For managers, creating job satisfaction for employees can seem like a cumbersome and elusive task.
Although you want employees to be happy with your company and their position, job satisfaction isn’t "one-size-fits all."
As tough as ensuring employee job satisfaction may be, it’s also essential for retaining the best employees for the long-term.
Companies looking to decrease a consistently high employee turnover rate may want to dig deep into what would make their employees delighted with both company culture and job responsibilities.
Job satisfaction can be categorized into two distinct categories: extrinsic and intrinsic job satisfaction.
- Extrinsic job satisfaction refers to work conditions, such as compensation, work environment safety and comfort, management and coworkers, and the ability to establish and maintain a work-life balance.
- Intrinsic job satisfaction involves the type of work you do, inclusive of your day-to-day tasks and job responsibilities.
Focusing on employee job satisfaction means focusing on aspects within your control that enhance both extrinsic and intrinsic satisfaction for your workers.
Set Goals with Your Employees
A job that goes nowhere can lead to a career that becomes stagnant and will cause satisfaction to plummet. Schedule frequent one-on-one meetings with employees to discuss their current role, where they see their career heading, and how working with your company can help pave the way. Be open about opportunities for growth within the company, along with any training, career coaching, mentoring, or job shadowing your organization may offer.
If an employee’s goals require them to learn new skills, assign them new projects that help them acquire those skills. Consider having your company foot the bill for advanced education, certifications, or other career-oriented instructional programs that can help employees move in their desired direction.
Helping your employees recognize and live up to their potential growth can revitalize job enthusiasm and interest while increasing loyalty to your company. Your company can earn a reputation as a long-term, career-oriented organization, instead of being seen as a mere stepping stone to get into the next position at another company.
Revisit Company Culture
It may be easy to list your company values on paper, but it takes work to actually weave those values into the company culture. Review your various corporate policies, regulations, and workplace attitudes to ensure they match up with what your company says it’s all about.
High-ranking and vibrant company cultures generally include characteristics such as openness, flexibility, community, equality, and purpose. You want to ensure your culture is all-inclusive and generates a feeling of belonging. You also want to incorporate fun as part of the mix, not just as a lure for new employees but as an ongoing aspect to inspire creativity and maintain satisfaction.
One way to spot check the climate of your company culture is to view your employees as your first level of customers. If you establish a culture of recognition, excitement, and reward that satisfies your first-level customers, they’re likely to be more than eager to ensure their own customers and clients are just as pleased.
Open Lines of Communication
Respectful treatment and open lines of communication for all employees is high on the job satisfaction list. Let them share and generate ideas, a key factor for creating a collaborative environment.
Although employees may not have input or knowledge of confidential decisions before they occur, it’s important to be transparent and up-front once they do. If you’re changing a process, for example, let employees know what’s coming so they aren’t surprised and frustrated. This can help eliminate negative reactions to new developments while gaining buy-in ahead of time.
Practice effective communication skills such as listening before you speak, being authentic, and maintaining a positive tone.
Create a Positive Work Environment
Not only do you want to engage in positive conversations, but you want the entire workspace to be a positive environment. This can be done by reviewing the most important extrinsic values that lead to overall employee job satisfaction. Strategies include:
- Revisit employee evaluations and raises. Ensure top performers are receiving the compensation they deserve and less powerful employees are given the tools they need to improve.
- Check in with employees about their work-life balance and contribute ideas on ways to bring it back into harmony if necessary.
- Offer a wellness program that promotes a healthy workplace with things like education, health screenings, exercise opportunities, and healthy food choices around the office.
- Provide acknowledgement for a job well done, whether it’s in the form of regular employee awards or by simply showing gratitude for an employee's hard work and extra efforts in completing a project.
Get in Tune with Individual Employee Strengths and Styles
Every employee has different strengths, weaknesses, and communication styles. Job satisfaction can be increased significantly when management embraces the qualities that make each employee unique and then using those traits to the advantage of the entire team.
Highlight individual strengths by providing job roles and tasks that make the best use of each employee’s top qualities. Recognize different communication styles and then capitalize on them to foster effective communication. Being able to make the most of individual strengths and communication styles can help motivate your entire team, solve any potential conflicts, and encourage everyone to excel in doing what they do best.
Even if you can’t wave a magic wand to create employee job satisfaction, you can focus on several key areas that contribute to overall employee happiness. It’s worth it as happy employees are productive employees who are more than willing to stick around for the long haul.
With more than 20 years at Birkman and a master’s degree in psychology from TCU, Carol is deeply invested in supporting our mission – and a core pillar within our company. Carol has three wonderful daughters with her husband, Ross, and you’ll always see her with a smile on her face. She especially lights up when talking about travelling, volunteering, trying new restaurants in Houston, and rooting for her favorite sports teams (Roll Tide!). The only thing Carol hates in life? Cooking.