Living for the weekend is a common (but quite sad) trope that too many people are familiar with. Where’s the joy in hating the Monday-to-Friday grind, only living life on Saturday and Sunday? (Clue: there isn’t any). Of course, nobody is ecstatic about work – otherwise, people wouldn’t be paid to work, correct? That’s what hobbies are for. Still, that’s not to say that hatred or resentment for one’s job has to be accepted – far from it, and it starts with employers.
From small businesses to major corporations, employee satisfaction is one of the main tasks of a Human Resources department. After all, if workers are unhappy with their roles, it’s only a matter of time before they jump ship to greener pastures.
On that note, how can businesses improve and, more importantly, maintain employee satisfaction and keep their valued teams glued together? Consider the following solutions for boosting workers’ happiness – the knock-on effect provides numerous benefits to the company, including enhanced productivity, higher profits, and decreased absenteeism.
Competitive, Fair Salary
This is a given, but too many employers skimp on salary yet still expect to attract the best talent with the highest qualifications. The good ol’ saying “pay peanuts, attract monkeys” runs true here, as does “you get what you pay for”. It’s not solely about attracting qualified, skilled individuals; it’s about keeping them – and employers need to offer fair and competitive compensation to do so.
Employees and job seekers can easily research to find out if they can earn more working elsewhere. So, keep pay competitive and ensure a clear promotion and career progression system within the company. That way, employees stay happy and motivated since they’re being paid fairly and know how and when their next potential pay rise will occur.
Career Progression & Support
There sometimes comes a time in an employee’s work life when they feel they’ve hit a brick wall. Hitting the wall may signal the end of the road for their time in their current workplace; there’s no further path to progression. Business owners mustn’t let that happen in their organization (if they want to keep their loyal, talented workers).
Building a clear career structure within the workplace and ensuring employees understand the map to higher success motivates them; they know how to seek professional development and achieve those higher positions in the company. Employees who want to do well and go further can only do so if they know they have manager support. It’s down to the bosses to provide them with the map and tools to get to higher success.
It’s crucial to communicate with employees one-on-one and discuss their future goals and options. Make expectations clear and arm them with the knowledge of what it takes to attain promotions. In addition, it’s imperative to give employees the tools required to achieve the success they seek; offer opportunities for them to enhance their skills and education (which will also benefit the company). Examples include:
- Attending company-funded educational programs (university degrees, for instance)
- Sending them to conferences and networking events
- Giving them bigger projects and responsibilities that can enhance their abilities and experience
Additionally, there should be a mentoring program within the company that employees with less experience (particularly new staff members) can benefit from.
Team members with greater skills, qualifications, and years of experience can assist newcomers and those who want to progress their careers, passing on their knowledge and competencies. Mentoring software designed for businesses is an excellent way to enact this system and support employees, especially those who want to learn, improve, and grow their careers within the company.
Mental and Physical Health
The topic of health dramatically impacts people’s work lives, not just their personal lives. How can employees be satisfied if their physical and mental well-being is suffering?
In fact, according to a study, the connection between work, health, and life satisfaction is reciprocal – they can’t exist without each other. That’s why organizations must provide support and open communication about physical and mental health and prioritize the topic.
For too long, burnout has been praised, as has the status of company martyr. The workaholic who sacrifices their health and happiness for the good of the company has been a gold-plated sainthood title for decades – but that’s now no longer the case.
The health implications of workaholism are now well-documented, and employees (as well as managers and bosses) have realized that something needs to change.
Nowadays, companies prioritize completing work on time within working hours, not expecting robotic-like loyalty and staying late. This approach is key to reducing stress and burnout and keeping staff happy and healthy in the long run.
Who better to ask for ways to improve the workplace than those working there? Ultimately, the employee’s perspective differs substantially from the manager’s and CEO’s. Thus, asking them for feedback can provide insight, perhaps offering new ideas.
Ask employees how happy they are and what positive change they want to see within the company. There are several ways to do this, from anonymous surveys to one-on-one interviews and team meetings. Naturally, not all suggestions will be doable; however, enacting just one change could boost workers’ morale. Plus, it shows employees that the higher-ups listen to them and do care about their well-being.
Worker benefits are just as important as the pay package, and contribute significantly to employee satisfaction. Plus, the good news for companies is that many perks don’t cost that much to implement. Examples of quality employee benefits that make a huge difference to their happiness and well-being in the workplace include:
- The choice to work from home or undertake hybrid working
- Fair number of paid holidays/PTO
- Paid maternity leave
- Subsidized child care
- On-site childcare
- Fair amount of sick leave
- Paid time off to volunteer
- Educational opportunities (acquiring new qualifications for career progression)
- In-office yoga/meditation sessions
- Gym memberships for employees
Show Appreciation & Celebrate Success
Positive recognition for a job well done sounds like a small, trivial thing. But it actually has a whopping effect on employees’ satisfaction. A simple “thank you” or “well done” from the manager or CEO can work wonders and show staff – teams and individuals – their effort is acknowledged and appreciated.
Celebrating big and small wins makes a massive difference in how much workers feel valued. So, take the time to celebrate accomplishments in meetings, write a personal thank you note, or make a pit stop by someone’s desk to show gratitude for their achievements. These tiny, practically costless shows of appreciation and celebration make employees feel seen and valued.