The Definition of Job Satisfaction
While we know what job satisfaction is — essentially, being happy with one’s job — it’s difficult to discern where and how satisfaction in the workplace arises. Do people who feel satisfied in their careers just get lucky? Are they naturally happy? Is it their paycheck, their sense of purpose, or both?
The Cambridge English Dictionary defines Job Satisfaction as, “The feeling of pleasure and achievement that you experience in your job when you know that your work is worth doing.”
This definition is supported by a global survey run by LinkedIn and Imperative, which found that 74% of job candidates want a job where they feel their work matters.
Besides purpose, there are other elements that lead to job satisfaction, including autonomy, flexibility, recognition, a sense of belonging, and a good relationship with one’s manager.
Ultimately, job satisfaction means how much an employee likes her job, and how willing she is to stay with her company. While it might be impossible to make every employee happy, it’s critical you work hard to boost job satisfaction for as many employees as possible. This will help lower turnover and decrease money spent on recruitment and new hire training. Additionally, happy employees will be more successful, which is critical for your company’s bottom line.
Now that we’ve defined job satisfaction, let’s take a look at some strategies you can implement to improve employee happiness immediately.
How to Boost Job Satisfaction
1. Give consistent praise, and focus on impact.
Office Vibe’s State of Employee Engagement research report found 63% of employees don’t feel they get enough praise. By consistently telling your employees when they’ve done a good job, you’ll make them feel more proud of their work, and provide them with incentive to work harder in the future.
Additionally, as previously stated, employees need to feel like their work matters. Rather than simply saying, “Good job on that Facebook campaign,” consider explaining to your employee how her work makes a difference for your team, and the company, as a whole. Your employees will feel more indispensable if you focus on how their work relates to long-term company goals.
For instance, you might say, “I’d like to take the time to thank you for the effort you put into your last Facebook campaign. The campaign helped attract an audience of over 17,000, and 12% of that audience turned out to be quality leads, which is incredible. Additionally, your leadership and input helped shape the direction of our brand’s voice on Facebook, both for this campaign and for future campaigns down the road.”
With this praise, you’ve demonstrated to your employee that her work matters to the company’s bottom line, and to the future success of your team. This positive reinforcement could go a long way towards increasing her job satisfaction.
2. Offer career development, training, or education opportunities.
Nowadays, career development is no longer just a nice perk. In fact, a LinkedIn Workplace Learning report found 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career. By offering career development and actively seeking out opportunities to help your employees grow, you’re signaling you care about their long-term success.
Additionally, training your employees and allowing them to expand their skillset will help your team become more successful long-term, as well. For instance, HubSpot offers master classes, which are classes in which employees teach other employees skills such as video production or SEO. As employees gain these skills they can apply them to their role, making them more well-rounded and innovative.
A Leadership Training program is also a chance for you to prepare your employees to become managers and team leaders down-the-road. This can reduce turnover and enable your employees to grow with the company.
3. Show you care about your employee’s mental and physical well-being.
Your employees can’t be satisfied in the workplace if they feel they’re sacrificing physical or mental well-being. To boost job satisfaction, it’s critical you make an effort to show employees’ that their health matters. Plus, if your employees’ take the time to recharge throughout the day, they’ll be more productive on the job, as well.
To show you care about your employees’ physical well-being, consider how you might incorporate physical activity into the workplace. It’s okay if you don’t have the budget to install a gym — simply creating a culture in which it’s okay to leave early to catch a workout class, or do yoga during lunch, can help. Ultimately, it’s about showing your employees that you understand physical activity should be a priority.
Additionally, it’s important you create opportunities to reduce stress and promote mental well-being. For instance, perhaps you offer flexible hours, so employees can avoid a stressful commute in the morning. Alternatively, you might create lunchtime mindfulness sessions, like Google, Nike, and Apple.
At the very least, take the time to check-in with employees and ask them how they’re feeling about their workload. If they seem exceptionally stressed, consider how you might help delegate tasks to help them get back on-track.
4. Foster an environment in which coworkers can bond and develop friendships.
Most people spend more time at work than they do with any of the most important people in their lives, including spouses, children, and friends. To boost job satisfaction, it’s critical you find ways to help your employees connect with one another and form genuine friendships.
To foster workplace connections, consider adding games or activities to your shared space — for instance, you might purchase a ping-pong table or wii to encourage employees to engage with one another. Alternatively, you might plan weekly “breaks” from work, like Friday happy hour or Monday team lunches.
It’s also important you plan regular team outings to get outside the office. Your employees are more likely to form authentic friendships outside the office, when they don’t feel they need to act as strictly professional. For instance, you might take them to an arcade, or baseball game. A new environment could help employees’ bond on a deeper level.
Additionally, it will help employees feel appreciated if you take the time to celebrate major milestones in their lives. For instance, you could gather a group for a coworker’s birthday, or another coworker’s engagement.
5. Conduct a job satisfaction survey.
Ultimately, you’ll never know if your strategies are working if you don’t regularly conduct surveys to see how happy and satisfied your employees are. Conducting job satisfaction surveys will help you see areas of improvement you might’ve otherwise missed.
Additionally, job satisfaction surveys show your employees that you care about how they feel. By allowing them to voice their opinion, you’re showing them they are important to the company.
Ensure your survey is anonymous, so employees feel comfortable voicing their concerns. The eNPS (employee Net Promoter Score) is a good tool to measure employee engagement. Alternatively, you might create your own company survey using SurveyMonkey or Google Forms.
Job Satisfaction Statistics
To truly understand the measurable difference job satisfaction can make for your company, take a look at the following statistics.
- Organizations with engaged employees outperform those with low employee engagement by 202% (Business2Community).
- 83% of employees who are offered opportunities to take on new challenges are more likely to stay with their organization (ReportLinker).
- 42% of millennials say learning and development is the most important benefit when deciding where to work (Udemy).
- 15% of employees worldwide are engaged in their jobs (Gallup).
- Over 80% of full-time workers are actively seeking or passively open to new job opportunities (Ajilon).
- In a survey of 2,000 employees, 43% said corporate culture is the main reason they are looking for a new job (Hays).
- 92% of employees said that would be more likely to stay with their job, if their bosses would show more empathy (Businesssolver).
- Employees who feel they get to use the best strengths and abilities and work are 15% less likely to quit their job (Gallup).
Originally published Nov 28, 2018 8:00:00 AM, updated November 28 2018