The importance of job satisfaction
Being dissatisfied with your job could lead to extreme stress and bring down the morale of the entire organisation. An increase in absenteeism and decrease in productivity are two major signs of dissatisfaction within the work environment.
Employees represent an organisation. They hold the power to help an organisation achieve its objectives. So, it is crucial to learn about them, align the organisation's long-term vision with the future career development of employees and understand their preferences and where their passion lie.
Every organisation is different, and that is why it is necessary to evaluate human resource practices regularly, try and test methods to identify what works and what does not.
It is also important to realise that all employees are different, whilst increases in compensation may work for some, others may be more interested in varied and interesting job duties. An effective labour management programme takes into account these issues and also goes beyond the basics.
In fact, efforts should be visible from the first day with orientation that engages employees. The training, facilities, and support provided should set the tone for expected behaviour and create a positive environment where employees feel encouraged to contribute.
To improve job satisfaction and reduce turnover, the employer-employee relationship must be focused on.
Adopting the following practices can help boost job satisfaction:
EFFECTIVE AND REALISTIC ORIENTATION
Job satisfaction must be guaranteed from the very first day of work. The entire process of orientation must be realistic so that employees do not build up high expectations that would not be delivered.
CONNECTING WITH EMPLOYEES
It is crucial for both existing and new employees. The team's opinion should be considered, they should feel at ease sharing ideas and individual employees must be asked what they want or where they see themselves within the organisation in the future. This should be practiced from square one when new employees are recruited and selected.
Nobody wants their monthly or quarterly meeting with the line manager to start with sentences like "You should have been more alert," or "You could have approached it differently." Employees want their efforts to be recognised. So, a positive start of the one to one meeting is important. If an employee exceeds expectations, saying a simple thank you or well done can greatly impact the employer-employee relationship.
TREAT ALL EMPLOYEES EQUALLY
Although every organisation's employee handbook emphasises equal treatment of all employees, this is usually not practiced. Bias and favouritism are still widely evident in most organisations, which lead to the creation of a negative work environment.
BE OPEN AND CLEAR ABOUT FINANCE
Employees have a right to know about the financial side of the organisation. People become stressed out by things that are unknown to them. If there are plans for major changes due to budget limitations, inform employees and be there to reassure them about their job security or let them know how it can impact them.
Maslow's hierarchy of needs begins with physiological and security needs which are primary concerns for all employees. Whenever any small or big changes take place, employees should be informed so that they can help the organisation succeed in the long run. If employees are going to lose their jobs because of a merger or acquisition, they should also be provided with flexible schedule to look for a new job, or given adequate time to train if they are going to be transferred into a different unit.
An employer should ensure that employees' stress levels are reduced and create a positive work environment. Organisations need to update their human resource practices, learn to embrace and implement innovative methods through offering counselling (confidential support), meditation/yoga program, on-site gym, free healthy snacks/lunch or facility of quiet zone/library where they can unwind. It would make the work place more attractive and enjoyable.
ALIGNED TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
There is no point in providing training in an area which is not going to be implemented. It wastes resources, time and money and if it does not contribute towards developing employees' career, then it should be avoided. Training must be aligned with organisational values and it should support the goals of the existing departments.
Keep work interesting
A little bit of spontaneity in the form of celebrations can boost employees' enthusiasm. For example, they can be gifted little presents when they achieve a target, or monthly out-of-office lunch plan for the whole team can be arranged. Employees may also be rotated across teams to learn new skills.
CAREER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES
This helps drive employees in the right direction because they believe that available career development program would develop their knowledge, skills, ability and curve a path to grow within their current role.
Emphasise the culture
An organisation's culture is affected by its leadership. Hence, leadership must demonstrate and promote empathy and respect for all through its internal HR policies and practice. It should be an inclusive culture that engages all employees.
OFFERING COMPETITIVE COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
Employees appreciate and value competitive compensation that meets their needs and expect benefits that are fair. Therefore, all pay grades must be evaluated and salary ranges should be in line with similar jobs in the external market.
It must be remembered that employees join an organisation with the intention to do good work. It is the responsibility of the employer to create a positive relationship with its employees, communicate effectively, be clear about expectations, provide the tools necessary to do the job and recognise the effort when they execute a task successfully. Above all, respect and fair treatment are a must. Therefore, we must strive to be the best boss that we can be so that our employees feel like a part of the "family," which can ultimately lead to greater work commitment, better business, and future growth.