Job satisfaction is at an all-time high, a recent report from The Conference Board shows that 51% of U.S. employees are satisfied at their jobs, with the biggest gains over the last seven years being in the areas of wages and job security
What does this high level of job satisfaction mean for your company? It doesn’t mean that you can be complacent. Today’s labor market is especially challenging and companies are competing for talent.
For employees who aren’t satisfied there are tangible impacts to your business. Employees are leaving companies at record rates if they don’t feel satisfied in their jobs.
So, what can you do about it? Do you know what factors have the biggest impact within your workplace? Within the report from The Conference Board across the 23 survey components, participants gave the highest marks to the following five: in first place, People at work, followed by Commute to work; Interest in work; Supervisor; and Physical environment. You could always do an informal survey of your employees to see if the results match the components of The Conference Board, but you might be safe to assume that these components apply within your workplace as well.
Now let’s tackle those first two job satisfaction components and come up with some ideas of what can be done to improve satisfaction in those areas. People at work may seem like something that as a leader you have no control over, however, there are things you can do within your company to promote a positive culture and improve workplace relationships; here is a recommendation of strategies to enhance job satisfaction in your workplace. Lead by example in practicing humility and giving your employees your undivided attention when you’re with them by practicing active listening. Create policies about not checking personal devices during meetings, this can help ensure everyone in the room feels like they’re being listened to and focused on. Develop a program for awarding praise and recognition, this doesn’t mean monetary although I am sure employees wouldn’t mind if it did include a monetary component. Recognition can be verbal in a meeting or even done on comment cards that employees can display in their workplace. Finally, dedicate time to get to know your employees and make sure that new employees are properly introduced and given time to get to know their team.
As for commute to work, this is also something that you can have an impact on. Consider implementing a work from home policy for your employees. Working from home has positive benefits and has been shown to increase both productivity as well as overall job satisfaction. You could even start small by implementing the ability to work from home one or two days a week to start and seeing how it impacts your business. Not all employees will take you up on the opportunity, but knowing it is available will be another benefit. While working from home isn’t feasible in every work environment, there may be additional schedule changes that could impact this such as offering an option for employees to work four 10 hour days per week instead of having to commute in every day.
The bottom line is that there are always things that you can do to creatively solve problems impacting job satisfaction. With employees willing to leave if their needs aren’t met there is a real risk associated with not constantly working on improving your organization.