7 Ways to Instantly Improve Employee Satisfaction
Jun 14, 2021
Many businesses seem to save their appreciation for their customers while forgetting that they spend more time with their front-line coworkers than with customers. If a business expects its employees to be gracious and provide excellent customer service, leadership must act that way toward their coworkers. It is not news to anyone that people who are appreciated by their workplace perform better in their roles; what is surprising is what it takes to make them feel empowered and appreciated. It may not be what you expect.
According to careerbuilder.com, only 12% of employees leave their jobs for more money. Over 70% of respondents at hayes.com said they would accept a pay cut to find a “better job.” So if the immediate answer is not more money, what is the key to a “better job”? Lifeworks found that 76% of the workforce doesn’t feel valued by their current employer, so appreciation and respect are the key to a “better job” or happier employees.
One of the first lessons parents teach their kids is to say “Thank you” whenever they receive something. When sending an email or when a cashier gives us back the correct change at a fast-food restaurant, we make sure to use our manners. What is surprising is that strangers, or those we rarely see, are more likely to see more politeness than those closest to us. If we know the key to uplifting those around us is showing gratitude, why don’t we offer more appreciation to those closest to us? For business owners and leaders, the ability to ensure that team members feel appreciated is the example they need to pass the same feeling to their customers. In an economy struggling to keep good employees, holding on to our top talent is critical to future success.
Knowing that employees rank appreciation highly on the job satisfaction scale, how do companies improve their work-life? Perhaps it is as easy as thanking them today, right now! Find something they are doing right and praise them for it. There is no time like the present for leadership to show how much they appreciate their teams. The coming months provide companies with an excellent opportunity to show employees how valued they are.
7 easy ways to increase your employee satisfaction!
1. Celebrate their wins – big or small
When your team accomplishes something, no matter how big or small, take the time to celebrate it. Celebrating all wins, regardless of their magnitude, is an important way to show the team that you appreciate their hard work. It also helps to build morale and keep everyone on their toes, always working toward the next goal.
Some ways to celebrate are as simple as taking a break for cake and champagne (or whatever your team’s favorite drink may be), or going out to lunch together. You could also have a special prize for the person who achieves the goal or hold a raffle with fun prizes. The key is ensuring everyone feels appreciated and included in the celebration.
2. Communicate frequently and authentically
Communication is essential in any business, but it can sometimes be difficult for leaders to know how best to communicate with their teams. Some ways to improve communication include having regular check-ins with your team members, holding a monthly or quarterly meeting where team members can give feedback, and using instant messaging apps such as Slack or Google Hangouts to stay in touch.
The important thing is to make sure that your team knows you are available and listening when they need you, and also giving them a voice through meetings or 1-on-1’s so they feel heard too. This can go a long way in improving employee satisfaction, as well as productivity!
3. Encourage social connections by giving them a place to engage with each other
Most companies do some form of team building and “team spirit” activities. But those employees who don’t have the opportunity to engage with each other outside work must be given the chance to do so if they want to.
Consider having a place where your team members can get together during lunchtime or their lunch break. This can be as simple as a room with a TV or an outside area where employees can sit and talk if the weather is nice. Collaborative workspaces are another option for businesses looking to bring people together in an office setting, but not all teams need that level of interaction. Focusing on what works best for your team and your company culture is important.
4. Actively listen to their concerns or ideas
Listening to your employees is one of the most important ways you can show that you appreciate them. When an employee comes to you with a concern or idea, take the time to listen fully and be attentive. Perhaps more importantly, ensure you have systems in place, so they know they will be heard even when you are unavailable.
5. Focus on growth and development – personally and professionally
Many employees will leave a job if they feel stagnant and unchallenged. Make sure your team members are working at their full potential by providing opportunities for professional development through training, mentorship programs, or even encouraging continued education outside of work.
6. Break up the work week routine with an office surprise
Once in a while, try to break up the work day by bringing in breakfast or treats for your team. This can be as simple as ordering pizza on Friday afternoon or having a special lunch catered for everyone once a month. It’s an easy way to show that you care about their well-being, and can also help to boost team morale and engagement. Just be careful not to overdo it – surprise treats should be special, not something that becomes the norm!
7. Create a positive work environment
Creating a positive work environment starts with management. Treating your employees fairly and respectfully sends the message that they are valued and appreciated. Beyond that, there are many things you can do to improve morale, such as removing distractions like loud phone conversations or other external influences that might lead to negativity in the workplace.
Why Employee Satisfaction Is Important
1. Happy employees lead to happy customers
Happy employees lead to happy customers, and it’s no secret that a happy customer is more likely to return. Customer satisfaction is one of the key drivers of business success. This is why it’s so important for businesses to focus on employee satisfaction – if your employees are happy, they will be more likely to provide a positive customer experience.
This translates into providing good customer service, going above and beyond for customers, and remembering the little things that make a difference. All these things contribute to a great customer experience and, in turn, help your business grow.
2. Employees who feel appreciated work harder
When employees feel valued and appreciated, they are more motivated to work hard. This means better productivity, stronger performance, and, ultimately, a more successful business. These employees who have bought in can act as ambassadors for your company and help build a positive workplace culture.
3. Satisfied employees are productive and innovative
Satisfied employees are more productive and innovative because they feel appreciated. When employees feel like their work is valuable and contributing to the company's success, they are more likely to be productive and come up with new ideas.
4. Employee turnover is costly
Employee turnover can be costly for businesses, often leading to the loss of trained and experienced employees. In addition, businesses may have to spend time and money recruiting and training new employees. Happy employees are more likely to stay with a company, so it is in the best interest of businesses to focus on employee satisfaction. This can be done by providing a positive work environment, listening to employee concerns and ideas, and providing opportunities for growth and development. By doing so, businesses can create a workplace where employees are happy and appreciated, leading to lower employee turnover rates.
5. Unhappy employees can poison the workplace culture
Unhappy employees can poison the workplace culture and lead to negativity, tension, and a toxic work environment. This is why it is so important for businesses to focus on employee satisfaction – by creating a positive work culture, you can help to mitigate conflict and negative feelings in the workplace. When employees feel valued, respected, and listened to, they are more likely to treat each other with kindness and respect. This can ultimately lead to increased productivity and better performance, which is good for the business. So if you want your employees to be happy, satisfied, and motivated, focus on creating a positive work environment where they feel valued and appreciated.
Measuring Employee Satisfaction
1. Exit interviews
Exit interviews are a great way to measure employee satisfaction. By asking employees why they are leaving, businesses can understand what drives turnover and identify areas where employees may be unhappy. This information can then be used to improve the workplace culture and make changes that will increase employee satisfaction.
2. Employee surveys
Another way to measure employee satisfaction is through employee surveys. These surveys can cover various topics, such as job satisfaction, company culture, management and leadership style, benefits and compensation, and more. By collecting this data from employees directly, businesses can better understand what factors are influencing their happiness at work.
3. Focus groups
Focus groups are a great way to get employees' opinions and feedback directly. This can be done through one-on-one meetings or by sending out surveys or questionnaires to collect data from a larger group of employees at once. Businesses can also hold focus groups with different teams or departments to gather information about their feelings. These focus groups will typically include deeper answers and insights from fewer employees to try and gauge the general level of satisfaction among employees.
4. Meetings with managers
Some businesses may also meet with managers or team leaders to get their perspectives on employee satisfaction. Managers are often in close contact with employees and can be a valuable source of information about employee satisfaction. They can also share best practices for improving the work environment and creating a positive culture.
In some cases, businesses may also choose to observe employee behavior as a way of measuring happiness and satisfaction. This could involve monitoring attendance rates, work performance, interactions with coworkers, or engagement with company activities or initiatives. By paying close attention to employee behavior, businesses can identify areas where they need to make changes to improve employee satisfaction.
“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients” – Richard Branson, Entrepreneur