Happy, satisfied employees will work harder, be more productive, and are less likely to leave unexpectedly.
It is in every manager’s best interest to do what they can to boost employee satisfaction — losing employees means a loss of both productivity and institutional knowledge but also decreased morale among that person’s team.
But how can you keep employees happy in ways that won’t break the bank?
Here are a few ideas.
1. Treat them with respect.
There’s a reason this tops the list: Employees who don’t feel like they’re treated with respect by their managers, or who don’t feel valued or appreciated, will not invest in their jobs and are likely to share their dissatisfaction. Saying please and thank you might seem unnecessary, but requests are much easier to handle than a barrage of demands. A recent study from SHRM found the respectful treatment was ranked as the most important factor in determining employee satisfaction. That topped higher compensation and better benefits, even higher than job security! A little respect goes a long way toward keeping employees happy and engaged.
2. A sense of trust.
Trust and respect go hand-in-hand, but they are not the same thing. Managers who trust their employees to complete their work on time give their employees the freedom to work at their own pace and set their own priorities. It also protects against micromanaging. An employee who knows they’re trusted will take more ownership of their responsibilities and will improve their time management skills because they know that trust is tied to completing their tasks promptly. The same SHRM study found lack of trust can lead to an antagonistic work environment, which is bad for everyone from the top down.
3. Allow them to help shape their own role.
Job titles might not ultimately reflect all that a person does or is capable of doing. Some employees start out with a finite number of tasks and responsibilities, but, within months, that list has grown. If someone speaks up about an interest or skill in an area of the company that might be outside their designated role, consider whether allowing them the room to grow professionally could benefit both the employee and the company. This also boosts a sense of ownership in their position in the company and in their work.
4. Promote health for everyone’s benefit.
There’s been a lot of talk about health care in 2020, but it goes beyond being able to see a doctor when needed. Regular check-ups are vitally important, but the focus on mental health in the past few years is long overdue. People who feel they can take a personal day to handle a family situation, or have access to tools to help take care of themselves, will have better overall health than those who don’t. Healthy people are also less likely to call out sick just to take a day off, improving attendance and productivity. It also helps to provide information on health screenings, fact sheets on common ailments like high blood pressure, and the importance of good hydration and healthy eating. It’s a simple but compassionate gesture.
5. Recognizing accomplishments.
People work hard at their jobs, 40 hours per week, every week, year ‘round. They might be shorthanded, they might be exhausted, but they come in and do the work. Every so often, give them a proverbial pat on the back. People who feel like their hard work isn’t recognized or is just something demanded of them will quickly feel dissatisfied like they’re just another faceless cog in a wheel. It doesn’t need to be more than public recognition for always being on time, for example, or a willingness to help out when needed. It could be more, like recognizing a team for hitting a target or delivering a project on time and on budget, but give credit, publicly, when it’s due.
6. Create a positive work environment.
Find out what makes your employees happy to come to work and then do more of it. Find out the problems or pressure points in their working environments and fix them. If there are issues between coworkers, especially if that animosity spills over to the rest of a team, work with them to find a way to solve the issue and move forward respectfully. Create an open-door policy and actually implement it.
7. Help them learn new things.
Employees can (and will, and do) get bored in their jobs from time to time. Find ways to offer training or professional development opportunities. These can be online courses, job shadowing opportunities, or anything to help break up the routine and learn new skills — even if it’s just a new way of doing the job they’ve had for a long time. Invest in them, and they’ll stay invested and engaged in their work.
Satisfied employees remain YOUR employees for longer. It doesn’t take large investments of cash to improve your employees’ satisfaction, but the return on that investment can pay huge dividends.
Work with Debbie’s Staffing
Debbie’s Staffing is ready to work with you to help boost your employee satisfaction or, if the time comes, find a great new employee to join your team. Contact us today, and let’s get started.