Of all of the measures of business performance, employee satisfaction is among the least popular. It’s a great deal easier to measure the value of your assets, or the net profits for a given financial year, than it is to measure the satisfaction of your employees, which is inherently subjective and prone to bias.
Why is Employee Satisfaction Important?
When all of your workers are satisfied with their day-to-day lives, the atmosphere in the workplace is likely to be more pleasant and co-operative. This in turn will feed into your productivity – though there’s a sense in which employees will be more productive when they’re more satisfied in every sense.
Perhaps most importantly in the long term is the fact that satisfied workers will be likely to want to hang onto their jobs. When they’re dissatisfied, almost by definition, they’ll be looking for alternative employment elsewhere.
Companies which suffer from persistently high staff turnover have to contend with regular and protracted interview processes. Moreover, they lose the time and money they’ve invested in building up the departing member. Compare these downsides against the often-meagre expense involved in keeping an employee onside, and an obvious case for keeping employees satisfied begins to develop.
But exactly how do we keep employees satisfied?
How to Improve Employee Satisfaction
Many of the measures you might take to improve satisfaction are obvious – but a few of them are affordable, too.
Obviously, paying employees more is going to make them more satisfied. But the relationship between these two things is not always linear. Sometimes, no amount of extra money will be able to offset the downside of the position.
In many cases, the complaints of your workforce might be easily addressed. But in order to do that, you have to first listen to them. Consequently, implementing a process for complaints is advisable. But having an informal ‘water cooler’ culture where issues can be raised before they become serious enough to be classed as complaints.
You’ll get valuable feedback through which the business can be improved. And in the process, you’ll give your employees the feeling that they’re contributing and being taken seriously.
Rewarding the employees who distinguish themselves is especially important. No team can hope to thrive if its most valuable members are constantly departing. This makes it essential that your employees are given a means of advancing their careers within your organisation. This means putting in place a system of recruiting from within whenever positions become vacant, and offering training to those who need it.
When the team has performed well, or gone the extra mile to meet a particular target, or keep the business going during a time of adversity, then it’s also worth making small gestures to recognise the effort. A chocolate hamper for the office might give everyone a warm, glowing feel – even if you don’t spend an enormous amount.