Unlike previous generations, many employees today want to enjoy going to work and feel valued in the workplace – after all, many adults spend most of their waking hours in the workplace.
Many employees do not want to simply go to work, complete their tasks and return home. They instead want to reach the top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, feel valued in their job position and become an integral part of the company’s culture.
Together with Impact International, experts in and advocates of employee engagement and change management, we look at the latest research surrounding employee satisfaction in the workplace:
What are the big motivators of employee satisfaction?
Employee satisfaction was explored in a 2016 survey, conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management. They revealed that amongst the top ten contributors to job satisfaction were:
- Respectful treatment of employees, this was ranked first.
- Job security.
- Opportunities to use skills and abilities at work.
- Supervisor’s respect for your work.
- Compensation and pay.
The survey also discovered that career development opportunities were highly valued among Millennials, as well as career advancement opportunities and job-specific training – valued more amongst that generation than older employees.
How can you achieve this?
As an employer, it can be difficult to pick up on employee dissatisfaction – quite often, workplace productivity and results can be mistaken for employee satisfaction. However, productivity can increase with a happier workforce and it is worth implementing some of the following strategies to get the best out of your staff:
Respectful treatment of employees
A motivator that costs nothing. Ranked first as the main contributor of employee satisfaction, this one shouldn’t be ignored and can be easily implemented. One way to ensure that your employees are being treated with respect is to maintain an approachable attitude. As a boss, if employees feel that they can come to you with issues, it will be easy to find out if anyone is being disrespectful. Employers can introduce regular reviews with staff to demonstrate their concern for welfare and provide opportunity for problems to be raised.
Employees who feel safe and secure in their job, are likely to be happy when they come to work as looking for a new job can be stressful and, at times, demotivating. One way to implement this in the workplace is to keep staff informed of the financial situation of the business. Update members of the company with successes and profits to keep them in the loop.
Opportunities to use skills and abilities at work
The last thing you want is for staff to feel overqualified and demotivated in their role, as this could have a detrimental effect on their performance and productivity. Make sure you provide plenty of opportunities for your employees to use their skills and abilities to their full potential in their role. As the research showed, Millennials are happy to undertake job-specific training too, to develop their skills further. Bosses should aim to ensure that members of staff are in the correct role for their skillset. This can also be discussed in regular review sessions - perhaps a member of staff has more to bring to the company than you know of.
Supervisor’s respect for your work
Employees want to know that the work they do is appreciated – it can be demotivating and upsetting when they spend time on a piece of work that goes unappreciated. The key here is the approach that supervisors take. By providing relevant feedback to employees or taking time out to thank them for their time, this can make staff feel more valued. Approaching members of staff this way may also encourage them to work hard in the future.
Compensation and pay
Salaries and compensation will always be a key aspect in getting new employees through the door, but retaining your staff doesn’t necessarily mean more money for employee satisfaction. Compensation, or company benefits, can come in the form of a reward system – perhaps the employee of the month may receive a prize or short trip somewhere. Offering trips and social events for employees can also encourage them to feel valued, as it is a treat that they would not have received if they did not work there.
Employee satisfaction is key to productivity and the quality of work in most workplaces, and it doesn’t need to cost you money. Satisfaction is heavily dependent on attitudes within the organisation. This can be improved without massive investments or having to compromise any business activity. Through valuing your staff and encouraging employee engagement, in addition to a happy workforce, you may also see your productivity levels soar.
Author: Roy White is a Senior Consultant at Impact UK with over 25 years of experience in HR and L&D. Prior to Joining Impact Roy worked for 25 years with Sony Corporation working in Germany, Singapore, Japan, Sweden and the UK including roles as HR Director, Sony Europe and Global HR Head for Sony Mobile. Roy has recently completed a Masters in Sports Psychology and has a specific interest in the psychology of performing when it matters.