16th Jul 2020
8 Ways to Improve Job Satisfaction for Your People: J is for Job Satisfaction
Did you know that on average, we spend over a third of our lives at work? That’s a pretty hefty proportion so it’s important that we’re happy.
In fact, job satisfaction is an important contributor towards your team’s wellbeing. A well-designed workplace helps to empower your team to be happy, healthy and motivated at work.
In this article we’re delving deeper into recent research about what exactly people want from their employer, and how your workplace can support this.
What influences job satisfaction?
Many organisations believe job satisfaction is just about good pay with some recreational activities thrown into the mix every now and again. But really, we all know that it’s about much more than that.
Employee engagement programmes are one of the things often used to try to boost job satisfaction. But Harvard research shows these aren’t always successful as the positive effects stop soon after the programme ends.
So what can you do to increase your team’s happiness at work for the long haul? According to Career Trend, most job satisfaction surveys highlight the same general factors that most people look for in a good workplace experience…
An employee-centred workplace
Workplaces are slowly but surely starting to become more employee-centric (i.e. built around employees’ needs first), and rightly so!
In fact, research shows that pay isn’t usually the top priority for employees anymore. So to attract and retain the best talent you should instead prioritise employee wellbeing and autonomy, and emphasise workplace culture.
One of the best ways to do this is to put your employees at the heart of your business and design an agile workspace. Agile working gives people choice about where and how to work. In practice, this means creating a variety of activity-based areas around your office to boost productivity, accountability, and wellbeing.
Take a look at our other articles to learn more about the benefits of agile working:
According to a report by the Society for Human Resource Management, mutual respect is important to employees. Not only that, but it can boost morale and increase employee retention too.
It’s simple to show respect. Be mindful of how other people like to be treated. Whether you’re in company management or part of the wider team, the aim is to build positive two-way relationships.
As an employer you can influence positive workplace behaviours through your office design. Ultimately this will help create a company culture that empowers people to support each other and achieve the company mission.
Talking of company mission – share it throughout the business, otherwise how can people support it?
A sense of safety is a fundamental emotional need so a lack of job security can cause anxiety and sleepless nights.
Whilst not every business is in a position to guarantee job security, you can make sure your people feel secure in other ways. Be honest and communicate openly about the position of the business and how you think things will go in the future. And keep the communication going.
A lack of trust can leave your team feeling unsafe or not respected which we’ve already established isn’t good for wellbeing.
It’s not good for business either, as it can affect morale and reduce the drive your team has to do a great job.
On the bright side, a sense of trust can empower people to produce their best work!
Employees need to trust you as their employer, and you can show this through your built environment too.
During the pandemic, trust has been essential in allowing your people to work from home. Whilst businesses didn’t have much choice in the matter, some embraced the change, whereas others reluctantly accepted it as the only way forward. But in many cases, bosses have been pleasantly surprised with the way their people got stuck into working at home.
A healthy environment
Research has shown that going to work in a healthy environment is another priority for employees. Lucky for all of us, the WELL Building Standard offers guidance on how to do this.
The Standard is the first system to measure buildings and everything in them on their ability to advance human health and wellness. It’s all about improving the comfort, drive and even the decision-making of those using a space.
There are many things you can do to create a healthy workplace. You could encourage your team to exercise, advocate healthy eating in the office, and minimise sources of indoor air pollution. But it doesn’t stop there! There are lots of other ways to improve health and wellbeing at work according to the fundamentals of the WELL Building Standard.
It’s important to show your people that they’re valued and there are countless ways to do this. You could invest in workplace technology that supports certain tasks, or implement positive cultural changes. Whatever you decide to do, if it benefits your people, it’s very likely to benefit your business.
When we were reading up on what it means for employees to feel valued we came across this. A survey conducted by BambooHR revealed that one-third of employees would rather have the recognition of a company-wide email acknowledging their achievements over an unpublicised $500 bonus.
The key here isn’t to assume that everyone wants to be praised in front of the whole company. But rather to ask people what they want… Don’t just assume.
A clear career path
Help individuals to excel – give them a clear view of the career path that your organisation can give them. Show them there are opportunities to move up within the company, to take more responsibility or ultimately, earn more.
If they don’t want it, that’s fine. It gives them the opportunity to leave and find somewhere that suits them. But if they do, this will give them something to aim for.
It may be that you create better work processes and systems or more interesting challenges, rather than linear progression in a hierarchical structure. Some people can be very satisfied with developing expertise in one or more areas, and that creates additional value to the business as well as the individual.
Remember that a ‘one size fits all’ approach won’t work here. Every person is different and just because you have several employees with the same job role doesn’t mean they all want the same thing.
Good relationships with colleagues
Most people will have heard it said time and time again that relationships are everything in business. This counts for internal team relationships too!
In many industries, good and bad experiences at work are based around people. So it’s likely that for many of your people, good relationships are high up on their list too.
In fact, when we asked our LinkedIn followers what they were most looking forward to about returning to the office, the majority said it was ‘seeing colleagues in person’.
To improve the relationships in your teams you could design a workplace that supports this. This starts with a workplace strategy that assesses what your people want and need to work together successfully. And in a more general sense, what they need to be happy, healthy and motivated at work too.
Protect your best asset (your people!)
Your people are your business’s biggest asset, so why wouldn’t you make sure they have every resource and opportunity to maximise their potential?
Not to mention, research shows that happy workers are productive workers, so high levels of job satisfaction are good for both your people and your business.
For more personalised advice on how to boost job satisfaction within your business, get in touch with one of our friendly team.