It is apparent that employees’ satisfaction plays a vital aspect in the achievement of any business or organisation. If employees are satisfied and happy with their management and workplace environment, the employees’ commitment towards the company will increase and they will definitely put their best efforts in their work in order to make the company successful.
It is understood that if companies want to get quality work from their employees, they would have to work on making them contented. It is rather difficult to judge the employees’ happiness just by the results of their work or their personal attributes when they arrived in the office in the morning.
Whether an employee is satisfied at work depends on several other factors; including the recognition they get for the good work they have been doing, development opportunities and the work environment.
Employee suggestion box
Management is never going to get a good idea of what their employees think if they are not being asked. Even though honesty is always the best policy, often employees are scared of telling exactly what they think. One of the simplest way of getting employee’s opinions are suggestion box but it is difficult to get any actual insight.
Management may get some dubious ideas about what their employees want but it will give them a sense of what could be lacking at the workplace. It may be a simple request of using white light bulb instead of the yellow ones or a better coffee machine, but at least it gives employees an open channel to improve the condition of the workplace.
Employee performance review
Another way of finding out if employees are satisfied at work is by conducting a one-on-one review with them as management need to focus on individuals and their specific needs.
Reviews should take place at least biannually but it depends on each individual companies. Take notice of the problems employee face in accomplishing their task or the increase pressure and stress levels or even conflicts with other employees. Always try and investigate if employees need extra training as people often become dissatisfied in their job because they feel they have nothing left to learn. By providing them with a new set of skill to develop, employees could be motivated and they would be looking forward to work every morning.
Management could find out from employees what it is that they want to get out of their job, what their dream job is and what goals they hope to achieve. This is also part of the employee engagement programs as management can assist employees in helping them achieve these goals within the company.
Anonymous employee surveys
Completing regular employee surveys may sound dull but if the questions are different every round and there are incentives to those who complete them, it is common for management to enjoy a far higher survey response rate from their employees.
Creating different sets of questions each time encourage employees to answer truthfully and it tends to take them off guard; in a good way. Incentives do not have to be expensive; a bottle of their favourite drink or a free breakfast is often sufficient to get the employees to complete the survey.
Management could set up employee satisfaction survey questions for their employees and making it anonymous so that employees do not feel they are being targeted all the time. Employee satisfaction surveys are the most efficient ways to hear out the opinions and concerns of the employee and gives employees a voice where some may feel apprehensive if they have something to comment or talk about.
Weekly or monthly employee satisfaction surveys are a great, and often fast way to get feedback. Just be sure to measure employee satisfaction.
“Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.”
– Anne M. Mulcahy, former CEO of Xerox
Management have to be aware that these methods are not just a ‘once-off’ ways on measuring employee satisfaction. Management have to make it a routine so that employees could look into bring up certain issues when the time is right.
- Inform the employees of the monthly ‘cut-off’ date for the suggestion boxes and check them monthly so that the suggestions are not out of date and management is still able to work on the ideas and suggestions.
- Conduct a biannual performance review as this helps both employer and employee in accessing their work performance and finding ways to improve or nurture in.
- Create end-of-the-week satisfaction surveys for employees so that they could also monitor their own work and performance at the workplace.
After collating and analysing the results, management should take action or find solutions to those issues and communicate these outcomes with their employees; informing them the outcome or the solutions. Obviously some of the improvements the employees are looking for might take some time to be rectify, but just dismiss them out of hand is not a brilliant idea.
However, by informing employees that their ideas and suggestions are taken into considerations would give employees a glimmer of hope, knowing that their opinions are being heard.
Companies can find other ways to measure employee satisfaction but there is no point conducting surveys, suggestion boxes or performance review if management does not do anything with the results that they receive.