Factors of Job Satisfaction
Many business leaders assume pay is the most important factor in acquiring and keeping talent. While that factor is heavily considered by most American workers, there is so much more that goes into building and maintaining a skilled staff.
Employee engagement and satisfaction matter, and continue to increase in importance. According to the Society for Human Resources Management, there are a number of factors that contribute to those metrics. These elements should provide key insights to employers and also highlight areas for development as they improve their organizations.
- Respect – According to SHRM reporting, employees rate respectful treatment of all employees as the most important factor in job satisfaction. If employees don’t feel valued and respected, almost nothing else matters. It’s important that at a minimum, all leaders in the organization treat employees fairly and kindly, and that they encourage all staff to do the same.
- Trust – Perhaps because of workplace uncertainty in the years following the Great Recession, employees indicated that trust between themselves and senior management was another highly important satisfaction factor. People want transparency, they want to know what’s going on in the company, and they want the truth about how secure their job is.
- Security – If you’ve ever had to go to work each day wondering whether your job is secure, you know it can cause a great deal of anxiety. Though the past decade’s economy has created more confidence in employees, the pandemic and long-term consequences are bound to worry today’s workforce. Organizations can provide a sense of security through honest communication and transparency about the company’s health and long-term viability. Obviously you aren’t going to show every employee the books, but try to give real insight into the company’s financial status when appropriate.
- Healthy Environment – Simply put, no one is happy in a toxic workplace. Environments that are free from stress, morale issues, harassment and discriminatory practices can create a positive and healthy atmosphere for everyone. A positive company culture is important.
- Career Path – No one wants a dead-end job. Employees are more likely to excel when they can see an established upward path, with the opportunity to earn a higher wage and take on greater responsibilities. Pay isn’t everything – but it is important. Remember what we mentioned above – boredom is also a productivity killer. We suggest documenting career paths and sharing them with your staff so they understand what their next role looks like, in terms of financial gain as well as new challenges. Encourage professional development opportunities whenver possible.
- Pay and Benefits – Good wages aren’t the only reason employees find satisfaction in their jobs, but they typically rank high on the list. A competitive salary generally makes employees feel valued, and gives them less reason to look elsewhere for work. Employees that are compensated competitively feel appreciated and are happy to put in a little extra work to earn that wage. Don’t underestimate the value of small perks on career satisfaction statistics.
What Your Company can do to Increase Employee’s Job Satisfaction
After reading this far, you should have a better understanding of the importance of job satisfaction in today’s workforce. It’s key to not only acknowledge these job satisfaction statistics, but also to put thought into what you can do to bump them in your own organization. Keeping a pulse on how satisfied your employees are will certainly cut down on turnover and perhaps even enhance your bottom line.
Sometimes the smallest things can make a big difference in business. It can be tempting to view the job satisfaction statistics we shared and think there’s not much you can do to impact them one way or the other – but that’s simply untrue. Minor issues can push people into a recruiter’s office, while at the same time making small tweaks to your day-to-day operations can help people feel more connected, excited and appreciated. Here are 22 real-life, practical things that HR experts recommend companies do to better engage their staff and increase their job satisfaction.
Put People First
- Respect people – As mentioned above in the SHRM studies, respect is huge. If people don’t feel respected, there’s not much else you can do to keep them loyal to your company.
- Listen to people – Managers at every level across every profession should maintain an open door policy. Encourage staff to approach them with ideas, questions, or concerns. Show that you are interested in what they have to say by implementing their suggestions or taking time to sit down and answer questions.
- Manage technical or administrative hassles – “Housekeeping” issues can become some of the biggest nuisances for your employees. Ensure they have what they need and, if someone says they don’t have what they need for their job, listen to them and fix the problem.
- Make space for creativity – Remember when we said boredom is a productivity killer? Try to make mundane tasks more interesting, and encourage people to bring their own flair to their daily work.
- Be flexible – Today’s work environments call for more adaptability than ever, and employees are counting on that flexible environment to last long after the pandemic is over. Moving forward, you can be sure that companies who are not open to adjusted schedules, part-time opportunities, or working from home will have a harder time keeping top talent. Think of ways to not only provide a flexible work environment but to also be nimble when it comes to the ways in which work gets done.
- Beware of bureaucracy – The bigger a company grows, the more cumbersome the administration processes tend to get. This is not pleasant for employees (or customers for that matter). Try to get rid of red tape wherever possible.
- Practice employee recognition – It’s important to know the data on salaries in your industry. Make sure you’re paying people competitive salaries, and in a way that lines up with their value to your organization. Remember that even in a fantastic work environment, people can be tempted by pay increases. Don’t leave the door open for someone to dangle a bigger salary in front of your top employees.
- Recognize success – Remember when we mentioned career paths? Staff should move up your corporate ladder based on merit, and they should be able to see evidence of that practice within the company. Ensure that people have real visibility into their career options, and encourage managers to have conversations on the topic often.
- Mentor and coach – These are two different things. Mentoring is the act of advising someone less senior than yourself, and is best done with people who aren’t your direct reports. Coaching on the other hand is more targeted and is specific to certain areas of job or skills. Employees should have access to both. If your company doesn’t already offer a formal program for each, at least encourage managers to seek out these opportunities and let staff know that doors are always open.
- Tell the truth – You can’t build trust without honesty. Employees may not always like what they hear, but they’ll always appreciate you being open and honest. Job security will continue to increase in importance so, when you’re able to, you should tell employees the truth about how things are going and how their jobs may be affected.
- Let customers get to know you – Allow staff to communicate like humans with your customers. You will want to maintain a guide for social media, customer service, etc. – but let your employee’s personalities come through. They will appreciate it and so will your customers.
- Encourage personality – Leadership, from C-level executives to mid-level managers, should be viewed as real people to your staff. Encourage them to interact with their departments as much as possible.
- Communicate – Internal communication is key to operational success. In person communication is ideal, but don’t discount structured communications such as all-company town-halls. The modern office is equipped with many high-quality employee communication displays. Use these to get information to everyone. Check out some great examples of using TVs for communication within an office.
- Create culture – This is important whether your business is large or small, but culture is harder to maintain the larger your company becomes. Help employees to bond through organized events, and think of ways to support people in actually enjoying their work and getting to know their team.
- Share wins – Boost morale and let employees know you understand their efforts by sharing successes. Send out a weekly “wins” email, make an announcement before big meetings, or display new clients or customer testimonials on digital signage that staff can see. Motivate team members by highlighting employees of the month or incentive contest winners.
- Make goals crystal clear – Setting goals can be as difficult as achieving them – and that’s why managers sometimes skip doing so. However, smart goal-setting, ideally with your employee, makes it more likely that staff can tie their performance into overall objectives and commit to the most valuable activities.
- Allow for mistakes from everyone – Everyone makes mistakes from time to time. Make it known that the important part of making mistakes is learning from them.
- Create an environment people enjoy being in – Naturally you want a non-toxic, enjoyable workplace, but take things a step further. Don’t underestimate the physical space’s ability to impact workers. Take advantage of the physical space to better communicate, share wins, and boost morale.
- Help staff to bond – Water cooler chat can be a distraction, but it’s also how employees form bonds with people outside of their immediate team. Cultivate relationships across your organization by creating committees or organizing events such as volunteer days.
- Admit mistakes among leadership – Not only do you want to allow for (occasional, minor) mistakes among your employees, but leadership also shouldn’t be afraid to admit when they’ve made one. Properly managing mistakes is what sets great leaders apart. If you made a bad hire that didn’t work out, or miscalculated a competitor’s activity that cost a deal, share that insight with the people who it affects. Doing so not only develops trust but also creates a good example so that, in the future, other team members will be less likely to cover up a mistake and more likely to loop in the people who can help to fix it.
- Share your mission and vision – Whether full-time or part-time, professionals want to feel like they’re part of something important. A mission defines what you stand for as a company. Mission-driven workers are 54 percent more likely to stay for five years at a company and 30 percent more likely to grow into high performers than those who arrive at work with only their paycheck as the motivator. Communicate your values and your visions for the future in big ways – such as a section in your annual report – and small ways – like a ticker at the bottom of TV screens in your offices.
- Have fun – Employees who truly enjoy their workplace are good for a company’s bottom line. If people are having fun, they are more likely to want to be present, to stay later, to better cooperate with co-workers, and to stay calm in high-pressure situations. Facilitate a joyous and playful atmosphere with rewards for achieving milestones and recognition for a job well done.
Make the Most of Job Satisfaction Statistics
Regardless of career level, title, profession, or salary, overall job satisfaction is an essential part of an employee’s lifecycle with your company. Job satisfaction should be a key metric that your HR team and business leadership keep a pulse on.
The difference-makers really lie in how HR understands the needs of its employees and what it does to generate a match between employee needs and company goals. Does your organization have this understanding?
We suggest conducting an annual employee satisfaction survey that measures job satisfaction and engagement – and then creating a forum where suggestions can be discussed and new ideas implemented. In the meantime, if you need advice on facilitating a better connected, more efficient workforce, browse our blog. We share innovative ideas on using digital signage to create solidarity and increase productivity in the workplace. If you’re curious about how digital signage can help your organization’s bottom line, reach out to one of our solutions experts for a demo.