How to improve employee satisfaction

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Health Assured team

05 December 2019

The satisfaction of your staff is of the utmost importance. You might have heard the saying ‘happy employees are more productive employees’. Well, employee satisfaction determines their happiness.

While some employers often use employee engagement and satisfaction interchangeably, this isn’t always the case. Employee engagement relates to the relationship between your staff and organisation, while staff satisfaction focuses on the contentment of their job.

This piece delves into the importance of employee satisfaction and offers several tips on measuring and improving satisfaction levels in the workplace.


What is employee satisfaction?

In human resources (HR), employee satisfaction is the commitment and level of content your staff feel towards their job, work environment and the organisation as a whole. It determines their productivity, engagement, retention and loyalty to your organisation.

As a key metric in determining the overall health of your organisation, employee satisfaction identifies whether your staff are happy and fulfilled in their current roles. It also highlights areas within the employee experience that need improvement. Qualities of a satisfied workforce include:

  • Increased productivity.
  • Reduced sickness absences.
  • Higher retention rates.
  • Increased engagement with co-workers and managers.

When your staff is happy with their job, the work environment and the way they’re managed, it increases their commitment towards your company and motivates them to put in their best efforts to ensure the success of the organisation.


Is employee satisfaction and job satisfaction the same?

They’re two sides of the same coin.

Employee satisfaction focuses on the happiness of your staff in the organisation, working conditions, reward structures and pay. Job satisfaction, on the other hand, focuses on the emotional commitment of a staff member to the business and its goals.

Both satisfaction levels work hand in hand to affect an employee’s behaviour, productivity, engagement and loyalty to your company.


But how does employee behaviour affect customer satisfaction?

The way an employee feels about the company they work for and the job they do has a substantial effect on the output of the overall business.

If they feel disengaged or unsatisfied in their current role or with the organisation as a whole, the productivity and work quality reduces and which then has a knock-on effect on your customers. Improving customer satisfaction leads to repeat business, which contributes to increased profits.


How does a business's corporate culture affect employee satisfaction?

The satisfaction of your staff is a direct result of a positive and strong company culture.

With a strong corporate culture, your employees are aware of the goals and objectives they’re working towards, as well as what is expected of them.

In a 2010 study by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), they found that company culture had the same level of impact on employee absences and productivity as the sickness absence management.

It also found that companies with wellbeing policies tend to have a more positive impact on absences, productivity and morale, all of which contribute to employee satisfaction.

To improve employee satisfaction, you must invest in a positive culture that recognises the importance of a healthy work-life balance and encourages flexible working and wellbeing options.


How to assess employee satisfaction

As with most things, it’s impossible to improve if you don’t know where you’re lacking. But how do you know when your staff are satisfied? How do you know what improvements to make to satisfy them? How do you measure their satisfaction levels?

Two popular methods for assessing employee satisfaction are:

One-on-one conversations: With this approach, you’re able to personalise questions to focus on individuals and their specific needs. Scheduling these conversations on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis provides you with an up-to-date view of their needs and circumstances.

Take notes of problems they’re experiencing, areas of increased pressures and conflict between colleagues.

Ask questions about what’s working for them and what isn’t, what they think about the team, where they see themselves in the future, what sort of training they require etc.

During these conversations, remember to look for patterns in complaints or suggestions and use them as a start-off point for addressing issues.

Surveys: The most common method of assessing employee satisfaction is through anonymous surveys. It’s sometimes harder for employees to express themselves to their manager or superiors especially when it’s a complaint.

That’s where anonymous surveys come in. you’ll be able to get quantitative data that’ll give you more to work with. There are various free tools available to create and send them to everyone in the company.


Why do an employee satisfaction survey?

Satisfaction surveys gather information on a variety of work-related issues. For example, with questions related to job satisfaction, company policies, work hours and benefits, you can gain insights into specific perceptions and opinions.

With it, you can identify issues with the work processes and discover what motivates your staff. As well as identifying concerns, you can implement changes to improve employee satisfaction.

But what does employee satisfaction survey measure? It measures the level of staff engagement within your organisation to recognise how they feel about working for you.


How to improve employee satisfaction in an organization

Your business is only as good as the people in it. Contrary to popular belief, the satisfaction of your staff isn’t solely based on financial contributions. Although financial rewards are welcome and even contribute to their satisfaction levels, it’s not all that matters.

In 2015, recruitment specialists Glassdoor researched employee satisfaction levels by gathering data from over 200,000 users over one year. The results showed a one out of a 100-point increase in satisfaction levels for every 10% bump in salary an employee received.

So, the above shows us that employee satisfaction isn’t just dependent on money. There are multiple factors in and out of work that can affect satisfaction levels.

With that in mind, consider our suggestions on how to improve employee satisfaction:

Practice flexibility: The first step to improving satisfaction is to give your staff more control over what they do, how they do it and where do it. This encourages a healthy work-life balance, especially amongst millennial workers.

Training and development: As with most people, your staff have dreams and career aspirations. As an employer that supports development, consider investing in training to develop their skills and knowledge. As well as establishing yourself as an employer that values their employees, you’ll also benefit from the additional skills and expertise they’ll bring to the organisation.

Invest in wellbeing: In the UK, various studies into staff absences found for the first time, work-related stresses, anxiety and depression accounted for over half of all working days lost due to ill health in 2017/18. By investing in the wellbeing initiatives such as Employee Assistance Programmes, fitness challenges, subsidised gym membership, team building competitions, mindfulness training, etc.


Expert advice

For more information on occupational health issues and assessments, contact Health Assured. Call us today on 0844 891 0353.

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