Written by: Haley DeLeon // Oct 18, 2022
Last updated: Jan 17, 2023
Maintaining employee morale and engagement was the No. 1 challenge noted by HR professionals in the Society for Human Resources Management’s 2021-2022 State of the Workplace Study.
HR teams and organizational leaders are facing “quiet quitting,” unprecedented recruitment challenges, and difficulties in retaining employees.
At the heart of these issues is increasing employee job satisfaction.
What Is Employee Job Satisfaction?
Employee job satisfaction, at large, means how happy or unhappy employees are with their jobs. According to Indeed, job satisfaction “displays the amount of gratification that employees have when they’re in the workplace.” A variety of factors can contribute to employee job satisfaction, from tangible factors like compensation and benefits, to components more difficult to quantify, like communication and culture.
Research by SHRM found that the following factors are very important to more than half of the employees surveyed about job satisfaction:
- Respectful treatment of all employees at all levels
- Trust between employees and senior management
- Job security
- Career advancement opportunities
- Communication between employees and senior management
- Management’s recognition of employee job performance
- Management’s communication of organization’s goals and strategies
- Organization’s financial stability
- Opportunities to use skills/abilities
Why Is Employee Job Satisfaction Important?
High employee job satisfaction can lead to many benefits. According to Gallup, high employee engagement can lead to higher customer loyalty, profitability, and productivity. It can also lead to lower turnover.
6 Ways to Improve Job Satisfaction
Employee job satisfaction can be improved with everything from small initiatives to sweeping organizational changes. Here are six methods that can help employees feel more satisfied in their jobs.
6. Offer Competitive Compensation and Benefits
With plenty of salary tools and research online at their fingertips, employees are easily able to determine if their compensation is lower than it should be. A lot of companies are also publicly displaying their benefits on their websites to entice new hires. Make sure that what you’re providing to your current employees is enough to retain them. Otherwise, it’ll be easy for them to jump ship.
5. Create a Culture of Transparency and Feedback
Employees want to feel heard. By regularly asking for their feedback and putting their ideas into place, you’ll make them feel valued. Create an action plan to implement their feedback and be transparent about your progress as an organization.
4. Amp Up Employee Recognition Efforts
Everyone wants to be recognized for a job well done and feel like their work matters. However, Office Vibe’s recent State of Employee Engagement report revealed that 63 percent of employees feel they do not get enough praise. Why is this important? A lack of perceived appreciation can lead to disengagement, and ultimately, turnover.
HR and leadership can combat this feeling by fostering an environment of employee appreciation on a regular basis. From traditional employee of the month programs to quarterly recognition, there are many ways to instill a culture of employee appreciation.
To maximize effectiveness, take it one step further than just saying “great job on the email marketing campaign.” Show employees what they helped the company accomplish. Try saying something like “thanks to your work on the email marketing campaign, we were able to increase sales of widgets by 23 percent.”
By connecting praise with positive data about the results of their efforts, you’ll increase employees’ job satisfaction and provide motivation to continue their good work.
3. Provide Ample Training and Career Development Opportunities
A recent LinkedIn Learning report showed that 94 percent of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development. While it may seem counterintuitive, equipping employees with new skills doesn’t send them running to greener pastures. On the contrary, knowing that an employer is willing to use the company’s resources to aid in their growth and future success makes employees feel important and drives company loyalty.
In addition, there are benefits to investing in career development other than employee job satisfaction. According to a recent article by SHRM, employee training reduces turnover and absenteeism. In addition, by offering leadership and managerial training, you can help prime the talent pipeline and position your current employees for advancement.
2. Show Employees That You Care About Wellness
Employee well-being programs are more than just a perk – developing an active, healthy workforce boosts employee morale and helps drive the success of your organization.
Some companies offer formal wellness programs that include in-house gyms, spa discounts, and mental-health seminars. If your company isn’t quite that flush, there are plenty of low-cost ways to incorporate wellness into your company culture. Here are just a few ideas to consider:
- Facilitate work-life balance by instituting flexible-schedule policies that allow employees to start earlier or leave later than typical business hours.
- Offer opportunities to recharge throughout the day, such as mindfulness sessions or lunch-time naps.
- Urge employees to take time for themselves, whether it’s hitting the gym, staying home to rest when they’re sick, or using all of their vacation time.
- Set healthy expectations around after-hours availability (i.e. no one is expected to answer emails between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.).
- Encourage employees to speak up when they are overwhelmed with work tasks so the load can be rebalanced, if possible.
1. Foster Workplace Relationships
When employees spend more time at the office than they do with their own families, building workplace friendships is critical to maintaining job satisfaction. Many times, these friendships happen organically, but you can set the stage for genuine connections by adding games or activities to the workplace: think ping-pong tables and company barbecues. Getting outside the office for team lunches, coffee runs, and happy hours also encourage engagement on a personal level, especially if the number one rule is that you can’t talk shop at these events.
Cultivate an Employee-Centric Company Culture
The tools and approaches listed here to grow employee job satisfaction demonstrate the importance HR plays in organizational success. Whether you are currently working in HR or plan on a career change, you can become an HR leader with USF's certificate programs. From mastering key HR concepts to preparing for in-demand certifications, USF offers a variety of online HR certificate courses.