Research shows that happier employees are more productive, so there is a business objective to ensuring people are satisfied in their work, as well as a moral obligation for employers.
But how can you make sure employees are as happy as possible, without compromising on your business goals?
Having good lines of communication between those at the top of the company and the people doing the hard work on the ground is a crucial part of having happier and more productive staff. However, employees may not always say what they mean, and it's important to know how to translate common workplace complaints into actions that your company can actually complete to solve the underlying problem.
'I don't get paid enough'
This is perhaps the most common of all staff complaints, but one of the most difficult to solve. You don't want to give people more money just because they are asking for it, as it can set a precedent and few companies can afford to incrementally increase their employees’ salaries fairly across an entire business.
However, although everyone would like to be paid more for their job, most employees mean that they don't feel valued in their current role. But you don't need to pay them more to achieve this. Looking into workplace benefit schemes and other ways of making staff feel more valued in their roles can make a big difference to how they feel about working for you.
It's also important to have a clear pay and development structure set up. Be as transparent about this as possible and it will help to keep employees motivated and satisfied with their wage.
'I don't have enough time to do my job'
Another commonly spoken complaint is that there is too much pressure to get the job done in the scheduled time. However, it's unlikely that they are complaining about the role itself, just about the time constraints. There are a number of ways that you can solve this problem. Introducing flexible working or mobile working can help people strike a better work-life balance, but it's also worth looking into why employees are feeling under so much pressure. This can be something brought up with individuals during their 1-2-1 meetings or raised as a company-wide scheme to try and make work more efficient.
'I don't get any recognition'
This is strongly linked to the two previous complaints and is all to do with making employees feel appreciated. Introducing schemes that praise staff for doing particularly well in their role can be a great way to boost morale among your workforce and ensure they feel recognized when they put effort in. It's also a good idea to structure appraisals around the positives that an employee has achieved, rather than starting with negatives. This helps them to understand that they are valued and recognized for the hard work they do, but there are ways they can further improve.