Employee satisfaction is a term to describe how satisfied employees are with their jobs, employer, and the overall employee experience. It is one metric that companies use to determine the health of their organization from an employee's vantage point.
Employers can use numerous tools to measure employee satisfaction, including an employee satisfaction survey and tracking of employment trends within the company over a period of time. When employee satisfaction is high, it means employees want to work for the organization.
Why is employee satisfaction important?
Understanding the way employees feel provides insight into the employee experience or the way employees engage with the company. By better understanding employee well-being, companies may see a number of key benefits:
- Satisfied employees are productive
- Employees who are satisfied are more proactive in supporting the organization even through changes
- They are committed to the organization’s goals and mission
- It impacts the company’s bottom line (unproductive employees could cost a company money)
- It may reduce employee turnover
- It may also contribute to the company’s overall performance and productivity.
Gathering employee feedback allows companies to learn what they may be able to do to improve satisfaction levels and create a better overall experience for each member of the team. Employees with a low level of job satisfaction may leave the company. That may mean the company now has to hire and train a new person to do the work. It’s often less expensive to improve the work environment and improve employee retention as a result.
How to measure employee satisfaction
The best way to determine employee happiness is not to assume what's occurring but to talk to them. Much like customer satisfaction, the more feedback and information you obtain, the more likely you can make meaningful changes.
Some additional ways to gather satisfaction insights may include:
- Provide anonymous surveys. This is an opportunity to allow individuals to speak openly about their employee experience without the fear of repercussions. Ask open-ended questions to gain a true understanding of the employees’ thoughts and feelings. This is a good way to gauge employee morale across the large employee base
- One-on-one meetings. Hold individual meetings with employees to discuss their specific needs. Be sure they know they can talk about the good and bad, their mental health, personal growth, and changes they want to see human resource management begin implementing that could make a significant difference in their life
- Notice what’s happening. Employees may not agree with company culture or be willing to open up about their experiences. HR teams can learn to “read the room” or simply look for signs of problems. This could include a drop in productivity, reluctance to engage in teamwork, and not providing feedback. Look for cues that a shift occurred within the company. Then, work to find out how to change it.
How to boost employee satisfaction in your organization
Recognize employee engagement and satisfaction changes within the organization, and then make a plan to change them. Engaged employees may be willing to open up to discuss what is bothering them. They may even offer insight into how to make things better. Some key ways to do this may include the following.
Provide Better Work-Life Balance
A work-life balance is a valuable tool for most employees. It enables them to work hard but then go home and enjoy their lives. To do this, determine what employees need, such asmore remote work opportunities or perks that help them have more flexible PTO. With flexible work options, employees may be better able to balance responsibilities at home, too.
Improve Working Conditions
Create initiatives within the company that address concerns with working conditions. This may include providing cleaner, more modern, and safer working spaces. It may also mean encouraging more feedback and a higher level of respect from the HR management team. Ensure more inclusive behavior in the workplace.
Some employees may just want to hear “good work” or “thank you" more often. They may want to receive more information about the company's profitability and how they can contribute to improving this. If virtual employees are present, be sure to engage with them.
Provide Career Development
Ensure employees have an opportunity to advance within the company if they choose to do so. This could include perks around training and development programs and help getting certifications or even a master's degree. Make work schedules easier to manage so employees can complete these tasks, too.