When employers consider employee surveys to discover ways to boost employee satisfaction and retain employees, they often think of incentive pay, additional benefits, and perquisites. When reviewing results of such surveys, employers may fear they won’t be able to respond to employee needs that surface. However, they may be missing existing internal satisfiers that are already in place but are not being utilized. In some cases, some attention to current programs and setting of expectations can turn stale employee satisfiers into real opportunities for employee satisfaction.
Career growth and even professional relationships are often motivators of satisfaction and engagement. One of the reasons employees leave a company is career growth opportunity; a reason employees stay is the relationships made while employed. One survey showed 25 percent of departing employees revealed that they would have stayed in their position with the company if they had a more respectful and connected relationship with the direct manager.
Employees want to learn, be in mutually beneficial and respectful relationships, and experience healthy professional relationships. Management must connect with workers both professionally and personally, and, depending on the work atmosphere and nature of the company, create a fun work atmosphere and initiate conversations about things outside of work. Other things managers can do to build employee satisfaction are:
- Leverage Strengths: Permit employees to use and demonstrate their strengths. Everyone wants to be valued and make a difference. Know where to place each employee for the greatest results. Ask what an employee wants to do in the company and look for opportunities to create the experience.
- Clearly Define Goals: Ensure employees understand personal and business goals and the work scope related to their position and how it ties into the big picture. Individuals on a team create winning solutions when everyone knows their role on the field and the game rules.
- Enhance Communication: Hear your employees. Ask what is and is not working and take action to explore where the company can and cannot implement idea changers. Have managers meet with employees on a regular basis and report on performance, engagement, and employee feedback.
- Conduct Stay Interviews: Consider stay interviews to understand turnover and engagement. The stay interview is preferable to an exit interview because, in a stay interview, you ask current employees why they continue to work for your organization. At the exit interview, it’s too late to identify and solve the problems or help your exiting employee accomplish the goals he or she is leaving to obtain.
- Create a Learning Environment: Foster internal opportunities to learn from one another and expand upon existing skills. While this may slow some projects down, future projects led by a well-rounded work team will create greater quality, productivity, developmental growth, and shared knowledge.