Measuring and increasing employee satisfaction
Employee engagement is the attitude of the employees towards the work tasks, the company as well as the workplace. The greater the gap between expectations and actual circumstances, the more discontented employees feel.
Trusted by 600+ companies around the world
Measure and increase employee satisfaction
Satisfied employees stay in the company for longer, are more productive and are sick less often – these are just three of many good reasons to always keep an eye on employee satisfaction. Especially considering the shortage of skilled workers, companies cannot afford to lose good employees. We present to you specific measures that you can use to measure and increase employee satisfaction.
- Practical measures for more satisfaction in the workplace
- Employee surveys – easily done with Humanoo
- Reduce turnover and sick leave
- Attractive incentives for employees
Employee satisfaction – what are the advantages?
We all wish for “satisfaction” – this also applies at work, but does employee satisfaction have an effect beyond the aspect of “being in a good mood”? In fact, numerous studies on employee satisfaction show positive correlations between
- Voluntary behaviour (contributing in a positive manner) of employees
- Employee engagement in the workplace
- Productivity and results
- Behaviour of employees towards customers
- Customer satisfaction
In conclusion: satisfied employees are more committed to their work, more motivated and productive and thus contribute significantly to the success of the company. Measures for employee satisfaction are also associated with lower sick leave and lower staff turnover – i.e. increase in employee loyalty.
In short: A high level of employee satisfaction reduces costs, increases sales, and makes a company more attractive. The latter should not be neglected from the point of view of employer branding, especially in times when dissatisfied employees can publish their opinions on online rating portals within seconds.
It goes without saying that it is important to increase employee satisfaction. But how does that work? Before you can take any meaningful action, you need to understand the current level of status in your workplace. Therefore, our recommendation is: Start by measuring employee satisfaction.
Three options to measure employee satisfaction
There are many ways to increase employee satisfaction. However, all of them are either time consuming or costly and should therefore only be implemented if they will really make a difference. To verify this, you should measure employee satisfaction in advance – and then at regular intervals. Use the following three options for this.
1. Review employee satisfaction metrics
- Sick leave
- Rate of employee turnover (and layoffs)
- Possible return rate
- Training time (total and per employee)
- Overtime rate
- Average age of employees
- Personnel development costs
- Labor productivity
- Error rate
Tip: Plan for a regular review of those metrics – for example, once a quarter.
2. Employee satisfaction surveys
Of course, the most important source to learn more about the satisfaction in your company are the employees themselves. One of the most important tools to measure employee satisfaction is the survey. Bear in mind, it only becomes meaningful if you conduct repeat surveys on a regular basis. In this way, the results can be compared and the measures that should increase employee satisfaction can be evaluated.
Typical questions about employee satisfaction fall into one of the following categories:
- Overall wellbeing
- Satisfaction with the working environment (e.g. the workplace)
- Relationships with colleagues and managers
- Satisfaction with the work itself (e.g. work tasks)
- Satisfaction with communication (e.g. feedback from executives, flow of information)
- Development opportunities (e.g. further training, career opportunities)
- Thoughts about changing jobs
- Attitude towards the company (e.g. possible recommendation, identification)
Tip: Humanoo supports you with regular employee satisfaction surveys that are diarised in the calendar and uses easy-to-read reports to show you how satisfied your employees are at the moment. Find out here how Humanoo works!
360 degrees feedback
The 360-degree feedback is another type of survey for employee satisfaction, but with the special twist whereby a larger number of people (about 8-12) are asked about a single person. These can be executives, colleagues or even customers. Ideally, this creates a comprehensive, objective overall picture of a person’s achievements, strengths, and weaknesses, which will then outline potential for development.
The 360-degree feedback is obtained and evaluated anonymously. It can contribute to employee satisfaction in a team, but also increase the satisfaction of individual employees – after all, people want to develop and improve. This type of feedback also conveys praise and recognition. A prerequisite for meaningful 360-degree feedback is, of course, the maintenance of an open feedback culture in the workplace and a certain amount of self-reflection on the part of the person concerned.
3. Employee one-to-ones
Employee one-to-ones and appraisals contain huge potential to increase employee satisfaction if taken seriously and not just treated as part of a mandatory program. Assuming there is an open feedback culture and the managers have learned to give praise, recognition and how to express criticism in an appropriate manner, then appraisal interviews can support in the following ways:
- The professional development of employees
- Identifying the employee‘s strengths
- Creating perspectives
- Increase the employee’s satisfaction
- Encouraging greater loyalty towards the company
The biggest advantage of individual appraisal interviews is that you can find out in great detail about someone’s strengths and weaknesses, what motivators and goals your employees have and how you can best use them in the company.
What will be important for employee satisfaction going forward ?
The answer to the question of what makes employees happy is certainly specific to each individual. Nevertheless, trends are emerging – and people in management positions and especially in the human resources department often gather direct feedback. That’s why the Boston Consulting Group, in cooperation with the World Federation of People Management, asked over 6,600 people from the management sector in 113 countries which factors they perceived to be particularly important for employee retention in the future. Here are the top results:
- Having an HR and people strategy (90% of respondents considered this point to be very important or somewhat important)
- Leadership behavior and development (88%)
- Promotion and well-being of employees (88%)
- Retraining and further training measures (87%)
- Strategic workforce planning (85%)
- Employer branding (84%)
- Mission statement and corporate culture (84%)
- Efficient change management (84%)
- Health and Safety at work (84%)
- Recruitment process (81%)
These points provide a good overview to what can increase employee satisfaction. Don’t forget: every person is an individual and would like to be perceived as such. Therefore, you can do a lot more for employee satisfaction if you make an effort to understand their needs better.
Increasing employee satisfaction – identifying needs
Every employee in your company has different goals and motivations Some strive for career progression and an ever-higher salary, others want to feel comfortable with their colleagues in their direct working environment, for others the meaning of their tasks is most important. Nevertheless, all people have similar basic needs, as described by the American psychologist Abraham Maslow. Let’s look at possible factors of employee satisfaction using his model.
Phase 1: Psychological needs
On the physiological level, it is about basic physical needs: breathing, food, sleep. Applied to the world of work, the following influencing factors for employee satisfaction can be derived:
- Physical health, supports e.g. through an ergonomic workplace, fruit and water offering or varied meals in the kitchen
- Coaching programs such as Humanoo on topics related to exercise and nutrition
- Work-life balance, guaranteed e.g. through flexible working time models, upper limits for overtime, etc.
Phase 2: Security
A sense of security can also increase employee satisfaction. Putting this into practice, security for employees can be created, for example, by:
- Permanent employment contracts
- A competitive salary
- Information about changes or important decisions in the company
- Regular feedback (especially during the probationary period)
- Employee appraisals, through which an employee can learn about their current status in the company
Phase 3: Social needs
All people have a need for relationships – this also applies to the work environment. Time and again, it has been proven that relationships with colleagues, but also with supervisors and customers, have a major impact on employee satisfaction. Measures to promote satisfaction in this category include:
- An inclusive corporate culture that promotes appraisals and feedback
- Regular team building events
- Good conflict management
- Communicating appropriately to all levels
Phase 4: Individual needs
People strive for praise and recognition – this also applies to the workplace. Regular appreciation can significantly increase motivation for one’s own work. Needless to say, the praise should be sincere, but in everyday life it is often forgotten to acknowledge and praise even small, everyday successes. Some companies use awards to increase employee satisfaction in this area (and increase employee motivation at the same time).
Phase 5: Self-Realization
The feeling of being able to fulfil oneself at work and to do something meaningful can also contribute greatly to employee satisfaction. Among other things, it is important to have a lively corporate culture that gives employees the opportunity to identify with their company. You can also support your employees in the area of self-realization by:
- Giving them the freedom to complete the task using their chosen process
- Assigning them tasks that suit their strengths, motivators, and values
- Talking to them about their ideas for the future in employee appraisals
- Providing them with career growth opportunities
- Enabling them to educate themselves further
- Promoting the overall feeling of working together towards a greater goal
Measuring and increasing employee satisfaction – where to start?
Are you convinced that increased employee satisfaction could also make a difference in your company? Then get to know Humanoo now: Over 3,000 personalized coaching programs are available to you and your team. Topics such as mindfulness, exercise, nutrition, and health support the promotion of employee satisfaction are available, and thanks to regular surveys and reports you will always know what’s going on. Make an appointment now to discuss your ideas and requirements with us!