We can list a number of attributes of a successful organization. But the right management is one of the most common characteristics of a good company. Giants like Google or Apple are renowned for investing heavily in their employees’ well-being and happiness. From healthcare benefits to flexibility and career opportunities, their HR teams know how to keep their employees satisfied. This strategy results in many positive business outcomes, such as talent retention.
What can your organization do to enhance employee satisfaction? Employee-centricity is the core pillar, but what does it mean? This article discusses the importance of job satisfaction and how you can cultivate it.
What is job satisfaction? A clear and simple definition
Here is an old quote from Confucius that is often mentioned in regards to work: ‘choose a job that you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.’ While this is often true, loving our jobs does not always ensure we will be happy at work.
Job satisfaction comes from working in an environment that matches our needs. While having our dream job should make us happy, this experience can be negatively impacted by workplace culture and management. Micromanagement, for example, can lead to work burnout, even if you are passionate about your position.
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Why is job satisfaction important? 7 benefits you should to know about
1. Employee retention: satisfied workers want to stay
High employee satisfaction is the key to reducing employee turnover. Especially with a post-pandemic workforce, being people-focused is more important than ever. Those who are satisfied with their job and company feel aligned with their professional life, are happy to go to work, and have no reason to leave. Ensuring your staff is satisfied, especially as we face the Great Resignation, is essential for attracting other talent.
2. Talent attraction: employee satisfaction is essential for Millennials and Gen-Z
Employee retention and talent attraction always go hand in hand. Businesses want to have team members who want to keep working for the company as well as those who dream about being part of it. There are many reasons why applicants might wish to join your team, and working conditions are a top priority, especially for the youngest members of our current multigenerational workforce. They want to join organizations that fulfil all of their workplace requirements.
3. Brand image: people want to be part of and support people-focused companies
Employees share grievances about their jobs which is why your workforce can make you succeed as much as it can make you fail. Nobody wants to be part of or support a company known for burnt out employees or a toxic culture. Now more than ever, words go a long way, and both positive and negative news can spread very quickly. Therefore, making sure to meet your employees’ expectations is crucial to the overall reputation of your company.
4. Engagement: happy staff are proud to contribute to the business’s growth
Fostering employee satisfaction means building a more engaged workforce. While unhappy workers are less motivated, satisfied workers are eager to perform their tasks meaningfully. In turn, they tend to be more engaged with the company itself. In other words, they are more active in helping the organization accomplish its goals.
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5. Productivity: job satisfaction leads to better performance
As we explained in our article regarding employee happiness and productivity, there is a strong correlation between how your workforce feels about the workplace and their performance. Not only does job satisfaction result in more engagement, but it also contributes to improving your employees’ productivity, such as providing better work-life balance.
6. Employee well-being: a key aspect to lower absenteeism and burnout
Because employee satisfaction goes hand in hand with well-being, positive workplace culture, and happiness at work, it also lowers the chances of burnout. Absenteeism, in turn, drops as well. Keep in mind that employee-manager relationships are one of the main contributors to a satisfied workforce. Feeling comfortable expressing grievances also helps to prevent a situation from escalating and negativley impacting the health of your employees.
7. Corporate culture: employee centricity as a core component
As an employee, a manager, or an HR department member your input has a huge impact on the culture of the workplace. How your employees feel as members of the company has a snowball effect, contributing to either a positive or negative perception overall. A happy and satisfied workforce radiates good energy and enhances the atmosphere at work. On the contrary, unhappy staff may bring each other down, including new hires.
What are the main factors of work satisfaction? 8 key aspects to look at
1. Leadership style
According to an article about micromanagement published by Forbes, of those surveyed, ‘85% reported their morale was negatively impacted’ and ‘69% considered changing jobs due to micromanagement’. This shows how unnecessary pressure can deeply affect your employee’s well-being and satisfaction. Managers are one of the first reasons for resignation, meaning leadership training is essential for developing a leadership style that breeds happy employees who are willing to work together.
Clear communication is a very important for the maintenance of workplace relationships. Therefore, promoting transparency, being available, and providing the right communication resources (especially for a hybrid workforce) is key. It also means promoting horizontal communication, allowing managers and employees share information and feedback in a positive and constructive manner. Team members should also be be able to express how they feel and and speak on any issue they encounter.
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3. Career evolution
Providing a good income, offering lifestyle benefits, or having a positive culture attracts and retains talent. However, even with these perks, every employee seeks professional development. An inability to see opportunities for career evolution can cause job dissatisfaction, creating frustration and hindering motivation. Today’s workers are constantly looking for ways to learn new things, either through upskilling or reskilling, giving them the opportunity to do so improves work satisfaction.
According to Zippia, 57% of remote workers are satisfied with their job while only 50% of employees are satisfied when they lack flexibility in terms of work location. For every modern company with an employee-centric approach, implementing a hybrid work model, and even flexitime is a must. This is because having work-life balance is one of the main priorities for an increasing number of workers.
5. Purpose-driven job
A great source of satisfaction is knowing why we go to work every day. Employees that are passionate about their jobs are not only more satisfied but they also tend to be more productive, creative, connected, and loyal. Purpose can be found at different levels of an organization. 'Googlers' like the idea that they provide knowledge to as many people as they can, for example. On a smaller scale, being involved in a new project can also create a sense of purpose.
6. Trust and recognition
Lack of trust and recognition are main reasons for burnout and resignation. But, on the flip side, increasing both of these can contribute to greater job satisfaction. People that know they are trusted and are regularly acknowledged for their skills and input in the company are more satisfied. Management is very important when it comes to empleoyee experience. Team members who don’t feel valued and suffer from micromanagement are unlikely to be satisfied.
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7. Lifestyle benefits and salary
Although salary is not the most important aspect of work for younger generations, it still matters. But, lifestyle benefits such as a hybrid work and flexitime play an essential role in boosting work satisfaction. A survey from Glassdoor about what job seekers are looking for shows that 48% of the US workforce mentioned ‘attractive benefits and perks’ as one of the criteria that catch their attention when searching for a new position. The same research reveals that 43% look at work-life balance and 41% at home office opportunities.
Job satisfaction also comes from feeling secure, especially after the COVID-19 crisis. Working for a viable organization with long-term goals reduces stress and fosters happiness and workplace connection. Consequently, team members are more engaged and create stronger relationships with their colleagues and the company. These aspects also help increase the overall level of satisfaction at work. Having transparent and clear communication is key to making your team feel secure and safe about the future.
We hope this article gives you a better idea of the importance of job satisfaction. While it can be effected by a number of workplace dynamics, the most essential step is to create an employee-first working environment. As soon as your actions support your team members, the chances of work satisfaction will automatically increase. Do you want to offer better work-life balance to your workers by implementing greater flexibility? Request a free demo of the deskbird app to learn about the benefits of flexible work and how to easily manage your hybrid workspace!
Paulyne is a hybrid work specialist, who writes about sustainability, flexible work models and employee experience.