When confronted with the problem of increasing job satisfaction, most employers feel immediate stress. We worry about where on earth we’ll find room in the budget for raises, expensive perks, and workplace improvements. We feel exasperation over the ineffective points systems we’ve implemented to track performance. It often feels impossible to boost employee satisfaction without spending millions, and that’s why many employers remain stuck with ineffective practices for far too long.
We’re here to shed some light on job satisfaction. We’ll help you get familiar with a wide variety of ways to increase your satisfaction metrics in a highly cost-effective way. The seven strategies below won’t heavily impact your bottom line—except that they might significantly improve profit margins by reducing your turnover rate. Let’s dive in.
7 Strategies to Increase Job Satisfaction
1. Communicate One-On-One
The number one thing employers can do to get in touch with employee satisfaction is to talk to them. Schedule one-on-one conversations with your employees on a regular basis. Check in on their triumphs and challenges, provide feedback (positive or negative, but always constructive), and ask important questions. Here are a few I recommend asking your employees:
- How do you feel about your current workload?
- Is your job description still accurate, or have you taken on new responsibilities?
- What is your favorite aspect of the work you do every day?
- What’s draining your energy right now, and how can we work to reduce that?
- Are you satisfied with the competitive package our company is offering?
2. Stay Competitive
It’s crucial to speak with your employees directly about their salaries. The counterbalance to these conversations is doing your own market research to determine if you’re offering benefits commensurate with each employee’s market value. Spend time at least twice per year evaluating your competitors and determining whether your company is still offering competitive salaries. If not, it may be time to do some restructuring.
3. Encourage Diversification
Stretch assignments, personal projects, and role sharing are all really fantastic ways to keep employees interested in staying with your company. Create opportunities for your employees to take on tasks in another department or from another role, even for just 5% of their work week. Encourage your employees to spend time developing personal projects and goals. They’ll thank you for the personal growth and daily variety with increased job satisfaction rates on your next survey.
4. Collect Relevant Data
Surveys, surveys, surveys. Are you already used to offering an employee satisfaction survey once a year? Create smaller surveys to distribute every quarter, and really get in the habit of collecting and synthesizing data related to employee satisfaction. You can’t begin making meaningful improvements until you understand how your employees feel about working at your company, and surveys are the easiest way to gather useful data.
5. Improve Your Environment
One nursing study showed that for every increased point for an improved work environment, employee job satisfaction increased 3.6 points. That’s a promising correlation and one that employers should take seriously. Endeavor to create a calm atmosphere in your company—whether that means establishing quiet zones, no-email after hours, or building buffers into your recurring deadlines. Inexpensive perks like discounted gym memberships and healthy in-office food can also make a big impact on how employees perceive their work environment.
6. Establish Flexibility
More than anything, employees want to feel respected, valued, and empowered in the workplace. This culture is created by many elements—and offering your employees the benefit of a flexible schedule is one cost-effective way to make this happen. Flexible work hours give employees the freedom to take care of personal and family needs. This leads each individual to feel that their well-being is important to your company and to you as their employer. Consider making flexible schedules your newest employee benefit, and enjoy the morale boost.
7. Recognize, Incentivize, and Reward
Finally, devote a small portion of your yearly budget to programs that recognize and reward your employees for a job well done. A Canadian workplace study revealed that 58% of employees believe recognition is the most important way managerial staff can improve—so aim to be a part of the solution. Do your research and select an employee recognition program that’s intuitive, meaningful, and motivating. The amount you save from employee retention more than covers a successful incentive plan.
Job satisfaction seems like a highly complex and costly problem on the surface, but the most successful CEOs and HR professionals know it’s all a matter of small actionable steps. Try implementing a few of the strategies listed above in your own company, and monitor how employee satisfaction metrics improve. By connecting with your employees and offering benefits they really want, you can create a successful team of highly satisfied, well-trained, and dedicated individuals.
At Inproma, we create powerful employee recognition and rewards programs that make employees excited to come to work every day. We’ve answered the job satisfaction question for companies of all sizes and across a wide variety of industries. Want to get involved? Let’s talk.