Industrywide companies have grown their focus on managing their human capital strategically. The importance of employees as the fundamental drivers of a company’s competitive advantage and market position has grown in recent years. As a result, the focus on managing employee performance and job satisfaction is now higher. Companies want to hire and retain the best. However, just fat salaries fail to attract and retain the top talent. There are many more things business leaders and managers need to care about to grow employee retention. Higher job satisfaction is directly related to improved employee performance and retention rates. Managers need to work on improving job satisfaction inside their organizations. However, not just HR managers but the line managers also need to focus on creating higher job satisfaction for the employees. One important thing managers must note is that maximizing job satisfaction requires improving employee morale.
Steps to improve employee morale and maximize job satisfaction
Even if your organization is dealing with low worker morale and other HR related problems like higher attrition rates, you must not act hastily. Instead, you must create a roadmap and take steps in the right direction. Results often take some time, but you must patiently stick to your plan. Maximizing job satisfaction like many other HR related issues requires a lot of planning and careful execution. Here are some important points to help you along while you develop a plan for your workers’ job satisfaction. If you are focusing on improving your employees’ job satisfaction, you could also see improvement in several related areas like reduced HR related costs, improved employee performance and a stronger bottomline.
Create an appropriate work environment:
Employee job satisfaction is related to the work environment and work culture. No employee wants to work in a toxic environment. Employees want to work in an environment that is safe and where it is easy for them to prove their skills and potential. A work environment that is mired by too heavy competition, politics and backbiting does not make employees feel secure or satisfied. Managers must focus on creating a work environment that is safe for their employees, where there is less politics, and the chances of friction among employees are also low. Managers should also focus on making the work environment more inclusive. It fosters collaboration and makes it easy for employees to deliver their best performance. An appropriate work environment removes friction and other types of bottlenecks that can hurt employee morale and performance. In this manner, it improves employees’ job satisfaction.
Involve your employees in the decision making process:
There are several benefits of involving employees in the decision making process. On the one hand, while it can uplift employee morale, on the other it makes them feel more accountable and empowered. Another important benefit is that it improves the organizational decision making process. Employees can often provide valuable inputs and involving them in the decision making process can make it more effective. However, it provides the much needed boost to employee morale. When employees are involved in decision making, they feel valued and included. It makes them feel important and improves job satisfaction. On the other hand, excluding employees from the decision making process hurts their morale and the organization can lose their trust.
Provide your employees with opportunities of training and growth:
Employees do not love stagnancy in their careers. Everyone wants to grow and climb up the corporate ladder faster. Several leading businesses worldwide have made it a central focus of their HR policies to offer their employees the education and training that they need to find faster growth. Apart from it, business managers can grow their employees’ potential and improve employee performance through training and development programs. Business managers must invest time and resources or partner with other institutions to provide their workers with the training and skills they need to grow faster. If employees can acquire the right skills for faster career growth, they are more satisfied with their jobs. No one wants to remain caught in the same position for years. Employers must make sure that the employees have access to the education and training programs that can help them grow. It will boost employee morale and job satisfaction.
Improve your work culture:
An organization’s culture is also directly associated with its employees’ happiness. Take for example, Costco. The company has established an excellent culture that focuses on driving employee happiness and customer satisfaction higher. Compared to the other retail brands in the United States, Costco’s performance in this area has remained much better resulting in higher staff satisfaction and faster growth. Work culture influences staff satisfaction positively. Another great example is Starbucks. It has also focused on creating a culture with ethics and collaboration among its central tenets. Companies that want to improve employee output or maximize satisfaction can find its key in their work culture. So, you must try to establish a work culture that fosters innovation and higher staff motivation. It boosts employee morale and creates higher job satisfaction, it is also good for your bottom line.
Regularly communicate with your employees:
Communicating with employees regularly is important. Employee feedback and continuous communication helps improve employee morale as well as improve the overall work environment. When it comes to managing your employees, you must remain willing to ask them how they want to be managed. This makes the HR’s task easy. Apart from that, communication helps strengthen trust and build a stronger bond with your employees. It will not just boost employee morale but also help at improving job satisfaction and retention rates.
Organizations that want to strengthen their competitive advantage in the market make communication a core part of their organizational culture. Communicating with your staff boosts their confidence and improves their productivity. It also makes them feel more included and helps build stronger growth momentum. Managers must communicate with individual employees to gain feedback. This will also improve the level of collaboration within the organization and in turn improve overall productivity.
Recognize your employees’ contribution:
It is important to value your employees’ contribution to gain their loyalty and to retain them for longer. To retain your top talent and boost retention rates, you must reward your employees’ performance regularly. Recognition is among the top methods to win employee loyalty and grow employee satisfaction.
If you are making your employees’ work hard for you, it is also your responsibility to recognize their efforts from time to time. It should not be a once a year affair. However, rather than using the traditional methods used industrywide, you should try to be creative in your own way. Recognition and other rewards will boost employee morale and increase job satisfaction.
Care for your employees’ well being:
Apart from the other things, you need to focus on your employees’ well being. It is just as essential to care for your employees’ physical and psychological well being as for their performance. You can offer them insurance and other benefits, gym facilities and other health related benefits. However, you also need to offer them flexible working conditions so that they can maintain a proper balance between their personal and professional lives. Netflix is a great example of a company that supports its employees well being and provides support so employees can maintain a strong work-life balance. It offers them the financial benefits required to maintain the balance and also the resources that can enable a stronger work life balance. Parental leaves, time away and family forming benefits are among some of the leading benefits Netflix offers its employees. It has also partnered with ride sharing organizations to provide its employees the extra flexibility they need. All these factors have led to higher employee satisfaction and retention rates at Netflix.
Focus on performance management:
To achieve higher staff loyalty and maximize job satisfaction, companies must focus on performance management. It maximizes the chances of growth for employees and thus increases job satisfaction. However, across several companies performance management takes the form of once a year affair. Instead, it must remain an ongoing affair. Companies must carry out regular performance reviews and take steps to manage employees’ performance on a regular basis. Talking to individual employees on a monthly or weekly basis about their performance and offering them constructive feedback allows them to continuously improve their performance. Organizations like Google have great performance management systems in place that continuously assess staff performance and provide feedback.
Implement a system to measure job satisfaction:
While you are making efforts to promote a healthier work culture and create higher employee satisfaction, you will also need to measure how it is affecting job satisfaction for your existing employees. Once you are able to measure the change, you can accordingly make changes to your plan. If there is no significant change in the level of staff satisfaction, you might need to make efforts. In this regard, you can start with staff surveys. Carrying out satisfaction surveys and using the staff satisfaction index can help you measure job satisfaction. You can also hold one to one meetings with your staff or use specialized software available to measure employee satisfaction.
A few last words:
While you are working on growing job satisfaction for your employees, it is important to train managers to adopt practices that can improve staff satisfaction organization wide. You should train the managers to communicate with employees and engage them. Apart from that, business leaders also need to work on removing all those negative practices that hurt employee morale as they can cause a decline in employee satisfaction. For example, micromanagement hurts employee productivity, worker morale and job satisfaction. So, you should see that your managers are not micromanaging your workers. Involving the HR department and doing extensive planning is also important if you want to achieve concrete results in this area. While results may not start pouring out instantly, you will feel higher satisfaction and realize higher savings in the longer run. Improved worker morale and higher job satisfaction will also have a positive impact on the bottomline.