Employee satisfaction is essential to the productivity of any business. The more employees enjoy and are engaged in their work, the greater the result will be. This involves a combination of things, from providing competitive compensation to updating office perks to how much a person feels valued at the company.
This regularly needs to be evaluated and adjusted based on the current environment to make sure you stay up-to-date with what employees want and expect from their jobs. For 2021 and beyond, here are a few helpful employee satisfaction ideas to maintain a thriving workforce and work environment.
Offer Competitive Pay and Benefits
Employees want to feel like they are being compensated what they’re worth. Taking into account salaries for what their role entails, in addition to the value they bring to the role, will help employees remain satisfied where they currently are. Nearly every position requires more than what’s listed on an initial job posting, which makes it important to ensure that compensation matches any increased tasks and responsibilities.
Benefits are also an important factor for employees. When searching for a job or deciding to stay at a company, people compare healthcare plans, 401K matching, paid time off, and other standard benefits to make a decision. In addition to these more traditional benefits, modern employees are also looking for higher learning opportunities, flexible work schedules, and the option of working remotely.
The needs and wants of employees change over time. It’s beneficial to conduct an employee survey at least once a year to check in and take the pulse of the company. Include questions that detail what aspects of the job they like, from all angles, and where pay, benefits, and other working conditions can be improved to improve workplace satisfaction.
Update Physical Office Space to Promote Healthy Behaviors
Research conducted by global risk management company, Willis Towers Watson, showed 70 percent of employers had improved their physical environments to promote healthy behaviors. It’s likely this number has increased even more than when it was published in 2019. In addition to the original perks, including healthy snack foods and ergonomic workstations, companies will want to concentrate on updating their offices to address social distancing best practices and contactless amenities.
Many companies are replacing their water bottle or water jug subscriptions with FloWater’s Refill Station, which is operated with a one-touch refill button or hands-free with an attached pedal. The technology and convenience aligns with modern safety measures and keeps employees hydrated with purified water on-demand throughout the day. Other updates may include touchless lighting systems, a digital-only workplace to prevent paper exchange, and automatic sanitization of high-touch areas to limit the spread of germs and champion good health.
Provide Valuable Resources for Learning
A key factor that plays a role in how much an employee is satisfied in their position is how many resources they have at their disposal to perform their job well. The availability of online tools, ongoing training, and further education, through classes and certifications, all equip employees to have what they need to succeed and will ultimately improve workplace satisfaction.
Resource accessibility also encourages their professional development to help get ahead in their careers. A company that fosters growth from within demonstrates an investment in employees job satisfaction and guide where they want their careers to grow and change. Employees who feel stagnant in their current roles often will look elsewhere to find a job that makes them feel more fulfilled and set up for success.
Implement Employee Recognition
In every business, there’s a budget, which means financial recognition through raises and bonuses aren’t always available, at least not on a regular basis. However, employee recognition can be given freely. Whether it’s verbally in a one-on-one setting, announced in a group meeting, or via an email or handwritten card, acknowledging employee strengths and wins is priceless.
Showing value goes a long way to confirm the employee is doing a good job and that you’re noticing efforts that help contribute to the company’s overall goals. According to a survey among HR leaders, employee recognition helps maintain the employee experience and engagement by 89 and 84 percent, respectively. Employees want to feel respected and a sense of purpose. Regular, authentic recognition of a job well done proves valuable and instills a stronger sense of loyalty.
Establish a Strong Work Culture
Looking at employee satisfaction ideas from a broader lens requires establishing a strong work culture. This involves setting core values and abiding by them through example. Employees take their cue from leadership. When there is lack of communication or follow through at the top, it trickles down to create a crumbling work culture throughout every department.
For example, if one of the core values of a work culture is cultivating new ideas, resorting to the old ways of doing things without providing the opportunity to listen to feedback or creative alternatives weakens employee contribution. The work culture is an attitude rather than a set list of phrases or ideas. It’s intended to permeate through everything that goes on at work and must be consistent in messaging and the way it’s demonstrated.
Employee satisfaction begins to dwindle when the work culture isn’t rooted in substantial value like respect, transparency, or connectedness among everyone.
Be Open to Feedback
Small companies may find it easier to gauge employees’ satisfaction more than those that are responsible for thousands of employees at various locations. However, big or small, being open to feedback is key to employee satisfaction.
Many times, employees won’t speak up about their grievances until they’re already one foot out the door. That’s why it’s important to implement annual employee surveys that allow them to share their insights anonymously. These surveys should glean opinions about the state of the company and where employees like to see improvements. The data can then help drive decisions going into the new year.
One-on-one and team meetings are also important. It gives employees a chance to talk through challenges, brainstorm solutions, and ask for guidance to improve a skill or part of their job. All of this will help them advance and feel more fulfilled in their role, leading to higher employee happiness. Scheduling regular meetings demonstrates the importance of giving quality time even when business is busy. In any situation, people want to feel like they’re truly being heard and their concerns are being taken seriously.
Why It’s Important to Foster Employee Satisfaction
Focusing on employee satisfaction ideas on both an individual and company level. For the individual, it makes them feel more engaged, inspired, and motivated to do good work. For the company, when an employee is satisfied with their job, it becomes part of every interaction they have with co-workers and clients. This leads to greater productivity, higher retention, and long-term success.
Companies that experience high turnover rates among employees struggle with building a strong foundation for their clients and the work they do. Knowing what your employees value in their work is important to make sure they’re satisfied with their role in your company. It costs less to retain current employees than it does to hire and train someone new.
Plus, constant company turnover leaves people feeling uncertain in their roles and the state of the company. It can lead to a domino effect if employees leave on a regular basis. One of the main reasons why people stay at a job longer than they want to is due to the relationships they’ve built with their fellow co-workers. When they no longer have these to rely on, it shines a light on the other areas where job satisfaction is low.
Impact of the Current Environment Due to the Pandemic
Maintaining high employee satisfaction during the pandemic has been challenging to say the least. Businesses have had to make tough decisions based on circumstances out of their control. It has caused employers and employees alike to be cautious about hiring in this environment as they rebuild parts of the organization or industry that have been broken during this time.
It’s also caused many businesses to review their current operational model for how they can engage and motivate employees through a trying time. One of the key factors is transparency. Although there have been swift changes regarding closures and newly implemented health and safety guidelines, the more open a company is with its employees, the better everyone can navigate the process together. As a New Year’s resolution for your business, consider making transparency a major part of your organization.
Expectations have also shifted as some businesses have moved to working remotely. This has led to added stressors, such as handling remote learning for kids or sharing a small space with a spouse or others who are also working from home. With regards to retail businesses and restaurants, there’s been constant shifts in determining what it takes to stay open. This has led to shorter or eliminated shifts and uncertainty about tips and income that was more reliable pre-pandemic. It’s a constant juggling act for employers who want to do right by their employees, while also making the best business decisions possible for the time.
Employee satisfaction will be a focus now more than ever as progress moving toward a post-Covid world is slowly underway. Concentrating on how businesses have changed and needs of employees have shifted is how to build back a strong work culture. The old way of doing things may no longer apply.
Companies must focus on how to keep their employees and clientele safe while building back revenue lost in 2020 and planning for future growth at the same time. It’s a big undertaking for businesses across all industries, but having a solid team in place can help make the goal feel more attainable and the process more satisfactory.