According to an Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Report by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 88% of US employees reported overall satisfaction with their current job in 2015.
This number is the highest level of satisfaction in 10 years. The purpose of the survey was to identify those factors that contribute to employee satisfaction in the workplace.
Employees who are satisfied with their jobs are more committed, productive, and more likely to stay with an organization.
And, when employees are dissatisfied, there is higher turnover and a higher instance of employee absenteeism.
This report for 2015 shows that respectful treatment of employees at all levels was the most important aspect of job satisfaction.
Employees know a strong economy results in competitive pay, and with a booming economy, pay and benefits now also hit the top of the list.
In order of importance, the top five aspects of job satisfaction rated as “very important” were:
- Respectful Treatment of Employees at All Levels
- Pay and Compensation
- Overall Benefits
- Job Security
- Trust Between Employees and Senior Management
13 Tips For Improving Job Satisfaction
1. Work on The Culture. The culture of an organization is influenced by the behaviors of its leadership. Employees empathize with each other and demand respectful treatment of all employees.
Senior leaders should set an example for these behaviors by demonstrating respect toward others while holding people accountable for doing the same.
Respect for others can be demonstrated through professional communication and internal policies that are honoring to employees.
For example, if the organization is forced to make some difficult changes that impact an employee’s job, those changes should be communicated in a sensitive way to honor the employees who may be impacted by the change.
2. Establish Trust with Senior Management. Senior management needs to establish trust with employees at all levels. Employees need to be able to trust those who have been placed in a position of authority.
Leaders can establish this trust by demonstrating credibility and integrity in everything they do. This means doing what you say and saying what you do.
Communication is often a key factor in trust. Employees can handle bad news when it is shared. What they don’t like is the perception that there are secrets.
Communicating clearly and often while striving to explain the why behind decisions can help to minimize issues of trust.
3. Expand job benefits. Explore the benefits that employees appreciate and value. Benchmark your total benefits package to ensure your package is competitive.
Focus on health and medical, paid time off, defined contribution plans, defined benefit pension plans, work-life balance, and family-friendly benefits.
Often the low cost or no cost benefits get the greatest impact on satisfaction.
4. Offer competitive compensation. Look at all aspects of your compensation strategy. Evaluate employee pay grades, health benefits, and retirement contributions to ensure your compensation package is competitive.
Benchmark like jobs and work to keep salary ranges in line with similar jobs.
If the recent regulation cuts have helped your business, share the benefit with employees by increasing their pay.
5. Foster job security. Employees are just now feeling relief from the recent recession that caused workers everywhere to feel job insecurity.
Employers can help ease this by communicating with employees about the financial state of the organization, strategic goals and objectives, and overall performance.
When employees know their employer is doing well, they feel more job security.
It is also important to include employees in global problem solving to ensure they feel like they are part of the process and solution to organizational growth and success.
6. Strengthen employee relationships. Job satisfaction is also connected to relationships that the employee has with coworkers.
Use teams of employees to problem solve and use team-building exercises to help develop and strengthen coworker relationships.
7. Focus on employee engagement. Invest the time and resources in creating an environment where employees thrive and love to work.
Monitor employee engagement and strengthen areas that foster it.
8. Provide opportunities for career advancement. Employees want to know that there are opportunities within the organization to grow and advance their careers.
Develop employees through coaching and mentoring programs, leadership skill development, and succession planning to help ensure that employees are prepared when higher-level job openings become available.
9. Train on job skills. Employees value the investment organizations make into ongoing job skill training.
This results in employees being more engaged in their roles, improved internal processes, and increased worker productivity.
10. Provide professional development opportunities. Investing in the career development of an organization’s workforce results in employees who feel valued and grow professionally.
This includes training that results in certifications or degrees that enhance employee skills and professional knowledge.
11. Provide a clear career path. Provide high performing employees with developmental plans that prepare them for promotions and increased job responsibilities.
Use the performance management process to highlight gaps in skills and to plan for specific skill development.
12. Strengthen relationships with immediate supervisors. The relationship with the immediate supervisor has always been a strong indicator of job satisfaction.
This means organizations need to invest time and resources into strengthening these relationships.
One way to help with this is to provide adequate training and a transition plan for employees who are promoted to a supervisor role.
13. Recognize employee job performance. Employees want to know that management recognizes their contributions and accomplishments.
Positive feedback, that reinforces performance behaviors, can impact improved job performance.
Make recognizing employees a part of day-to-day management practices.
Finally, most employees come to work with the intention of doing a good job.
However, it is the organization’s responsibility to communicate effectively, let employees know what is expected of them, give them the tools they need to do their job and reward them for a job well done.
These management tactics can take an organization a long way toward fostering satisfied employees, improving employee engagement, and achieving business objectives.
How satisfied are your employees?