According to a recent “job exodus” survey by Investors in People, employees are 10% less happy at work than they were in 2018, which is 24% overall. Is this simply because workplaces are under greater levels of scrutiny now thanks to social media? Or is it because employees demand more of their employers now. 20 years ago, added perks and benefits created just to satisfy workers and employee satisfaction was almost unheard of but today they are seen almost as necessities.
Workers want more from their employers than just wages. More flexibility, a better work/life balance and comprehensive healthcare plans are all now swiftly becoming part of normal practice. Because the employees of the future don’t just want any job. They want job stability and they want to feel as if they are valued.
But what does employee satisfaction look like? Reduced turnover? Higher productivity? A happier culture and general working environment? It can look like all these things and more but getting there means following three simple rules.
- Get the basics right
Standard basic issues like paying all your wages on time and giving employees fair and regular lunch breaks is always going to add up to greater satisfaction. The correct amounts of both wages and statutory maternity/paternity/adoption pay should be the bare minimum for any company. Having reliable payroll software in place will cover most of these issues and the rest is going to be down to good old-fashioned attentiveness.
- Create a healthy and nurturing workplace
Encouraging a happy and healthy work environment is key to boosting employee satisfaction and motivation. You’ll undoubtedly have heard the phrase “company culture” being bandied around and that’s exactly what this means. Host events to encourage team building and create bonds organically and attempt to nurture a sense of belonging by encouraging interaction between different employees and different teams. Consider conducting personality tests to ascertain what people will work best with one another.
Open communication and transparency
Creating a workplace where communication is open and freely discussed is a major part of boosting employee satisfaction. It can be frustrating when information is passed out inaccurately or extremely slowly and this can have a negative impact on overall satisfaction. Ensure that the lines of communication are clear and that everyone knows who to report to and when. This is particularly important in an age of remote and hybrid working.
Ultimately, employee satisfaction is also crucial for achieving other objectives such as improved productivity and reduced staff absenteeism. It’s something that’s not only going to look good for HR but will hopefully improve your bottom line too. Because a happy worker is a busy worker, and a busy worker is a productive worker.