Employee satisfaction, also known as job satisfaction, describes the extent to which employees are content at work. The importance of employee satisfaction is undeniable, in fact, it is a major factor in staff retention and overall business success.
Employee satisfaction directly relates to motivation, achievement of goals, productivity, and morale. It impacts a businesses’ ability to attract and retain workers. However, with a recent US survey finding that only 54% of employees feel satisfied with their job, and considering employee disengagement costs the US economy an estimated $450 – $550 billion a year, what can be done to raise employee satisfaction?
Read on to discover 5 proven ways to improve your employees’ satisfaction, and by doing so, increase retention, optimize productivity, and boost your bottom line.
In this article:
- Ease commuting stress
- Increase meeting efficiency
- Improve your physical workspace
- Encourage socialization
- Recognize your employees
1. Ease Commuting Stress
Simply put, employee stress costs business. Next, when we consider that your employees’ day begins and ends with their commute, it is unsurprising that one of the primary causes of stress is the commute itself. A recent study from Robert Half highlights that 50% of workers feel their commute is stressful, and that nearly a quarter have actually left a job because of a bad commute. Additionally, with concerns over health and safety heightened, the recent coronavirus crisis has confounded commuting stress.
As an employer what can you do to help improve your employee’s commute? You may wish to encourage the following travel options:
- Active travel: Improving physical health as well as offering a cost-effective and convenient solution, active travel options such as walking, running, or cycling, provide a great commuting option. Suited to employees who don’t live so far away, encourage your workers to travel in this way, by improving facilities, like adding bike racks or installing changing rooms. Incentive schemes, such as the one offered by cyclescheme, can also be introduced.
- Smart Shuttle Services: Corporate shuttles provide a convenient option to transport large groups of your employees to your workplace and a smart shuttle management system takes this one step further. For example, the smart solution offered by HERE Mobility, allows you to manage all your employees' shuttles digitally. This means you can easily control all essential safety requirements like the number of passengers on each ride. Your employees also enjoy an intuitive app, letting them book and track their ride in real time - as well as seeing who's commuting with them.
- Carpooling: For your employees with access to a car encourage them to share their ride with other workers. By sharing their journey carpooling lessens an employee’s travel costs and helps to reduce stress by distributing the responsibility of driving.
2. Increase Meeting Efficiency
Employees who feel like their time is being wasted are unlikely to feel satisfied, and a major area of lost time is in company meetings. Recent studies support this and suggest that 50% of meeting time is well spent and engaging, while 50% is not. Too often, meetings are poorly timed, badly organized, and run more frequently than needed. In fact, 44% of employees believe that poorly organized meetings mean they don’t have enough time to do their work, and subsequently, their satisfaction and retention levels suffer.
To improve your meeting efficiency establish what meetings are necessary and which are not. For meetings that are deemed necessary try to write out the objective of the meeting beforehand, and communicate this so everyone is aligned with the overall goal. Next, ensure that an agenda is created and stuck to, make sure that appropriate notes are taken, and finally, that all attendees are clear about their agreed-upon responsibilities and associated deadlines.
3. Improve Your Physical Workspace
A clean, attractive, and comfortable office that reflects your company values will help to boost employee satisfaction and retention levels. Forbes even suggests that the physical workspace is one of the largest factors in employee well-being. Think about installing office layouts that allow for multiple ways of working. Be creative, add break out areas for when employees want to work together, introduce individual pods to allow for solo working, the environment should be dynamic. Lighting also plays a vital role. Research suggests that exposure to natural light improves both mood and energy, therefore, make sure that your workplace has sufficient natural light.
The recent coronavirus crisis means that you may need to introduce certain measures in your office to ensure your employees’ safety. These may include installing one-way walkways, or spacing desks apart, the following article provides a helpful guide of safety measures you may wish to consider.
4. Encourage Socialization
Although work is not a social event, it is important to give your employees time for socializing. Allowing workers time to catch up during the day on their weekends or their personal lives helps them to build relationships. In view of the amount of time spent at work, it isn't surprising that employees with friends at work are more satisfied, engaged, and loyal, ultimately increasing overall retention.
To help encourage social interactions between employees arrange a weekly breakfast or lunch. Monthly or quarterly team-building exercises can also be a great way to get colleagues together. Ideas for these could be escape rooms, quizzes, or team games. Such activities don’t even need to be limited to “in person. ” With the coronavirus pandemic forcing more employees to work from home, utilize video conferencing tools to ensure that remote workers receive the social interaction that they need.
5. Recognize Your Employees
Employee recognition is the act of acknowledging and appreciating an employee’s work and is another key part of ensuring satisfaction and retention. The main aim of such recognition is to let your teams know that the effort they have put, and the results they have achieved are indeed valued. With only 35% of employees believing they have received appropriate recognition for their good work in the last year, what can you do to ensure that your staff receive the right levels of recognition?
For a start, employee recognition doesn’t have to be costly for your business. In fact, a recent study suggests that 82% of employees think it’s better to give praise than a gift. Consider therefore rewarding employees through praise privately or publicly, or increase their scope of work and responsibility to show trust. At its core, feeling recognized makes employees feel appreciated and shows them that their hard work and efforts aren’t in vain.
Ensuring employee satisfaction is a win-win. Satisfied employees will be happier and this will increase your company’s retention rates, efficiency, and ultimately your profit margin. Improving employee satisfaction is something which should be continually strived for, make sure you keep updated with how your employees feel, what encourages them, and what can be improved. Arguably, in the aftermath of COVID-19 and with so much uncertainty, ensuring your employees are satisfied and happy is more important today than ever.