Employees who are unhappy with their work contribute to an atmosphere that could bring down the morale of an entire working environment. The two most usual signs that your employees are unhappy with their jobs are decreased productivity and increased absenteeism.
Job satisfaction is significant for any company in order to achieve high productivity and low turnover of employees.
Based on a survey by the Conference Board, only 45% of Americans were satisfied with their jobs. After more than 22 years of research, this is perhaps the lowest level of job satisfaction that the Conference Board has ever recorded.
As an employer, you are given the challenge to search for ways to raise job satisfaction so that your company can stay competitive and profitable through the years. Here we discuss the best practices you can adopt in the job environment to raise job satisfaction of your employees quickly. Keep in mind that just these seemingly small things can have a great effect on how your employees feel about their work.
Best Practices to Quickly Improve Job Satisfaction
#1 Company’s Financial Stability
Studies have shown that people become more stressed out by things that are unknown to them. If your employees have no idea about your financial bottom-line or are worried about your company going under, be there to reassure them by always keeping your finances more or less transparent.
Employees have the right to know what is going on with their company, especially in the finance aspect. Moreover, ensure that you are undergoing good and sound financial management practices to guarantee employees that there is no cause for financial concern.
This is important because if they know your company is not earning money or is going bankrupt, it will cause them to fret and eventually be dissatisfied with their work, because they feel they might be out of the job soon.
#2 Initial Orientation
Perhaps one of the best ways to ensure job satisfaction of an employee is to guarantee that they are pleased right from the very start of their work. By providing a complete and unfiltered orientation, you can make sure that their expectations are realistic. This is so that new employees do not set such high expectations for your organization that would most likely not be met.
Appropriate orientation on the first days can help create positive employee attitudes and lower employee turnover.
#3 Job Security
Whenever you or your company undergoes big and small changes, keep in mind to let your employees know what you are implementing, so that they can help your business succeed. Remember that the messages on change management must be delivered consistently and clearly throughout your organization.
When you do not address an employee’s concerns over job security, you run the risk of a communications hole that can be filled with concerns, rumors, or fears. The consequence of this could be job dissatisfaction and more resistance.
Interestingly enough, the job security variable is more significant for employees who are married with many dependents, as compared to employees who are unmarried or better educated who feel no threats of being laid off. This is because they could search for a new job quickly if he or she loses his or her position in the company.
See: Beware of the Disgruntled Employees: Job Dissatisfaction Could Lead to Dishonesty
#4 Offer of Good Health
Having employees that are of poor health is not only bad for the employees, but also problematic for companies. Businesses have to pay a significant amount for employees with stress-related sicknesses such as gastroenteritis, hypertension, substance abuse, and the likes.
In fact, almost 90% of all visits to the doctor in the U.S. are typically related to stress. Chronic stress has different side effects (negative) like decreased immune system, increased weight, fatigue, and higher risk of disease.
As an employer, you have the responsibility to encourage your employees to lower their stress levels to improve their general well-being and health. The first thing you could do is to educate your employees about their health by offering reading materials and seminars, because your employees will not be able to make positive changes in their lives if they have no idea what to do.
As soon as your employees know about the topics on exercising, stress and healthy eating, begin a competition that is related to heath, something like “The Biggest Loser.” This can give your employees a point of motivation as well as support system. If everyone in your company is involved, your employees will most likely be successful.
#5 Open and Continuous Communication
As previously mentioned, companies must keep the communications lines open and continuous. Since people would tend to communicate much less in bad times, this can worsen certain workplace situations.
In reality, employees would have to talk more if there are miscommunications in a group or in any work setting. By increasing efforts within the company to communicate and impart important information, could lead to less misunderstanding and more job satisfaction.
#6 Opportunities to Use Abilities and Skills
If an employee does find that their abilities and skills are not being used well or they do not find their work interesting, they often find dissatisfaction in their position.
In order for your employees to be satisfied, allow them always the possibility of using their abilities and skills – keep them engaged and make them feel as if they are a part of something bigger than their individual tasks and activities.
#7 Overall Compensation
In actuality, more people are concerned with job security rather than compensation when it comes to job satisfaction. However, importance of overall compensation package cannot be minimised, particularly for employees who have dependents or who have less education.
As an employer, you can increase job satisfaction by offering your employees the fair and just compensation they deserve. If they are paid sufficiently for their needs, savings, and wants, they will stay satisfied in their jobs.
#8 Overall Competitive Benefits
Even though fair compensation is significant, competitive corporate benefits are also important to make sure your employees are satisfied. If you have a narrow benefits package, employees might search for opportunities with other companies who are more generous with their benefits.
Besides insurance, employees are often happy with benefits like paid leaves, flextime, and personal days. Businesses that do not offer health insurance or retirement would feel like dead-end jobs and employees would feel that they should not focus their lives on a business that will not give them rewards at the end of their work.
As an employer, try to offer benefits incentives to employees after reaching a particular point of their employment, like 6 months to a year. This encourages your employees to stay for longer periods. You can also provide sporadic raises that may have the same effect. In the long term, this can save the company money by lowering employee turnover rate.
Although fringe benefits are good incentives, it is almost a requirement that you have benefits such as insurance, sick pay, house-rent, travel allowance, and education allowance for dependents.
#9 Positive Environment
You can also create job satisfaction in the workplace by offering a positive work environment. A positive working environment shows that you are willing to go the extra mile to provide for your employees’ needs. Remember, if your workplace is not positive, you cannot expect your workers to be positive as well.
So try to give encouragement, offer positive critique, avoid micromanagement, and provide constructive feedback.
Yet even beyond the internal positivity you are trying to foster, it is important that workers are within a positive physical environment. So ensure that the workplace is well lit, the technology is fully functional and the likes. Offer employees the tools to be successful, which can increase overall job satisfaction and productivity
#10 Relationship with the Supervisor
The relationship of an employee with his or her supervisor is very important for an employee’s job satisfaction. This is the person they have to please day in and day out and if their working relationship is one of strain, fear, or contempt, you can expect a resignation in the near future. So make sure those supervisors, while exercising control and authority are not dread inducing.
Ask supervisors to show your employees that they care about them by acknowledging them and even giving them good greetings. Supervisors must understand sudden events in the lives of employees, like the loss of a loved one or a sick child. They should always speak with respect without patronizing or belittling speeches, conversations, or tones.
In essence, train your supervisors to be oriented towards the employee. Their style of supervision must not stifle the employee, but encourage them. The relationship between an employee and supervisor can potentially affect an employee’s attitude and turn it positive to raise job satisfaction, productivity, and morale.
This should be the same for you as an employer for all of your other employees. Although supervisors do not have to be best friends with the people they are managing, they should at least like you and thus, would want to keep on working for you.
#11 Respectful Treatment of All
Although it is patently obvious, but we have to say it nonetheless – employees must be respected by their colleagues and managers. If there is a lack of respect in the workplace, it can be a tenuous path down for any company.
Having respect for everyone will ensure more job satisfaction as well as commitment to an organization. As an employer, you must advance and cultivate mutual respect, avoid dysfunctional and harmful team behaviour, and generate possibilities for employees to connect beyond a work project.
#12 Rewards and Recognition
Employees always enjoy rewards and recognition, as it indicates publicly to everyone that they are being valued. So persuade managers and supervisors to recognize those who perform well on a regular basis.
In addition, put together a more formal program throughout the company to acknowledge high achievers in each job category. Remember that healthy competition can increase team morale, support hard work, and raise job retention and satisfaction. Moreover, the rewards and recognition structure need not be too grand to make an employee feel good. It could be a nice word, a personal note, or a pat on the back.
#13 Routine Breaks
Surprises can add that spark to any area of life – the workplace included. Just a break to the routine of employees through a small treat or a quick word of encouragement would bring unforeseen satisfaction.
As an employer, try inserting some breaks to employees’ routine. Bring them a special treat like baked goods or coffee. These small things convince employees that you appreciate them. You can even host a party or a fun invented holiday. It does not have to be a costly party.
Alternatively, you can consider office giveaways by holding raffles or competitions to motivate them. The important thing here is to break the routine for the workweek. This encourages socialization and demonstrates your appreciation. Just these extra efforts could lead your business down a successful path.
#14 Skills Development
By offering your employees, opportunities for development of their skills through education and training, you create motivation and thus make them more innovative and productive at work.
There are several reasons why skills development and training is reasonable. First, employees who are trained well are more able and willing to take responsibility over their work. They would need less supervision, helping free time for management for their other activities.
Second, the employees who have gained more skills through the company would understand the business better, would complain less, and become more satisfied and motivated. So offer your employees some professional and educational development.
#15 Social Connections
Socialization is actually an important factor in happiness. When you interact with others, it gives you a mood boost (even if you are an introvert).
Hence, you should look for ways to promote social connections in the workplace. Make sure the physical arrangement of your office promotes communication – fix the workstations such that employees could see each other and converse. Employers should also support office celebrations during birthdays and holidays.
As with routine breaks, these do not have to be expensive. It can even be a potluck. Moreover, although there is no basis for celebrating, persuade your employees to have lunch together – so, offer a comfortable area for eating.
Beyond work hours, make sure there is also socialization outside of office hours. These can be accomplished through volunteer programs, for example. While employees are developing relationships inside the office, they are also putting your company in a positive light by helping others.
#16 Supervisor Respect for Employee Ideas
Your employees might come to work, but it is important that they are also productive and engaged. Remember, employees are more committed, engaged, and satisfied when there is a process available so they can contribute their ideas and give their suggestions. In a way, this allows them to feel a sense of ownership towards your business and pride in their daily tasks.
Case in point, Sony promotes ideas exchange among departments by supporting an idea exposition every year. In the exposition, engineers and scientists from the company showcase ideas and projects they have been working on. It creates, not only a healthy dose of innovation for the company, but it engages everyone who decides to participate.
This article was originally published here.
Author credit: Martin Luenendonk, CEO, Cleverism
Read also: 9 Ways to Avoid Losing Good Employees