Image Courtesy of CapitalKarts.com
Image Courtesy of CapitalKarts.com

Recent studies suggest that job satisfaction, in the UK at least, has hit a two-year low, while some additional sifting through job satisfaction surveys and employee engagement statistics suggests that women are becoming as unsatisfied as men, but that homemakers are the happiest profession of all. While it can prove difficult to cut through the chatter and get to the most important facts, one thing is clear – job satisfaction is as important as ever before, if not more so.

Experts point to the fact that the modern working environment and career path are significantly different to those of ten years ago. While some of the changes may be considered beneficial, they have clearly also led to some confusion over what is expected from your employees. Thankfully, with some simple changes it is possible to improve satisfaction and engagement levels.

The Impact Of Job Satisfaction

Job satisfaction is important, and not only to your employees. Satisfied employees are more likely to be engaged. They will be inclined to go above and beyond what is expected of them to produce results, and they will be as inclined to see the business succeed as you are. In management terms, your workforce will be more productive, more motivated, and you will suffer fewer absences and lower staff turnover.

It really is that important.

Recognition

Perhaps surprisingly, money isn’t everything to your employees. While it is true that they will want to earn what they believe they are worth, and they certainly won’t want to believe that others are being paid more for doing the same job, this is as much about recognition of a job well done as it is about cold currency. Recognise the achievements and successes of your team members, and you will encourage all of your team to try and perform better.

While the days of salesperson of the month are thankfully long behind us, you should still find ways to recognise the efforts that your team members have put in.

Reward

Although financial reward is not the main driving force for all of your employees, it is certainly important to some. Identify what motivates different people, and then provide the rewards that they are looking for. Some may appreciate bonuses, others may become more engaged and productive with increased social events. Offer company nights out, plan go karting competitions or days at the track, offer reward for long service, for hitting milestones, and for especially significant achievements.

Reward your team members according to their preferences.

Involve

If you want to encourage engagement then you need to encourage participation. Involve more of your team members in important decisions, relay information to them on a regular basis, but remember that some of your employees will become dissatisfied if you arrange too many meetings or keep them too long from being able to get on with their work.

There are obviously limitations to how involved employees should get and some team members may prefer to turn up, do their job, and go home, without what they perceive as the added stress of being involved in decision making.

Develop

Where possible, offer training and other developmental programmes to your employees. Many individuals are driven by the possibility of progression, and if you are willing to provide training, send team members on relevant courses, or even pay for your staff to go through college or get a degree, then they will repay your efforts.

Not only does training improve engagement, but it can also provide you with access to the latest techniques and up-to-date knowledge of a business, industry, or specific role.

Promote

Try, where possible, to promote from within your organisation. If team members see that hard work really does pay off and they have the opportunity to climb the ranks of your organisation by putting the effort in, then they will happily try to improve themselves and perform better.

It may not always be possible to promote from within, but at least allow employees to apply and interview for positions.

Improve

Improving employee engagement and job satisfaction should be an ongoing target and, in the same way that you want to encourage team members to improve, you should look to make improvements yourself. Find ways to measure engagement and to gage job satisfaction, beyond simply looking to determine how cheerful employees look.

Set up a regular survey, keep the responses anonymous if necessary, and use the results to help drive further engagement and satisfaction improvements.

A satisfied team is an engaged team. They will yield improved results, offer better work, and they will be more likely to help ensure the success of your business.