Procurement · 16 November 2017

Staff satisfaction found to impact overall company performance

Happy staff leads to better corporate performance
Happy staff leads to better corporate performance

Businesses in which staff report high levels of job satisfaction perform better financially, according to new research.

A study, from researchers at Norwich Business School at the University of East Anglia (UAE) has examined the effect of staff satisfaction on overall corporate performance.

Companies rated highly by current employees in terms of satisfaction perform better financially than those found to have low levels of staff satisfaction, the study showed.

Researchers looked at workers’ online reviews of their workplaces to identify the effect of staff satisfaction on company performance.

Online reviews were considered good predictors of a company’s financial results because of the association between staff satisfaction and corporate performance.

Some 326,000 employee ratings of 313 firms were analysed, with the sample including companies that were given over 500 reviews during the study period.

Keep them sweet: Why offering the right incentives could be crucial to staff retention

The study’s lead author Efthymia Symitsi said the findings had implications for both managers and investors.

“In the current knowledge-based economy, employees are a particularly valuable organisational asset as they can contribute to firm value through innovation and customer relationships,” she added.

“Therefore, ensuring their wellbeing and general satisfaction should be a major concern for businesses.

“This human-centered view of the firm is in direct contrast to the traditional view, according to which employees perform unskilled tasks and, therefore, are expendable commodities.”

The research’s co-author, Dr George Daskalakis, agreed that the results supported a more human-centric view of the traditional model business, and that this fact wasn’t supported by equity investors.

The study, therefore, provided “further evidence that intangibles are not fully priced in the stock market, and most importantly, that this is not due to lack of information, since we measure[d] staff satisfaction on the basis of freely available online reviews”.

“It could be [that] investors don’t believe that staff satisfaction is value-relevant for firms, or perhaps because it is difficult to actually quantify its value.”

How employers can increase employee workplace satisfaction

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Fred Heritage is deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London. He previously worked as a reporter at Global Trade Review magazine.

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