HR 29 November 2017

Four ways to improve employee satisfaction whilst growing your business

employee satisfaction
Staff can feel valued in crucially different ways

Life coach Ben Edwards provides advice and training to corporations and independent businesses owners on the best ways to retain staff. Here, he offers four easy-to-implement methods for enhancing employee satisfaction.

The benefits of employee satisfaction are undisputable. Employee engagement statistics from 29 different research studies have demonstrated that companies with high employee engagement scores attain twice the customer loyalty.

The reciprocal reward of employees feeling valued and content in the workplace is consequently undeniable, and must be considered if businesses wish to maintain an improved, consistent level of employee retention.

I’ve recognised the importance of individuality and incorporate this into my programmes. Much like in personal relationships, people feel valued in crucially different ways.

For example, in your personal life, whilst some feel expressing love and appreciation comes in the form of spending quality time with a partner, others may feel gifts are more of a demonstration of affection.

While these differences shouldn’t be discredited, if two people communicate appreciation in different ways, although they may feel they are making an effort, the other person’s needs are not met, and problems can arise.

How employers can increase employee workplace satisfaction

The same can be said for employees in the workplace. All efforts to enhance employee satisfaction and performance should be tailored to be beneficial for each individual, according to their own preferences and learning styles.

(1) Ask and listen

Employees are more inclined to work hard if they feel they are valued and listened to, and staff should not be made to feel they are entirely responsible for rectifying their own dissatisfaction within the workplace.

Demonstrating an active interest in employee wellbeing by asking what can be done to improve current dissatisfaction is an obvious measure, but one which could prove invaluable.

Employers should encourage an open and honest conversation outside of a formal appraisal setting, which may leave employees feeling hesitant to share their genuine concerns and criticisms.

While many larger businesses have feedback forms in place, not many ask questions about employee satisfaction outside of these scenarios. Addressing this demonstrates a firm’s willingness to go above and beyond.

(2) Remember, effort given equals effort received 

Employees naturally want to achieve and feel successful. However, businesses largely fail to consider the effects our personal lives have on our working performance.

Management training courses can advance leadership and team working skills. However, if the training you offer to staff involves learning skills that can be transferred into their personal lives, this could prevent their issues from spilling over into office hours. Staff will be better equipped to deal with life’s anxieties, and the productivity of the company may improve. 

Staff satisfaction found to impact overall company performance

(3) Reward where warranted

Dealing with poor performance at work is often the priority. However, those who perform well without encouragement often slip under the radar. As an employer, avoid discouraging those who work hard by focusing all of your attention on those that don’t.

(4) Employee satisfaction is linked to feeling you’ve achieved or improved

People will innately avoid doing things they don’t like, or feel they are not good at. Identifying these areas through coaching and encouraging change therefore drives progression.

I have previously worked with a client with a keen interest in fitness. When we discussed improvements at work, she mentioned that she didn’t like using Microsoft Excel, and could get away with actively avoiding it.

By transferring this scenario to her passion for fitness, we discovered her dislike for Excel was much like her avoidance of working on her legs at the gym, she came to better appreciate the negative consequences of her neglect – namely, lack of progression.

Just as she understood that a buddy who could ensure she didn’t skip “leg day” at the gym better honed her physique, she learnt that resources and support in the workplace could better equip her for using Excel.

Ben Edwards is a motivational speaker and qualified life coach.

Job dissatisfaction leaves one in four workers actively seeking a new role

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