More often than not, businesses will focus on maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction above all else. After all, when your customers are happy, your business will thrive. However, more often than not, your ability to keep your customers smiling actually lies on your employees’ shoulders – especially if they spend a lot more time interacting with your customers than you do. This means it’s crucial you keep your employees happy too!
What are the benefits of high employee satisfaction rates?
There are many benefits associated with high satisfaction rates. This includes:
- Higher levels of productivity and efficiency within the workplace.
- Stronger relationships across the team.
- Higher levels of employee retention and attrition, as you become the kind of business people actually want to work for.
- Increased earning potential.
- Increased customer satisfaction rates.
As a result, it’s equally (if not more) important to maintain high levels of employee satisfaction, especially in the wake of the great resignation.
With that in mind, here are just some of the steps you can take to improve employee satisfaction in your workplace.
Be clear with your expectations.
One of the biggest causes of dissatisfaction in the workplace boils down to a lack of clear communication between employers and employees. If employees are not aware of your expectations, it will be impossible for them to work to the standards you envision. As a result, you should work together to set regular goals and targets for them to work towards. This also gives them a sense of purpose and value within the workplace, which often means they feel much happier.
Be respectful of their time.
Employee contracts will usually dictate how many hours they work a week, so you can factor this into your schedule. However, it’s also vital that you are respectful of their time and personal schedules when curating your weekly rota. This means that you should make sure you use the best practices for employee scheduling within your business. For example, you should put out the rotas far in advance of shifts so that employees are aware of when they are (and aren’t working). This will help them curate a better work-life balance overall, increasing their satisfaction rates. It will also save you a great deal of time and effort as you’re less likely to be left making last-minute schedule adjustments or alterations.
Provide them with opportunities to grow within the company.
Studies suggest that happy staff will stay with their employers 7 times longer than unhappy employees – which is excellent news for your business. Not only will this save you money when it comes to hiring and finding talent, but it also gives you the chance to work closely with your staff to refine their skills and insights, so they become ‘perfect’ for the job. This means they’ll be able to carry out all of their tasks to a high standard. As such, you should provide your employees with plenty of on-site training opportunities. This comes with the added benefit of improving staff morale as they feel as though they are appropriately challenged at work and have a clear progression path in mind.
Recognize good work.
Studies also suggest that one of the easiest ways to motivate employees and increase productivity is to ensure that they receive the appropriate recognition for a job well done. This is because it makes your employees feel as though their time and efforts are valued by the more senior staff members. Thankfully, there are various different types of employee recognition programs you could utilize here, such as employee of the month. You should also put in place some kind of reward scheme for employees who regularly exceed your expectations or go above and beyond when it comes to making targets. More generally, however, verbal praise also goes a long way when increasing employee satisfaction!
Work on your relationship with your employees.
Another way you can make sure your employees are happy at work is by fostering a strong relationship with them. When you build a strong employee-employer bridge, employees feel respected. As such, they’re likely to work harder in order to succeed. It also makes them feel more comfortable around you, meaning they’re more likely to approach you directly should they be unhappy. This means you can work towards a resolution together instead of being hit with a resignation email out of the blue.
Create a happy, positive workplace.
Workplace culture often drives satisfaction rates, with 73% of professionals claiming to have left a job because they disliked the company culture. As a result, you should strive to create a workplace where employees are comfortable, respected, and happy. This often means zeroing in on ‘toxic workplace traits,’ such as colleagues being overly competitive with each other, focusing instead on collaboration and support. While a little friendly competition can be useful, it’s important to remember that you’re all working towards the same goal.
Encourage employees to put their well-being first.
Prioritizing employee well-being is a great way to improve employee satisfaction, as it shows that you value them on a personal level as opposed to merely valuing their work. This means that you must actively encourage your employees to put their physical and mental well-being first, even if this means taking some time off when they need it. Making it clear that you will not penalize employees for requiring support seems like a no-brainer, but it’s worth having the conversation, especially as ‘62% of American workers are worried their bosses would judge them for taking mental health days‘. You may also want to note down local resources for mental health support so that you can signpost your employees to the appropriate services when necessary.
Providing mentorship opportunities.
While you’ll likely want to keep employees around for as long as possible, it’s also important to understand that they may have goals and aspirations that lie beyond their brand. For example, they may dream of running their own business. As a result, you should provide them with access to opportunities to gain skills they can use later in their career, even if that means working elsewhere. For example, you can help future entrepreneurs put their dreams into action through an effective mentorship program. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to mentor every employee yourself, as you can pair junior staff with a more senior member of your team who works in their desired role. For example, you could establish a mentorship between the head of marketing and a marketing intern.
Allow employees to make mistakes.
While they can sometimes be frustrating, it’s important to note that we all make mistakes. After all, we are only human. While there are specific steps you can put into place to avoid making mistakes at work, it’s more important that you know how to respond to these mistakes. Don’t let your employees get trapped in a negative or self-deprecating mindset when they slip up; instead, encourage them to view it as a learning opportunity. Let them know that you understand that these things happen, and work towards a solution together.
Avoid burnout at all costs.
The term ‘burnout’ is cited in many exit surveys completed by employees before resigning from a company. In fact, some 77% of workers have reported experiencing severe burnout on a daily basis. Consequently, it’s essential that you reduce burnout within your company if you want your employees to stick around. It also contributes signally to their satisfaction rates, as burnout is a breeding ground for negative thoughts and emotions. For example, those experiencing burnout are much more likely to deal with high levels of stress and anxiety. There are many different ways in which you can combat burnout, such as by outsourcing certain administrative tasks and duties to reduce employee workloads.
Be responsive to feedback.
Asking your employees for regular feedback on all areas of your business is another great way to boost satisfaction rates. You could ask for their input on a variety of different topics, from their workload to the equipment used within the office. The more responsive you are to this feedback, the better. You must show that you are willing to make changes and accommodations where possible, especially if it will help make your employees happier. As employees may be reluctant to express negative opinions to you directly, you may wish to provide them with anonymous forms to fill out. Either way, you should make it clear that a negative opinion will not bring around any consequences, as you are more concerned with resolving the issue than figuring out who put the complaint lodged the complaint in the first place.
In short, there are various steps you can take to maintain high levels of employee satisfaction rates no matter where your employees lie within your company. Remember, every employee deserves to feel valued and expected, from the most junior member of your team to senior staff. When you achieve this goal, employee satisfaction will be easy to achieve – allowing for your business to run smoothly.