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5 High-Impact Ways to Increase Employee Satisfaction
With a happy, stimulating work environment you can keep your staff engaged.
The good news is that you don't have to have the spend power or playground offices of tech-giant Google to motivate your workforce.
At TTi Global Research, we've spent over two decades getting under the skin of companies' internal operations to find out what their employees really want – and, while perks such as free gourmet food and 'bring your dog to work days' have some pulling-power – raising staff satisfaction starts with a shift in attitude.
Instead of asking what staff bring to the table (sales, leads, efficiencies), ask what you bring to the table as an employer?
Here are five high-impact, low-cost employee engagement initiatives you can start today:
1. Employee Engagement Strategy – Get One!
Whether or not you have an HR function, every organisation needs an effective, up-to-date employee engagement strategy.
Many companies make the mistake of allowing CEOs and senior management decide the actions needed to improve staff engagement levels. Whilst having business leaders' buy-in is essential for driving change, practices designed to inspire satisfaction and engagement should stem from staff themselves. Consulting frontline, back office and team leading staff about their work, benefits and leadership experiences should be the first step of creating any meaningful employee engagement policy.
2. Employee Engagement Survey – Do One!
Kick-starting improvements involves finding out what your employees really think.
Employee surveys, such as EEQA (Employee Engagement Quality Analysis) are an independent, accurate way to find out what your workforce wants from you as an employer and the issues staff face day-to-day that impact job satisfaction.
The findings should be made available to staff and scheduled for discussion at a team meeting. Rather than the meeting becoming an opportunity to criticise the company, managers should ask what improvement actions the team would like to see. Escalate these ideas and keep staff informed about what's happening and actions that are being applied.
Showing that the company is listening and taking staff feedback seriously helps foster more open, collaborative relationships between managers and employees.
3. Keep Employees in the Dark – Don't Do It!
Obtaining staff feedback, openly discussing the results and involving employees in the outcome, sets the tone for change.
Encourage this level of transparency and two-way communication between managers and co-workers across the organisation. As well as helping staff feel valued and involved in decisions that affect them, it helps businesses tap into and resolve issues, boosting productivity.
Alongside regular staff surveys, give staff opportunities to provide honest feedback via regular employee appraisals, group team meetings and informal one-to-ones.
Be mindful that it can be hard, not only for employees to give truthful feedback but for managers to hear it. Support managers with training to help them ask the right questions and practise active listening. Or remove the sting altogether by appointing 'feedback coaches' to glean staff opinions and give constructive feedback to managers.
4. The Right Managers – Pick them!
Managers and team leaders have a huge impact on employee satisfaction levels.
Select managers not only for their business acumen but 'softer' people skills, such as their ability to communicate, motivate and empathise. A good manager should take time to get to know team members as people, identify and play to individual's strengths, set clear, achievable goals, present growth opportunities and recognise effort – a simple 'thank you' lets an employee know their contribution is recognised and appreciated.
5. Understanding the Big Picture – Teach it!
It's amazing how many employees don't know a company's purpose or how their performance contributes to its objectives and goals.
Employees disconnected from an organisation's priorities and values work in a vacuum. Take time to ensure employees understand the business' aims, its main customers, the industry sector in which it sits, and how their work contributes to the company's success.
This not only helps staff feel included but allows them to see the company from the customers' perspective, upping their engagement with the company brand and increasing ownership over the quality of their work.
Want to unlock what your staff are thinking?
As a leading supplier of employee research solutions worldwide, we can handle all aspects of your staff research project, from deploying the perfect survey methodology, to interpreting results, giving you the precise actions you need to raise staff satisfaction and engagement.