to boost employee engagement.
- Better Benefits: Studies show that time and again, better benefits packages result in stronger retention rates. This can be as complex as generous healthcare coverage or as simple as a healthy work-life balance.
- Effective Onboarding: According to SHRM data, employee turnover can reach as high as 50% in the first 18 months of employment. Onboard with retention in mind to avoid these concerning statistics.
- Regular 1:1s with Direct Reports: Encourage your managers to skip the annual performance reviews and go with regular, 1:1 checkups to see what’s working and what isn’t with employees on a given project.
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