“The way your employees feel is the way your customers will feel. And if your employees don’t feel valued, neither will your customers.” ― Sybil Stershic
- When we help a blind person to cross the road, you feel contented.
- When you feed a hungry person, you get satisfied.
- When you support a needy person and that guy may not be able to give you anything in return, you feel grounded.
- When you achieve what you want to achieve and you give all the credit to God and your well-wishers, you feel fortunate.
When it comes to the workplace, employers and employees alike are looking for more than simply “meets expectations”. Frederick Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory points out that essentials such as a decent wage and adequate working conditions are simply hygiene factors that keep employees from being dissatisfied. They are important for employee satisfaction and deserve attention but aren’t enough to create passion and motivation. Employers should build motivator factors in addition to hygiene factors.
In the book Good to Great, Jim Collins writes about getting the ‘right people’ in the ‘right place’. Focusing on these two areas during the recruitment process and throughout an employee’s tenure in the organization can help make sure they are doing the work best suited to their strengths and are satisfied.
In this blog, we’ll explore different steps related to employee satisfaction, why it is important for any organization, how to measure its effectiveness, how it can be enhanced and possible industry challenges.
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Competence (ISO 9000: 2015, Cl 3.10.4): Ability to apply knowledge and skills to achieve intended results
Skill (ISO 30401: 2018, Cl 3.30): Learned capacity to perform a task to a specified expectation
Knowledge (ISO 30401: 2018, Cl 3.25): Human or organizational asset enabling effective decisions and actions in the context
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What is Employee Satisfaction?
It is the level of happiness or fulfillment an employee feels for their job. Employee satisfaction is an essential aspect of any business or organization.
- When employees are happy and satisfied with the management and work culture, they put their best effort to make the company successful. ‘Health is wealth’ is an overused phrase but holds true to its meaning. According to OfficeTeam’s study, 66% of employees say they would “likely leave their job if they didn’t feel appreciated”
- If the employees in an organization are not happy and content, it directly impacts the bottom line (profitability). Employees do not only work for a paycheck. For their satisfaction at work, they also need direction and a sense of purpose that keeps them going. At the end of the day, we all want to do meaningful work and make a difference.
- When employees’ needs are met, they develop a positive outlook toward the organization and its goals.
- When employees are dissatisfied and unhappy with their jobs, they lose their motivation and tend to underperform.
Employee satisfaction is one key performance indicator that can help determine the overall pulse of an organization. That is why many organizations conduct periodic surveys to measure employee satisfaction and track satisfaction trends over time. A high satisfaction level shows that employees are happy with how their employer treats them.
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For an employee to remain satisfied and contented, there are two key factors that influence their decision to stay with the company and performance beyond their capacity. They are
- Tangible Factors like compensation and benefits
- Intangible Factors like engagement, recognition, strong leadership
If an organization fails to address both sides of the factors, they might find they have an
- average team made up of materially satisfied employees who are content to do only what is necessary to remain employed, or
- a team of highly engaged employees who are performing well while they look for new opportunities at companies who are willing/able to fill their material needs
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Why it is Important?
It is important to periodically measure employee satisfaction as it helps the organization to:
- Measuring current employment engagement status
- Examining the company culture and thereby taking actions to improve it
- Devising strategies that could increase satisfaction
- Getting a holistic perspective of the life of employees in the workplace
- Employee retention
Key Reasons for Employee Dissatisfaction
The organization might think that their employees are happy with their jobs because they never hear them complain. Actually, it’s a warning sign if the team never comes with concerns. They might not trust their superiors/bosses enough, to be honest about their feelings towards their job.
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The following are the six key reasons for employee dissatisfaction.
- Low compensation
- Lack of Career growth
- Poor Management
- Poor Relation with Co-workers and Managers
- Lack of Appreciation and Recognition
- Poor Work-Life Balance
How to Check Employee Satisfaction?
As a leader or manager, you want satisfied employees: people who are excited to come to work, motivated to do a good job, and open to changes and collaboration. The following are the four key ways to monitor employee satisfaction.
- Have one-to-one conversion
- Conduct surveys
- Read between the lines
- Employee suggestion box
Out of the above four methods, the employee satisfaction survey is the most popular methodology. The questions can include topics about compensation, workload, attitudes about management and organization leadership, work-life balance, staff relationships, improving the working environment, work climate, and company culture. These metrics influence and help measure employee satisfaction.
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What to do to Enhance Employee Satisfaction?
Employee satisfaction at the workplace is a result of 7 key factors:
- Treating employees with respect
- Providing regular rewards and recognition
- Empowering employees by listening to their queries and resolving them timely
- Offering good benefits and compensation
- Providing opportunities for employee skill development
- Positive work culture and management that is driven
- Work-life balance and employee satisfaction
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Employee satisfaction is the cornerstone for the sustained success of the organization. Organizations should be aware of the best practices to improve employee satisfaction and engagement. Satisfied employees would always put their best foot forward and work towards improving the bottom line (profitability). When the organization is aware of what diminishes employee satisfaction and helps them to give the best experience, that’s when they will help the company to achieve milestones.
- How often employee satisfaction is really important for the organization and not lip service?
- How often employee satisfaction is measured by different means like surveys, annual appraisals etc. but no action is taken later?
- How often the happiness of the employee is more linked with networking with their superior/boss rather than the company policies?
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ISO 9001: 2015
ISO 9002: 2016
ISO 9004: 2018
IATF 16949: 2016
This is the 169th article of this Quality Management series. Every weekend, you will find useful information that will make your Management System journey Productive. Please share it with your colleagues too.
In the words of Albert Einstein, “The important thing is never to stop questioning.” I invite you to ask anything about the above subject. Questions and answers are the lifeblood of learning, and we are all learning. I will answer all questions to the best of my ability and promise to keep personal information confidential.
Your genuine feedback and response are extremely valuable. Please suggest topics for the coming weeks.