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Take Action! 12 Ways To Improve Employee Satisfaction In 2022

By January 18, 2022 May 10th, 2022 50 Comments

improve-employee-satisfaction

In the wake of the Great Resignation this year, employee satisfaction is more important than ever. With employees reevaluating what is important to them in both their personal and professional lives, low levels of employee job satisfaction can have some pretty detrimental effects on a business.

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Whether you’re looking to reduce turnover and retain your top talent, or you’re looking to recruit new talent to the company, prioritizing employee satisfaction is a key factor in doing so.

We talked to the employee experience experts at The Assist, a free weekly newsletter dedicated to helping modern professionals, to better get a sense of what employee satisfaction looks like in 2022 and the ways in which leaders can promote a healthier work culture.

Let’s learn a bit more about what exactly employee satisfaction is and how to boost job satisfaction levels in the workplace.

What Is Employee Satisfaction?

employee-satisfaction

Employee satisfaction is a measure of how content an employee is with their job, work environment, and the overall company culture. There is a myriad of variables that affect levels of employee satisfaction including salary, non-monetary incentives, and growth opportunities (to name just a few).

High levels of employee happiness in the workplace help to avoid employee burnout and keep employees motivated to excel in their roles. Most companies have no problem understanding the concept of employee satisfaction, but many struggles to see why it’s so important and how to keep employee satisfaction high.

Why Is Employee Satisfaction So Important? 

Employee satisfaction is important because it has a direct impact on a company’s bottom line. If you have high levels of employee satisfaction, you’ll likely see reduced turnover rates because you’re able to retain your employees.

Happy employees are much more likely to take pride in their work and feel a strong sense of loyalty to the company and its core values. Employee satisfaction can also increase productivity levels at work and quality of work output.

Key Reasons Employees Become Dissatisfied

employee-dissatisfaction

Typically, low levels of employee satisfaction aren’t driven by only 1 specific issue, but rather a culmination of multiple roadblocks hindering the employee. Below are a few contributing factors that may lead to employees becoming dissatisfied –

  • Being underpaid: Most employees don’t leave their jobs purely based on finances alone, but it is important that your employees are being compensated fairly and in line with market/industry standards for their role.
  • Lack of recognition: If an employee’s hard work is consistently going unrecognized or underappreciated, that employee will inevitably lose motivation and become dissatisfied with the lack of positive feedback.
  • Ineffective leadership: Whether it’s the CEO or someone’s direct manager, an ineffective leader can greatly affect employee morale. Without clear goals and effective leadership, the work environment can easily become chaotic.
  • No growth opportunities: No employee wants to feel like their career path is stunted. If there aren’t growth opportunities clearly available and communicated, they will be likely to look elsewhere.
  • Poor work-life balance: Setting realistic boundaries and expectations with your team is vital to maintaining employee satisfaction and promoting a healthy work-life balance.

Now that we understand a bit more about what employee satisfaction is, why it’s so important, and some of the pitfalls to avoid, let’s learn more about what you can do to start improving employee satisfaction today!

*Pro-Tip: The Assist newsletter delivers great free resources for employee satisfaction & engagement directly to your inbox!


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Ways To Keep Employee Satisfaction High

1) Celebrate Employee Milestones

employee-milestones

Whether it’s a 1 year work anniversary, a 10 year anniversary, or a birthday, make that employee feel special and valued by celebrating them and their contributions to the company.

How this improves employee satisfaction

1) By celebrating employee milestones, you’re showing that employees that their loyalty and dedication to their roles and the company is appreciated.

2) Employees who feel valued and appreciated are much more likely to continue their career growth with you and continue to produce high-quality work.

3) Even small gestures can go a long way in bolstering employee satisfaction.

Try doing this to keep employee satisfaction high: Caroo’s Employee Milestone Program makes it easy to celebrate all of your important employee milestones throughout the year.

They offer meaningful gifts for employee birthdays and anniversaries that are easily customizable and shipped directly to your employees. Their platform even offers monthly reminders and budget tracking so you never miss a milestone!

Pro-tip: Don’t get caught in the trap of having to purchase one-off gifts for each employee’s anniversary. Set up an employee milestone program through Caroo, where you can input all your employee birthdays and anniversaries, and ship gifts out all in one easy (and free!) to use platform.

 

👉  Check out their dedicated Milestone Box to start celebrating!

 

2) Recognize Employees for Their Work

employee-recognition

Nobody likes feeling overlooked or underappreciated, especially dedicated employees. Consider different ways to reward your employees or implement employee appreciation days so that your team consistently feels recognized for their hard work.

How this improves employee satisfaction

1) If an employee feels valued and appreciated, they’re much more likely to be more engaged with their work and sustain a high level of job satisfaction.

2) You’d be surprised how far a simple “thank you” or “great work” comment can bolster an employee’s sense of worth in the workplace.

3) Recognizing your employees for their hard work also functions as a great motivator for employees to strive towards reaching their highest potential levels.

Try doing this to keep employee satisfaction high: Leave it to the pros and partner with an amazing employee recognition platform like Bonusly. With its user-friendly platform, Bonusly makes employee recognition easy and fun, boosting employee engagement and strengthening teams along the way.

Nectar is another fantastic recognition platform that seamlessly integrates with popular company software such as Workday and Microsoft Teams. Nectar recently rolled out an integration with Amazon as well so that you can easily tie in endless employee reward options.

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3) Reward Employees for High Performance

employee-rewards

Of course, it’s important that every employee feels valued, but be sure that your top performers are being recognized and rewarded for going above and beyond in their roles. Whether it’s a small appreciation gift or an online shout-out, rewarding your high performers is a great way to motivate employees and keep employee satisfaction levels elevated.

How this improves employee satisfaction

1) Rewarding employees for impressive performance helps to both retain your top talent and keep them motivated to strive for the next win.

2) It creates healthy competitiveness where your team is pushing each other to do better and be better.

3) Keeping your employees feeling rewarded yet challenged is a great way to increase job satisfaction levels in the workplace.

Try doing this to keep employee satisfaction high: Consider sending your top performers some high-quality company swag! SwagUp is an amazing swag vendor that specializes in both preset swag packs and customizable swag packs so your employees are guaranteed to get swag they actually like. They offer a simplified user platform that allows you to select, design, personalize and ship swag all in one place.

 

4) Promote Social Connection

social-connection

Social connection is not just an employee engagement initiative, it also creates more satisfied employees as well. We all (hopefully) have a supportive work bestie that makes your workday more enjoyable. Colleagues who genuinely like and respect each other are more likely to be happier with their jobs and encourage one another during challenging work situations.

How this improves employee satisfaction

1) Creating an environment where social connection is a core value allows your employees to form healthy work relationships.

2) With remote working more popular than ever before, it’s important to maintain a sense of social connection so your employees don’t feel isolated or disengaged.

3) Whether it’s a weekly happy hour or coffee breaks in the kitchen, encourage your team to get out there, get to know each other, and make the most of their social connections in the workplace.

Try doing this to keep employee satisfaction high: Most companies are quite aware of the importance of team building in the workplace, but with so many team building activities out there, it can be a little overwhelming finding the right fit for your employees.

Confetti offers an extensive catalog of team-building experiences allowing you to browse and select the perfect activity match for your team. Their amazing team of event coordinators do all of the heavy lifting on your behalf and answer any questions along the way. Trusted by companies such as Netflix, Amazon, and Google, Confetti helps foster meaningful social connections in the workplace through engaging and exciting team events.

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5) Provide a Roadmap to Growth

growth-roadmap

It’s crucial to have a clear roadmap to growth for each and every one of your employees. Career roadmaps help employees visual their career development and should be based on that individual’s skills, expertise, and interests.

How this improves employee satisfaction:

1) Providing a clear career growth roadmap for employees allows them to easily picture a long-term future at the company resulting in employee retention and loyalty.

2) Taking the time to critically think about and construct a professional development path for your employees shows that you value their unique skills and that they are integral contributors to the company’s success.

3) Without a clearly communicated growth roadmap, employees may feel disheartened and look elsewhere for future career opportunities.

Try doing this to keep employee satisfaction high: In addition to creating career roadmaps for each employee, consider launching a mentor program where more senior employees and executives can partner with a mentee to provide guidance and advice.

*Pro-Tip from The Assist: “According to behavior change expert Dr. BJ Fogg, the best way to change and grow for the better and for the long run, is to take things steady and slow. Watch Fogg’s Ted Talk about tiny habits (also the title of his bestselling book) to make your growth a rewarding long-term habit that doesn’t suck you dry.”

 

6) Implement a Flexible Work Schedule

flexible-work-schedule

Times have certainly changed in the past 2 years. Gone are the days where companies expect employees to come into the office 5 days a week and sit at their desks from 9 to 5. Instead, companies have realized the importance of remote work and flexible work schedules, particularly as it relates to employee job satisfaction.

How this improves employee satisfaction

1) Implementing a flexible work schedule provides your employees with the ability to create a schedule that works best for them and their lifestyle.

2) With the rise in remote work, many people are working from home and juggling multiple responsibilities every day.

3) By providing flexibility, employees have autonomy over their schedule and work, resulting in happier and more productive employees.

Try doing this to keep employee satisfaction high: Start by getting senior leadership buy-in for flexible work and then train your management staff on what this means how to implement it. For example, you can collectively set the policy for hybrid work where employees are only required to be in the office for 2 days each work and work remotely for the rest.

Or, if employees have a particularly productive week, offer flex Friday afternoons where they sign off early those days. The key to flex working is communication, so be sure you have a communication method in place and touch base regularly.

 

7) Create a Transparent Culture

 

transparent-culture

A transparent work culture creates an environment where employees are comfortable communicating and exchanging ideas without fear of being unheard or dismissed. A transparent culture allows employees to be informed and involved in company decisions that affect their everyday work lives.

How this improves employee satisfaction

1) Without a transparent work culture, there is a lack of trust between senior leadership and employees.

2) Companies that have successfully created a strong culture of transparency have high levels of employee satisfaction because their employees feel informed and heard.

Try doing this to keep employee satisfaction high: Use a shared communication platform such as Microsoft Teams, LinkedIn, or Yammer where you can easily post company updates, news, and employee milestones. Consistent communication is key to building a transparent culture. Try implementing a quarterly newsletter where you can provide critical business updates and ask for employee feedback on hot topics.

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8) Prioritize Wellness

wellness

With so much going on in our personal and professional lives, it’s far too easy to neglect our own well-being. Prioritizing your own and your employee’s wellness is essential to keeping job satisfaction levels high.

How this improves employee satisfaction

1) If an employee is not prioritizing their own health and wellness, they’re more likely to experience lower levels of not only job satisfaction, but overall happiness as well.

2) Encourage your employees to make time for themselves and their health.

3) Whether it’s a 15-minute walk to clear your head after a stressful call or a healthy eating seminar, there are so many ways an employer can boost wellness in the workplace and at home.

Try doing this to keep employee satisfaction high: Try offering a common employee perk like a free or discounted gym membership. This is a great way to make it easier for your employees to tap into their physical wellness. Or try bringing your virtual team together for a weekly zoom yoga or meditation class. Many health insurance providers offer no-cost health and wellness webinars as well, so be sure your employees are aware and taking advantage of the offering.

 

9. Empower Employees to Make Decisions

empowered-employees

Empower your employees to voice their opinions, enact change, and make decisions in the workplace.

How this improves employee satisfaction

1) Empowering your employees to make decisions allows your team to showcase their unique skills and shows that you trust and respect their opinions.

2) Employees shouldn’t feel like their hands are tied behind their back when it comes to making decisions about their work.

3) By empowering employees to make their own decisions, you’re encouraging employees to be autonomous and allowing their critical thinking skills to flourish. If a manager is constantly questioning an employee’s choices, that employee’s job satisfaction diminishes due to a lack of support and trust.

Try doing this to keep employee satisfaction high: Provide your management team with training and tips on how to avoid micromanaging. It can be hard to let go of projects or certain responsibilities, but by doing so, you’re giving your team an opportunity to go above and beyond and really highlight their capabilities. Micromanagement not only reduces employee satisfaction but hinders employees’ growth as well.

 

10) Cultivate a Positive Work Environment 

positive-work-environment

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘toxic workplace.’ Unfortunately, it’s far too common for companies to drop the ball when it comes to creating a positive work environment for their employees. In order to boost employee engagement and reduce turnover, it’s crucial to cultivate a positive work environment where employees are comfortable and treated with respect.

How this improves employee satisfaction

1) Employees shouldn’t dread coming into the office and doing their job.

2) Companies that create a positive work environment have happier employees who start their workday with a positive mindset.

3) Not to say problems won’t arise, but when they do, positive work environments are able to tactfully navigate and solve those problems without a resulting decrease in employee satisfaction.

Try doing this to keep employee satisfaction high: Begin your weekly Monday team meeting with your favorite motivational quote to kick off your work week on a positive note. Maybe a project has hit a snag or encountered a roadblock? Consider morale boosters like a group outing or a coffee break to get your team and the project back on track.

 

11) Encourage Creativity

creativity

“Because that’s how we’ve always done it” isn’t exactly a smart way to conduct business. Instead, embrace change and encourage creativity in your employees.

How this improves employee satisfaction

1) Encouraging creativity allows employees to use their imagination and strategically think about the business.

2) It’s easy to fall into your daily work habits or get lost in your to-do list, but it’s important to take a step back and think holistically about your role and the overall company.

3) An employee who is empowered to unleash their creative side in the workplace will feel more fulfilled and satisfied with their job.

Try doing this to keep employee satisfaction high: Imagine actually having fun at work? Creativity is a great way to do just that. Whether virtual or in-person, try hosting a paint and sip session for your employees. This is a fun way to encourage creativity amongst your team and also functions as a great team bonding activity as well!

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12) Survey Your Employees for Honest Feedback & Suggestions

feedback-suggestions

You may think you’re killing it when it comes to employee satisfaction, but what better way to confirm that than asking your employees how they feel? Surveying your employees for their candid feedback and suggestions is a vital step in measuring employee engagement.

How this improves employee satisfaction

1) Take the guesswork out of trying to find what initiatives work best to boost your employee job satisfaction levels.

2) Go straight to the source and ask your employees what they need and what is and isn’t working for them.

3) This allows your employees to be heard and provides you an opportunity to collect valuable feedback.

Try doing this to keep employee satisfaction high: Bonusly’s Signals interface makes it easy to gather and analyze employee feedback. The platform offers multiple types of employee surveys, including templatized versions to get you started. You can also anonymize responses so that employees feel empowered to be completely honest with their feedback.

 


People Also Ask These Questions About Ways To Improve Employee Satisfaction

Q: How do you measure employee satisfaction?

  • A: The best way to measure employee satisfaction is by going straight to the source and periodically surveying your employees about their job satisfaction. Honest employee feedback is a great way to identify areas for improvement as it relates to employee satisfaction.

Q: What do employees look for in a job?

  • A: Employees look for jobs that offer competitive salaries, non-monetary perks or incentives, and a positive work culture in which they can grow professionally.

Q: How do I know if an employee is dissatisfied at work?

  • A: A few signs to look for in a dissatisfied employee include low levels of productivity, a negative attitude, lack of engagement, and a rise in conflicts with other coworkers.

Q: What questions should you include in an employee satisfaction survey?

  • A: Below are a few questions you should include in an employee satisfaction survey (Try using a sliding scale for responses):
    • Do you feel your work is meaningful?
    • On an average week, do you often feel stressed about work?
    • Do you feel respected by your colleagues?
    • Do you feel there are professional growth opportunities for you here?

Q: How often should I send out an employee satisfaction survey?

  • A: You should send out an employee satisfaction survey on a quarterly basis. This allows you to periodically collect feedback and implement that feedback throughout the fiscal year.

50 Comments

  • Laura Stevens says:

    Good Stuff! I appreciate the Pandora station suggestion – checking it out next! Also – some nice suggestions on recognizing achievements and trying to decide if you one should “save face” or “eat face” – hahahaha! Also working on a more social aspect for better office dynamics.

    Small offices can be challenging… in a competitive space… I love all your ideas for charting better office dynamics… and of course, LOVE the healthy snacks!

    Keep the suggestions coming!

    • Jeff Murphy says:

      Thanks so much, Laura! You’re right, small offices can definitely be challenging. Let us know what works for you!

  • Cristina says:

    Good ideas! I work in a small business that is rapidly growing. One of our favorite things is that we have an offsite activity each quarter to promote team building. I love stepping out of the office once in a while.

    • Jeff Murphy says:

      Thanks for the feedback, Cristina. We agree, offsites can be both fun and productive, and are a great way to break out of our routines.

  • DeAnn says:

    We use a lot of these in our company. I have found SFCG to be one of the most collaborative and inventice companies I have worked for in my career. These are all great ideas and if done properly can reallly help an organization stay positive and productive..

  • Jeanne says:

    I absolutely agree with this! It’s tough to implement a healthy, fun culture, but these guidelines help!

    • Jeff Murphy says:

      Thanks Jeanne! I agree, it can be tough, but definitely worth it. The good thing is you don’t have to do it all at once. Start where you can, and bring your culture where it needs to be over time.

  • Hannah says:

    Great blog, a lot of these are surprisingly easy to implement and the rewards you see are fantastic for morale.

  • Jodi says:

    Wow! I didn’t realize how little we actually do to improve satisfaction. I will be bringing a few of these great ideas to our next school improvement meeting! Love celebrating accomplishments as a team and and also milestone celebrations. I would like to see us improve our giving back mission as well. Thanks so much for all the suggestions!

    • Jeff Murphy says:

      You’re welcome, Jodi! And don’t worry, it might seem daunting, but you don’t have to do everything all at once. The important thing is just to start and continually work on improvement. Culture and satisfaction don’t happen by accident or overnight, they take time and effort! Keep us updated on how it goes.

  • Morgan says:

    Our office has frequent foosball tournaments. This gives our employees excuses to get up and move around, practice some foosball, and enjoy a little friendly competition! This has also sparked new friendships.

  • Rochelle says:

    In addition to listening I think it’s very important to create an environment where people feel open to sharing their thoughts, suggestions, etc. Too many times I’ve found that people don’t say anything until they’re directly asked about it.

    • Jeff Murphy says:

      That’s a great point, Rochelle. I also think it’s important to create an atmosphere where ideas aren’t prematurely judged or shot down for no reason. Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Jean says:

    Very good points made and easy to implement. Especially see the value in good communication and listening…everyone needs and wants to be heard. Acknowledgement of the little things accomplished by the individual employees has made a difference and brings value. This blog gives some food for thought also.

    • Jeff Murphy says:

      Thanks, Jean! It seems so simple, but listening (and proper communication in general) is so important. Most of the time, what seem to be impassable, systemic problems can be solved with improved communication. Glad you got something out of the post!

  • Mika says:

    Love #3, that’s what I’ve been trying to focus on a lot lately here!

  • Elizabeth says:

    Totally agree! Our company is a start up- rapidly growing. We recently had an offsite vacation where all our offices got together and it was great to meet everyone face to face that we deal with on a daily basis! Definitely has a big impact on our culture!

  • Wes says:

    Awesome blog post! Especially like the point about music in the office.

  • Melanie says:

    Celebrating employees’ anniversaries with the company is a great tip….I’ll have to start brainstorming fun ways to do that.

  • Melissa says:

    Love this list of actionable items! #5, and #10 are two things we are focussing on this quarter. It’s great to see that we’re on the right track encouraging employees and making the VHX office an amazing place to be!

    • Jeff Murphy says:

      Awesome, thanks for the feedback, Melissa! Would love to hear results of some of those passion projects.

  • Honored to have 15Five be featured here. Great ideas all around. Would love to hear a bit more about how you go about #16, cultivating great managers – what kind of training do you provide? What books/resources/coaching goes into that for you guys?

    • Jeff Murphy says:

      Thanks, Shane, 15five is awesome! At SnackNation, manager development is really tailored to the individual. Good management traits don’t boil down to one or two things, they are really a matrix of skills. So we start by identifying team members with one or more of these traits, and work with them on a one-one basis to fill in the gaps. We do this through our IDP (Individual Development Plan) process.

      As for resources, we’re big fans of Marcus Buckingham’s “First, Break All The Rules.”

  • We do a lot of these. We employ multiple ways for our team to give us feedback, anonymous surveys, tiny pulse, town hall sessions. All are helpful. Really we have build a culture around doing whatever it takes for the customer. The sales team is really like a family connected and encouraged to help each other. We integrate everything Customer + Wellness + Culture + Transparency/Accountability + Results

    • Jeff Murphy says:

      Aaron, thanks for sharing your feedback! Do you feel like your internal culture makes for a better customer experience?

  • Armand says:

    a small group of us have started a fitbit challenge at our office that is helping promote healthy competition.

  • Christy says:

    I read through this and realized that my boss does every one of these things. I am very fortunate to work in an environment that values their employees not only for the work they do, but as individuals. And kudos to my boss for being amazing and helping ensure employees are happy and healthy!

  • Michelle T. says:

    Our company has standing desks and we also do weight challenges every year. We participate in running marathons and have a softball team.

  • Chloe says:

    Loved the Pirates video with the different music! Isn’t it amazing how music can change the way we do things? I guess I’m a little biased since I was a musical theatre major… 😛

  • Christi Grider says:

    When our design studios are on some major deadlines, I order food to be delivered to the office. We name an employee of the month at our monthly staff meetings. They get a special parking spot and a nice gift. I’d say that my company is very good at facilitating friendships…I’ve made many friends here and two of them are my very best friends.

    • Jeff Murphy says:

      That’s great, Christi. After all, having a best friend at work is a leading indicator of employee engagement (so having two is extraordinary!).

  • We hold a monthly staff meeting that brings everyone together if not in person by video communications since we have 3 locations in two states. We share a meal, review goals, recognize people as well as have an employee present on any topic of their choice as long as it is not about work. We have enjoyed topics such as nutrition, dog training, art, community theatre and surfing the sand dunes of Monahan, Tx to name a few.

    • Jeff Murphy says:

      Sherrie, that is phenomenal! Sounds like your company is doing a lot of things right. The fact that you include remote employees in staff meetings is actually really important for morale and communication – so Kudos!

  • Valerie says:

    We do a lot of these in our office but I’m always looking for ways to add more. I’m currently converting a smaller meeting room that wasn’t used often to a meditation room and currently planning our volunteer day. Since we’re in the youth sports field we are hosting a field day for a local Boys and Girls Club. I’m so glad I stumbled across Snacknation. It’s so great to find to an online community with so many like minded offices so I can keep our employees healthy and happy!

    • Jeff Murphy says:

      Great stuff, Valerie, and thank you for the feedback! I love that you’re incorporating ways to give back that are relevant to your business’ mission. And let us know how the meditation room turns out.

      Also, if you want more ways to create an Awesome Office, check out our podcast, the Awesome Office show – I think you’ll enjoy it! http://www.awesomeoffice.org/podcast

  • Bonnie says:

    There’s certainly a lot to find out about this topic.
    I really like all the points you’ve made.

  • This post is very useful to us thanks for sharing this info with us…

  • Mitchell says:

    This article demonstrates why employee satisfaction is important and ways to keep it high. Some of the most obvious reasons is celebrating their accomplishments, promoting healthy working relationships, implementing flexible work schedules, encouraging creativity and innovation and giving employees a chance to move up in positions. For every reason listed, it also gives suggestions to keep employee satisfaction up. While it is important for the head of the company to be proactive, committed and relatively quick to make decisions, many studies have shown there to be correlation between profitability and employee satisfaction. However, one of the leading results in not promoting employee satisfaction is having to micromanage. If you’ve hired someone to do or perform a task, then it’s there duty to get it done. If the situation gets to where the employer controls the employees work, then there’s no influence as well as opening up an environment for mistrust. If there’s mistrust, then the company is more likely to be in the position to rely solely on the employers’ direction giving anyone little to no independence. Great read!

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