Definition and meaning of job/employee satisfaction
The term job satisfaction, also known as employee satisfaction, is commonly used in organizations to describe the feeling of pleasure and achievement one employee experiences and define the level of said sensations. Satisfaction goes beyond their daily tasks/projects. It’s about the impact the job and colleagues and managers have on them.
Job satisfaction is present when the employee feels good and happy about their activity when they feel stability, career growth, and work-life balance are not issues.
Distinction employee satisfaction - employee engagement
Don’t get confused by these two terms. You shouldn't use them interchangeably.
First, let’s talk about employee satisfaction - employees may very well feel satisfied with their job because it pays the bills, provides for their family, and matches their lifestyle. It may be just a routine with financial reward. But it doesn’t mean by default that the same employee will feel engaged and feel that they are part of the organization's success.
On the other hand, employee engagement is a more profound feeling. An engaged employee is definitely satisfied, but he also has passion. He understands the company's mission, vision, and values and wants to take them further. Engaged employees flourish on purpose and essential work. They need a higher target constantly.
Importance of job satisfaction
There are some reasons why increased job satisfaction will benefit your organization. Here are the main ones:
- Productivity levels will increase: being happy going into work will mean your employees will give their best daily. It’s a certainty!
- Satisfied employees = happy customers: this is specific for certain industries, where employees come into contact directly with customers - for example, within contact centers. In such organizations, a lack of job satisfaction can reflect employee-customer synergy.
- Lower turnover: satisfied employees are less likely to live. Moreover, they can even refer potential candidates.
- Higher profits: it’s the natural result of enhanced productivity. The drive always leads to financial success.
Job satisfaction factors
Here is what you, as manager/business owner, should consider when thinking about and measuring job satisfaction:
Tips on how to improve job satisfaction
In the following lines, we will present ten essential ways to improve job satisfaction within small to mid-sized businesses. Some of them will have instant results; however some of them, you will experience a better vibe through time.
1. Recognize good work and reward it (not only financial)
People need to feel their work and performance are appreciated at all times. How to do this? Make sure you offer recognition in different ways: you can, for example, set up a specific channel in Slack (of the toll used for internal collaboration) and give recognition in the monthly internal newsletter or staff meetings. Financial rewards are not the only compensation you can offer: additional holiday days are an option or vouchers for any number of activities.
If you’re looking for employee appreciation ideas, we have a selection with 30 examples, like the ones below. We detail why these work, when you can offer them, and how you can make the most out of them:
- Thank you letters
- Offer gifts
- Take them out to lunch
- Celebrate work anniversaries
- Grant employees extra time off.
2. Make flexibility a rule
The global pandemic has brought a lot of changes. Hybrid work or fully remote work is the new normality.
It is crucial to find out what your staff desires regarding this topic. Offer the possibility to choose flexible hours or remote work if that is what they want. Work-life balance is a very important factor for employees nowadays.
If you’re looking for flexible working schedules and best practices - then here are key best practices:
- Decide which types of flexible working arrangements fit each position in your company.
- Each type of flexible working arrangement should have its guide, and all employees should be aware of it.
- Provide consistency, transparency, and equity. Even when working on different work schedules, people should feel acknowledged, non-discriminated, and motivated.
You can learn more about the topic and get a flexible working arrangements example email template.
3. Offer opportunities for learning and development
Invest in your employees: coaching, mentoring, training on diverse topics, etc. The possibility of professional growth will increase job satisfaction and engagement. Talk to your employees about how they see their career path, and then decide together the steps to take.
Let’s find some of the most efficient ways you can engage your workforce with employee development programs:
- Mentoring opportunities
- Coaching programs
- Professional training
- Job/task rotations
- Accommodate Lunch-and-Learns.
4. Avoid micro-management
Managers who cannot delegate and constantly assert their authority will create a negative atmosphere within the organization. Make sure your managers know how to offer support and find a harmony between help and micro-managing.
Make sure you allow your employees to ask for a leave of absence at any time, from any device using an annual leave management software. With LeaveBoard, your employees can manage all their days off.
5. Allow the employees to adapt their role
Every individual has strengths and weaknesses. The evaluation of the work is the perfect occasion to find them. And allowing the employees to shape their roles according to these findings is another method to improve job satisfaction.
Empower your employees to make better decisions with self-service tools provided by LeaveBoard.
6. Focus on communication
Communication is key to establishing relationships and maintaining them. Make sure you lead by example and constantly communicate your concerns and happy thoughts to your team.
You can set up a weekly meeting to discuss professional and personal topics freely. Make sure your meeting's agendas are clear, and employees are following up.
Since improving communications within the business should be a priority, LeaveBoard supports you in focussing on vital communication while streamlining the leave management process. Automated messages for these administrative processes leave out more time for meaningful communication.
7. Set realistic expectations
Ensure your employees don’t feel overwhelmed, do not exaggerate with overtime, and do not take up excessive tasks. Ensure that there you have enough employees for all the initiatives that you run simultaneously. Moreover, make sure that the right people are doing the right jobs. This is for sure a piece of excellent advice if you want to boost productivity, without harming your workforce. Consider that overworking could lead to stress, sickness, and nevertheless absenteeism. Realistic expectations also help with balancing work-life - an element to be kept in mind at all times.
8. Foster transparency
Your employees should always be informed and updated regarding every topic of interest. You should have an internal handbook, plus all info regarding the workplace should be available in an online tool, at just one click away. A culture of transparency will make the employees feel valued and that their opinions matter.
With LeaveBoard, transparency is easy to implement in all crucial matters. For example, a Who’s off calendar is available with our software, and this vacation calendar app keeps you and your team informed about the employees that are out of the office.
9. Offer a nice and clean work environment
Make sure your employees benefit from an efficient work environment, meaning equipment is in good shape and digitalization as possible.
The small things matter, so a clean office space is also important, and for some, another factor for job satisfaction is the possibility to personalize their small desk.
Moreover, if you're interested in cultivating a positive work environment, think also about well-being, positive values, employee development, and smooth onboarding.
10. Offer feedback often
Give constructive feedback constantly, not just once a year, during the performance review. Employees must know how they do their work and what can be improved. Employee feedback is more than an art; giving positive and clear, constructive feedback is not always common. As a manager, you need to be able to create and maintain trust and discuss goals, bottlenecks, and possible paths forwards. In your feedback toolkit, one-on-ones and team meetings should be the methods to align, review, strategize and when success arises, celebrate.
Within our updated guide, we provide more than 30 examples of employee feedback, including: positive, constructive and negative examples from which you can learn to communicate more effectively within crtical situations. Here are some of the cases we cover:
- Positive feedback for a team player
- Showing leadership skills
- Constructive feedback for a hard-working but not so punctual employee
- An employee whose performance is deteriorating
- A manager who micromanages
- Managing an internal conflict.
Keeping track of employee job satisfaction is important, especially in environments where the work is hybrid or fully remote. Happier employees generate more productivity, more profits, and a more engaged workplace. Ensure the strategies you implement to enhance job satisfaction will benefit both you, as manager/business owner, and the employee. When employees are satisfied, you can experience that this is genuinely the key to business success.
Eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy by using LeaveBoard, the software that automates your repetitive, administrative tasks. Optimize your time as much as possible and increase satisfaction and productivity with streamlined processes.