Running a business often means making difficult decisions that can affect a variety of people. The decisions that have a positive impact on your business’ success are not always the decisions that will aid in your employee’s health and happiness, making these decisions even harder to make. However, making employee satisfaction a priority could literally transform your business. Many studies have shown a direct correlation between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction, meaning that when your employees are happy, your customers are happier by default. Employees are often the driving factor behind customer satisfaction. If your employees are unhappy at work, customer interactions will suffer, more often than not. If this is something you’d like to explore in more detail, read on.
Why Engaged, Motivated, and Happy Employees are Important
Employee satisfaction won’t automatically fix all of the things going on in your business, but making sure you have a team of engaged, motivated, and happy employees can have a huge transformative effect on how you do business. An employee that is happy at work is often engaged with the work they do and far more motivated than those who are not, and they automatically work towards the betterment of the organisation.
It’s important to get a feel for employee satisfaction both on an individual level and on a team level.
Improve Your Listening Skills
It’s a simple enough instruction, and yet many business owners don’t do it. Listening to your employees and teams is one of the only ways you can truly gauge employee satisfaction and make a change, if needed.
Survey your employees and make sure they are able to submit surveys anonymously to get an accurate idea of what is going on. Ask them questions relevant to what they do and how they feel. For example, do they feel like they are contributing, and like they get a sense of purpose from their work? Are they encouraged to come up with better ways of doing things? Do they get a feeling of personal accomplishment from their work? Do they have the tools needed to do their jobs well? Make sure you encourage total honesty and emphasise how this could help you to improve their experience. Ask for suggestions.
Many business owners don’t want to reward their employees any more than they need to – they think that paying them is enough. However, it’s wise to offer more incentives so you are not just providing the bare minimum. Failure to praise and reward your employees can have detrimental effects on their morale, so celebrate when they are hitting milestones or goals. You could provide bonuses in many forms, from monetary to vouchers. There are all kinds of incentives that can help employees to continue working to the best of their abilities.
Focus On Continuous Training
Continuous training is a must. The working landscape can change quickly, especially in specific industries. Making sure your team is able to stay happy and safe with things like compliance training, health and safety training, and even team building ensures a positive and productive environment. Keeping everybody up to date and on the same page in terms of training can also be helped with signage, posters, and software.
Focus On Authentic Communication
Authentic communication is something both employees and customers look for in businesses. This should be ongoing, even once your employees have completed their satisfaction surveys. Clear and regular authentic communication is necessary for employee satisfaction. Don’t panic; it doesn’t always have to be a big song and dance. Even a quick, thoughtful email can give morale a boost. You’d be surprised at how a simple ‘thank you’ and an acknowledgement of hard work can please your employees and show them that you are paying attention. You can also plan things like one on one performance reviews and meetings to discuss employee’s individual goals and help them continue climbing the ladder. If you can help them, go out of your way to do so. This is how you create a loyal team that goes above and beyond for your business.
Prioritise Health and Wellness
Health and wellness has never been more important than it is now. Many people lead sedentary lifestyles, sitting at a desk and spending hours in front of a screen. This, in turn, leads to depressed moods, burnout, isolation, and job dissatisfaction. It’s up to you to encourage your team to look after their health and wellness. Investing in equipment such as sit/stand desks can encourage fewer hours sitting, and planned, paid yoga breaks can aid in stress relief. Using gym memberships as an incentive can also be a great way to ensure your team is able to take care of themselves. Providing nutritious snacks and meals and water, as well as mindfulness workshops can do the world of good. Get creative with your health and wellness strategy, and make sure you put an equal focus on mental health. Allowing mental health days without judgement, and even putting a mental health campaign in place can help make your team members more likely to speak out and ask for help if they are struggling.
Many employees look for flexibility when job hunting. By finding ways to incorporate flexible working in your business, you’ll make it a far more attractive place to apply. In the past, 5 days a week working from 9am to 5pm was considered the standard, but things are changing rapidly. Many business owners wanted to cling on, but the pandemic forced the hand of many. Now, employees want to be able to work from home, or at least the option to work remotely when they need to. Some business owners allow team members to choose their own hours, too, providing they work the amount agreed in their contracts. Some bigger businesses are also giving their team members the opportunity to work on their own passion projects. Google, for example, allows their teams to spend 20% of their time (or one day a week) on their own passion projects. These projects are not related to their work goals, but something they are passionate about. By thinking of ways you can do this, you help your employees to enjoy a much better work/life balance, which in turn helps them to feel happier at work.
Having friends in the workplace can make working far more enjoyable. Facilitating socialisation can help your team members to enjoy coming into work, and can also help them to work better as a team. Arranging different events, workshops, and even the odd casual lunch can be a good way to encourage this. Don’t discourage employees taking breaks to catch up and talk about different things, either. While you don’t want your productivity to take a hit, you don’t want your employees to feel like they are at school. Conversation can make for a happier and more pleasant atmosphere where working feels harmonious.
Start Working On Employee Satisfaction Today
Employee satisfaction might seem like the last thing you should focus on if you want to grow your business and improve your bottom line, but it could have a huge impact on your results over time. Incorporating this advice bit by bit will help you to create a healthier company culture, and better reputation. You’ll save time and money in terms of employee turnover and training, and you’ll have loyal employees who automatically become brand ambassadors for your business. Look after your employees and they will go above and beyond for you.