What’s the worst job you ever had? No, really.
Try thinking about it. The absolute worst job that made you feel horrible and icky inside.
Do you remember what it felt like to get up in the morning and go to work? And, maybe even more importantly, do you remember how you felt at the end of the day returning home?
Maybe you felt run down and angry. Or maybe you just felt plain hopeless.
Unfortunately, this is a pretty common experience. And most people can answer the question, “What’s the worst job you ever had?” rather quickly.
But because a positive work environment is so rare, that’s what makes them all the more special. Finally, employees are satisfied with their job.
And they walk into work with a sense of purpose. So how do you measure job satisfaction if you’re one of the managers at this workplace?
And how can you make sure that employees feel valued and satisfied? Keep reading below to find out the top factors that keep folks satisfied with their jobs.
You might even find yourself returning home, happy and fulfilled after a long day’s work. After all, job satisfaction is important to leading a balanced and healthy life!
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What contributes to employee satisfaction?
Employee job satisfaction can look different for everyone. But there are some core elements that all employees are looking for whether they realize it or not.
Some workers might see their job as just that. A job.
But let’s be honest. If you’re truly satisfied with your role in the workplace, you’ll feel a sense of purpose when you walk into the office.
Purpose gives employees a vote of self-confidence. It motivates them to better their business acumen within the company.
And it improves employee engagement as they genuinely care about how to better serve the team. There’s a world of difference when you wake up in the morning motivated and ready to go vs. dreading the workday ahead.
So, construct your office culture in a way that gives employees and employers alike a sense of motivation and purpose. And you’ll find that new leaders will emerge from this new boost of confidence.
You might think that business is the most important part of a job. But it’s actually the relationships that co-workers develop with one another.
A strong workforce is one that knows how to support and balance one another out. And that only happens when employees have the chance to solidify relationships with their peers.
Let’s say there’s one day in particular where work is going to be particularly difficult. There might be a hard deadline or competitive sales mark that needs to be made.
Well, a team that lacks in communication won’t be able to accomplish these tasks with nearly as much ease as an office with strong relationships. So it’s actually in the best interest of the business to foster these relationships while making for satisfied employees all around.
#3. Psychological safety
Sometimes, a workplace can feel more like a battlefield. An employee might be expecting to walk into work, scolded for poor work performance.
Or, they might just be afraid of management if there’s a lack of communication amongst the team. And with so much anxiety walking into the workplace, employees are surely going to be less engaged and focused.
But to increase employee satisfaction is to make for a safe and positive work environment. Ample resources ought to be given to employees who may be struggling.
And employers must be constantly on the lookout to tend to their employees’ well-being. Not all organizations will show this kind of support in the same way.
But it makes a huge difference when employees are motivated to do their jobs for the better. Not because they’re worried about being blamed or scolded.
#4. A healthy work environment
There’s the emotional and psychological safety of a work environment. And then there’s the physical safety of a work environment.
The health of an organization has a lot to do with the physical workplace. After all, employees want to come into a space that feels welcoming and free of distractions.
So make sure your office provides a clean slate for workers to come into every morning. Employee engagement and productivity will soar through the ceiling if they’re not having to worry about that one hole in the wall. Or, maybe that funky smell coming from the kitchen sink.
Either way, setting up a satisfactory environment will automatically increase job satisfaction. Having a little fun doesn’t hurt either! Hiring a corporate entertainer for a company work event to livin’ it up around the office makes for good company culture!
And employers will enjoy coming to work every day as well. I mean, who doesn’t love a good, clean workplace?
#5. Career development
Career development can look different for any number of people. But at the core of their development is the motivation and resources to do so.
Ensure that your company programs are set up to create opportunities for employees’ career development. And you’ll find that employees will be more willing to engage with their position in the present while developing skills for the future.
The knowledge that growth is possible alone can motivate workers to put out their best performance. And it can boost morale overall through the office.
Additionally, receiving employee feedback from managers can also make employees feel valued. And it will give employees the chance to improve their performance while knowing that the company cares about their individual development.
Think of it this way. Stagnant air can feel stale and sometimes debilitating. But a healthy airflow and forward movement can kick everyone’s lungs into high gear.
#6. Compensation and recognition
If handing out feedback becomes a regular event at your company, then recognition must also follow suit. Nobody likes to receive feedback, work hard on their flaws, then have their efforts go unrecognized.
So give that employee who’s been busting their butt a chance to celebrate their wins. Not only will this get the team engaged with one another while supporting their peers.
It will also keep employee engagement up as more folks will want to be recognized as well. Additionally, hard work can earn employees a competitive advantage when it comes to compensation.
And this will improve employee motivation and productivity while reinforcing a positive culture at the office. So consider these strategies when trying to up employee engagement and employee satisfaction.
These factors alone will give you better criteria to understand what each employee subconsciously needs. And these tips will probably also make your company all the more desirable for those on the outside looking to make their way in.
How to improve job satisfaction
By now, you know what to look out for when trying to boost employee engagement and employee satisfaction. But here are some of the tangible ways that you can implement these strategies into your workplace.
#1. Start with a survey
If you’re not quite sure where to start with all of this, just start with a survey. An employee engagement survey will help you measure the bottom line of where current employee engagement and employee satisfaction are.
And from there, you can start to address some of your employees’ concerns or suggestions for change. Alternatively, you might find through the survey that certain practices at your company already help support employees’ work and focus.
If so, that’s great! But you’ll never know until you ask for employee feedback.
So don’t think that all feedback will be negative. Just take in their voices and take the results of your survey seriously.
From there, you can start to develop programs and initiatives that might help bring balance to the workplace. And your efforts will not only be seen by employees but will increase employee satisfaction and engagement overall.
#2. Work on the company culture
Organizations with high employee turnover often only have their company culture to blame. I mean, when you think of your worst job, wasn’t it the culture that ultimately drove you away?
Luckily, you can improve the health of the office simply by instituting the values of communication, respect, and recognition. When those are high in the workplace, then performance and morale will automatically go up too.
All leaders, managers, and employers should be readily engaged with one another as well as their individual employees. After all, they’re the ones who set an example for the entire organization, right?
But that doesn’t mean that all company cultures must look the exact same way. Engagement in the workplace can look like healthy communication and accountability between managers and employees.
Or, it can look like leaders bestowing recognition upon deserving managers and employees. Either way, the company culture is the values of the organization set in motion.
So make sure the leaders within your workforce are prepared to do exactly that. And providing a couple of other resources too can’t hurt either!
#3. Establish trust amongst senior management
The key to any relationship is trust, whether personal or professional. So it only makes sense that those on the management team ought to be trustworthy individuals, right?
Not only does this give the company head peace of mind. But it will improve employee satisfaction as employees will feel free and safe to approach managers when issues arise.
You might be thinking this is a rather obvious point. But you’d be surprised at how often employees are dissatisfied with their jobs because of poor management and organization.
This ultimately boils down to the workforce needing to feel safe within their organizations. Productivity is a difficult feat when employees don’t feel like they can trust the managers meant to supervise them.
So make sure your business’ management team is up to snuff when it comes to trust and boosting morale. It will give your company a personal touch while boosting job satisfaction and employee engagement.
#4. Institute ongoing training
Remember how we talked about stale air? And the lack of motivation that comes with it?
Well, a great way to combat coming up to a dead-end like this is to institute ongoing training. Sure, there’s the initial training that all employees must go through.
But what about afterward? Are employees just expected to keep doing the same thing without any feedback from management or potential for growth?
Sounds a little lackluster. But ongoing training can reinvigorate focus into the work by keeping employees accountable for their own development.
And soon enough, employees won’t just be benefitting from job satisfaction alone. They’ll be stimulated by the work ahead, leading to further employee engagement and employee satisfaction down the line.
So give your business or organization a little push. You’ll find that employees may rise to the occasion both within their career and maybe even life in general.
#5. Empower employees with autonomy
Have you ever had someone breathing down your neck while you’re trying to get work done? It can be. a bit distracting – not to mention claustrophobic.
While employees’ needs will differ from one another, there’s still something to be said about the value of autonomy. Having autonomy as an employee is like receiving a vote of confidence from managers.
In fact, autonomy is related to the value of trust when it comes to the health of any relationship. So if you’re looking to improve employee satisfaction and engagement, you might even try taking a step back and letting the employee take a first stab at the problem in question.
This will get your employee engaged with their own career. Sure, you’re there for their engagement and if they have any questions.
But as far as the work itself goes, they are the key to getting things done. It’s kind of like dropping your kid off at college.
You’ve prepared them for all you can prepare them for. Now, it’s time for you to let them call the shots.
A day in the life
Employee satisfaction can feel like a difficult thing for organizations to measure. But getting an employee engaged with their work and coworkers is actually a lot simpler than you might think.
Satisfaction means feeling supported. Feeling valued. And feeling heard.
It doesn’t require out-of-this-world perks or benefits. The only criterion for satisfaction is trust.
So give your employees peace of mind. After all, a sense of contentment is priceless.
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Adam Christing is a professional comedy magician, virtual MC, and the founder of CleanComedians.com. He is a member of the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood and a popular comedian for corporate events, magician, and virtual speaker.