Written by: Jen Carlevatti // Feb 16, 2021
Last updated: Feb 16, 2021
Americans spend a whopping one third (90,000 hours) of their lives at work. And when they’re feeling unfulfilled or disengaged at their jobs, it’s only a matter of time before they start looking for employment elsewhere. So, what’s your company doing to increase employee job satisfaction? If the answer is “not much,” we have six ways to help you boost happiness at work and ensure your employees feel like they’re doing more than just working for the weekend.
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.
You can combat these feelings by consistently applauding your employees on a weekly basis. However, 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.
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.
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.
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.
Evaluate Managerial Support and Behavior
We’ve all heard the statistic – the number one reason people leave jobs is a bad boss. Check in with yourself on a regular basis or ask for feedback from your team. Are you micro-managing? Making decisions without consulting your boots-on-the-ground team members? Displaying bursts of anger or other unprofessional behavior? Failing to provide resources or remove obstacles? Nobody is perfect, but seeking ways to continually improve can help reduce turnover, increase engagement, and benefit your company’s bottom line.
That said, being a good manager involves learning new skill sets, and very few companies choose to invest in formal leadership programs. If you’re an individual contributor who was promoted to a managerial position without any training, USF’s leadership and management programs can help. Equip yourself with the tools, knowledge, and skills to get better results in your role, whether you’re a seasoned leader or a new manager.