Employee job satisfaction is a very important factor in retaining valuable employees. A 2017 SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) survey found that 89% of US employees reported being somewhat or very satisfied with their current job role. However, in spite of relatively high job satisfaction and employee engagement levels, 40% of employees expressed the possibility of seeking employment outside their organization within the next year. The leading reason for workers to stay at or leave an organization was compensation.
But compensation dollars only go so far and compensation is relatively fixed. Without job satisfaction and a sense of value, employee compensation cannot function as a stand-alone retention strategy.
Employees who like their jobs tend to think for themselves and go the extra mile in finding solutions to workplace problems. They also contribute to a more positive work culture by being positive and pleasant to work with.
While a certain percentage of employees will always be unhappy with their jobs, there are positive steps that managers can take to raise the rate of job satisfaction in their workplaces.
1. Say Please And Thank You
Employees are happiest when they feel both respected and valued as individuals rather than as faceless, interchangeable cogs.
- Greet employees properly before getting down to business. Occasionally inquire about their personal interests.
- Praise publicly, criticize privately. Be specific, genuine, and quantifiable when giving praise. No generalities!
- Relay organizational successes to employees, making special effort to
- Note the role their efforts play in achieving them.
2. Encourage Team Work
Employees who have good relationships with their coworkers report higher rates of job satisfaction.
- Deal with office bullying and harassment swiftly and decisively. Match complementary personalities when organizing work groups.
- Establish a mentoring system. New employees will benefit from the experience and wisdom of veterans, while the mentors are reassured that their talents are both valued and appreciated by your organization.
- Cross train your employees. Greater understanding of organizational integration encourages cooperation and builds respect.
As a manager, you have a huge influence on how your employees feel about their jobs, but job satisfaction is a shared responsibility.
3. Eliminate Monotony
Bored employees eventually tune out. Employees who are challenged think creatively and take initiative.
- Provide ongoing training and opportunities for professional growth. Keep your technology competitive and up to date.
- Give employees ownership over their work by leaving some of the particulars up to them. Guide rather than steer.
- Encourage and seek employee input.
- Hold a weekly brainstorming session and occasionally shake up mundane routines. Spontaneously holding a meeting outside on a sunny day can refresh an entire staff.
4. Introduce Work/Life Balance
Work and home life are intertwined, and both suffer when one impedes upon the other. By helping employees stay on top of daily demands, you free them to focus on job performance while at work.
Promote the EAP and other life balance and/or wellness programs. Explore options for telecommuting, flexible work hours or abbreviated work weeks if appropriate.
As a manager, you have a huge influence on how your employees feel about their jobs, but job satisfaction is a shared responsibility. Talk to each employee about ways in which you can enhance the workplace experience together. The more you can target individual needs, the better you are able to help your employees help themselves to attain high levels of job satisfaction.