How much are you thinking about employee satisfaction these days?
With business operations changing and new economic pressures mounting, it may be on the bottom of the list of things to think about these days. Despite external pressures, it’s important for leadership to remember engaged employees are the ones who ensure business goes on.
Even in tough times.
Changes to the workplace will be ongoing due to the pandemic, but satisfied, engaged employees will continue to show up and face challenges head-on. Plus, employee engagement and wellness are also tied, making healthy employees a big asset to any company right now.
Satisfied employees will be your most hard-working allies in the upcoming months.
Curious about what makes employees happy?
Below, check out the most current studies on happy employees and four ideas to try out today to increase employee satisfaction ASAP.
Employee Satisfaction is Good for Business
Employee happiness, it turns out, is a huge factor in company success.
There’s a reason Google has a Chief Happiness Officer on staff to boost employee morale.
A recent study showed that happy employees can be as much as 13% more productive than their unhappy co-workers — in the same amount of time.
Another report cements the link between workplace achievement and work satisfaction: “MIT research shows enterprises with a top-quartile employee experience achieve twice the innovation, double the customer satisfaction, and 25 percent higher profits than organizations with a bottom-quartile employee experience,” according to a 2019 Deloitte report.
Plus, unhappy employees are expensive; disengaged employees cost U.S. companies up to $550 billion a year, The Engagement Institute report uncovered. Ouch.
A few other reasons employee satisfaction matters:
- Happier employees stay longer - Replacing an employee costs the company about 33% of the former employee’s salary.
- They show up - Engaged employees are less likely to miss work or use sick time.
- Hello, talent - Companies that have a positive culture can attract better talent.
- Engaged employees are more invested in their output - This results in better customer engagement and satisfaction.
- Big profit occurs - Workplaces with satisfied employees have a 21% higher profitability.
- Workplace wellness increases - Satisfied employees tend to have fewer accidents and better health outcomes.
Additionally, a 2019 Gallup poll found “organizations that are the best in engaging their employees achieve earnings-per-share growth that is more than four times that of their competitors.”
Helping Employees Find Happiness at Work
With unemployment at 14.7%, it’s safe to say that individuals who still have jobs are likely grateful to have their current position.
Grateful and happy are two different things, though.
And while employees may be grateful, they also need to be fully present in their current work situation as much as possible. Engagement in the workforce will be a must in the upcoming months.
Ask your employees how they’re really doing. It’s not easy to talk about, but leadership can’t be forward-thinking if they don’t understand the challenges their employees are facing. See what could make a grim situation feel more optimistic.
Take a confidential survey and see what your employees — both remote and in-house — have to say. Even in ever-changing and challenging economic times, adjust what you can do to boost employee satisfaction. Your efforts can pay off in employee loyalty and production spikes when your company needs it the most.
Want Happy Employees? Consider These Four Ideas
Work-life balance is the sweet spot everyone talks about.
And, it turns out, it’s what employees really want. The most recent Gallup State of the American Workplace Report showed 53 percent of employees say it's "very important" to have a job that allows them greater work-life balance and personal well-being.
Right now, that may look a little different than it normally does. It may mean getting a bit creative and restructuring policies or even “normal” operations for the time being.
To keep your employees coming in and giving their all, consider these three ideas:
A recent Forbes story reported that 96% of employees believe showing empathy is a key way of improving employee retention. Empathy can go a long way, especially during challenging times in the workplace. It’s a vital leadership skill that can have a domino effect in the working environment.
Try it on for size: Consider sending out an email or calling a meeting to discuss emotions surrounding the current pandemic. Follow up with a virtual lunch and learn with a psychologist to discuss how to have empathy during stressful situations.
Explore a 4-Day Workweek
Is there anything better than looking forward to a three-day weekend? That can be a reality for your team. Consider entertaining the idea of what a four-day workweek would look like. Set some policies in place and give it a trial run. Businesses have to adapt rapidly these days. If it works better for your team, do it.
Try it on for size: If possible, try offering employees the opportunity to do a four-day workweek. Consider it a permanent option if work still gets done on time and well.
Offer Schedule Flexibility
Right now, flexibility is more than a buzzword in workplaces. It’s a way of life for companies and employees trying to survive a challenging economic time. Working from home has thrown a wrench into workplace operations. This is especially true for working parents with kids in school who are now home due to school closures. Try letting employees do what works for them day-to-day as long as their work gets done.
Try it on for size: If your company hasn’t already, consider allowing employees to choose their own daily schedule. Mandate meeting times as needed, but see how employees tackle their workloads with some more flexible options.
Surprise With Random Perks
Surprise and delight your team with little giveaways to uplift their spirits. When you can, provide virtual perks for your team, especially if they’re working from home. Consider setting the first 15 minutes of the day as a virtual coffee break gathering on Zoom. Or raffle off gift cards like virtual gym memberships or company swag during team meetings.
Try it on for size: Provide fun perks where you can. If employees used to eat in a cafeteria together but now are practicing social distancing by working from home, offer home delivery food options. Or, raffle off a home delivery food service gift card randomly once a month.
Take Steps Today for Increasing Employee Satisfaction
Happiness is subjective, of course.
In order to bring more happiness to your workplace, consider asking and listening to employees’ wants. They may be more practical than you would think. Sometimes a little more empathy, flexibility — and even a four-day workweek — aren’t as cost-prohibitive as you may guess.
And right now, it may mean providing a listening ear, valuable mental health resources, and being flexible with work schedules.
When employees are happy, it drives their professional and personal success. A mentally healthy workplace is one where everyone thrives together.
How will you bring happiness to your employees today?
Want to spread a little workplace joy? Check out our post on 5 Easy Ways to Increase Workplace Happiness For Your Employees.