5 Ways to Improve Employee Satisfaction

Posted on 20th March 2017 in Business

Written by James Marren

“Clap along if you feel that happiness is the truth!” Are your employees clapping along to Pharrell’s smash hit on a Friday night because they love where they work? Or are they only excited because it’s two days escape from the grind? In honour of the International Day of Happiness, we’ve turned our attention to the happiness of your team. Here are five new tips to give a try so you’ll all be dancing happy by Friday.

The 2016 Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Survey, carried out by the Society for Human Resource Management, found that in terms of importance, respectful treatment of employees ranked first (67%) and compensation and pay ranked second (63%).

These are perhaps two of the most obvious factors that affect employee satisfaction and so as expected, they rank highest. However, have you thought about some of the less obvious ways to keep your team motivated and firing on all cylinders?

Reduce commuting stress

Marlynn Wei M.D states,

“Commuting has significant psychological and social costs. It can be a major cause of stress due to the unpredictability and a sense of loss of control. Commuters can experience boredom, social isolation, and anger and frustration from problems like traffic or delays.”

It, therefore, offers great potential benefits all round, if you can find different ways to reduce commuting stress for your employees. One example is to consider staggering work times to minimise the negative impact of heavy traffic. It’s also worth reviewing late arrival policies and building in more flexibility so that the stress of a bad commute is minimised. There are no winners if your team is stressed and miserable.

Another good option is to explore allowing your workforce to work remotely. This can eliminate the need for commuting altogether and enable your employees to work where they are most comfortable. There are also benefits to your bottom line if you take this approach, thanks to energy savings related to the freeing up of desk space.

Create a growth environment

An employee views their job as much more than a source of income. In fact, the training and development opportunities that you provide, often have as much influence as the salary that you’re proposing.

You should try to create a growth environment by offering training and encouraging employees to take risks and learn new skills. Your team will lose motivation and become stale if there are no opportunities to expand their skills and responsibilities. Investing in your employees’ futures will inspire them to invest in your business as well.

Don’t waste time

Another major source of stress for your employees are tight deadlines. You can ease this stress by working on freeing up more time. Did the previous staff meeting need to last so long, for example?

Look for ways to be more efficient and implement more stand-up meetings. When people have no chairs to get comfy in, they are far more likely to stick to the agenda and waste less time. Likewise, meetings or conference calls before lunchtime, encourage your objectives to be met more quickly, as people become more hungry or…hangry!

Encourage social connections

Did you know that connecting with friends may boost your brain health and lower your risk of dementia? Socialising is a key component to your wellbeing and happiness and there are few better groups of people to do this with, than those that you’re already spending five days a week with.

Therefore you should encourage socialising within your team and encourage an office set up that boosts communication. For example, arrange desks so that employees can see each other and talk. Trust in your team to get the work required of them done and allow them the freedom to take a moment’s pause to recharge and connect with a colleague. These moments can also be particularly beneficial in encouraging sparks of creativity that can benefit your business.

The promotion of socialising shouldn’t be limited to office hours and just to within your team. Encouraging a connection with your community with volunteer programs can also reap huge benefits. Community service is a great way to build a positive reputation for your business and is a real happiness booster for your employees.

Break up those routines

Who doesn’t enjoy a good surprise? Well according to Neuroscientist Gregory Berns, “The brain finds unexpected pleasures more rewarding than expected ones.”

Boredom and monotony are always lurking nearby and will strike if you don’t consider ways to break up the routine. You should look for small ways to surprise your team, as small gestures can help demonstrate your appreciation, helping boost productivity.

Occasionally bringing in small treats, such as good coffee or baked goods can make a huge difference to someone’s day and give them that burst of energy and motivation needed to get the job done.

 Don’t worry, be happy! Forecasting that will actually make you smile…

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