While external client satisfaction is essential, we also have to consider internal employee satisfaction. Employee satisfaction is different from employee engagement, employee appreciation and job satisfaction. Instead, those concepts are different aspects of employee satisfaction.
Below are some key elements contributing to the employee satisfaction index. Each element alone can become a topic to discuss when deciding how to keep employee satisfaction high.
Employee appreciation includes tangible and intangible formats.
Bonus and salary increases are obviously the most straightforward ways to show appreciation to employees, but it isn’t always the best choice.
Verbal recognition is also useful, especially if the employee is acknowledged in front of a larger group or in an email thread that includes senior leaders. In this way, their work is being made visible to others, making them likely to keep it up.
Another straightforward way of keeping high performers is to define the career path for employees while setting work expectations on how to get there. And, more importantly, providing feedback. No one, especially people in their early career, would want to work around the clock without knowing if they are on the right track or what lies ahead.
Giving feedback is an art, and how to provide healthy feedback is tricky. It needs to come from good intentions—constructive but not criticizing—and it needs to be genuine.
Although it doesn’t often get much spotlight, learning and development (L&D) is a great way to appreciate and retain employees who have high potential in the organization.
Many employers still don’t realize the power of supporting employees in their education. They never want to allocate education funds to employees even when it’s requested. Little do they know, this is one of the best employee retention methods.
Offering education funds to an employee with payback conditions in a certain period will create a highly skilled and loyal employee who appreciates such a gesture.
Enabling open communication is the key to employee engagement. This not only refers to top-down communication but also bottom-up. A company that only delivers messages from top to bottom and is happy about keeping such “consistent communications” will not keep up with the waves of innovation.
On the other hand, maintaining bottom-up communications will allow management to hear feedback, brainstorm for better solutions, and improve employee morale and trust index.
Unclog both sides of the ‘communication pipe’ and have information flow with minimal filters. That’s how an organization builds trust and morale among employees.
Leadership goes hand-in-hand with employee engagement. There are different types of leadership styles. Indeed, different leadership styles establish different team/organizational cultures. According to a study conducted by Florida International University, leadership can significantly impact employee engagement within an organization. Therefore, knowing how to increase engagement in the workforce is a vital talent management skill for leaders at all levels to have. This can prevent a disengaged workforce.
Initiating a mentorship program is another way of improving employee retention. Have high-potential employees connect with senior leaders within the organization to learn about their career paths and get advice on dealing with challenging situations at work. This relationship will help employees further develop their potential, awaken their confidence, and become better performers as a result.
Everyone has a different focus and motivation factor. A leader should understand what their team members want from their jobs – is it compensation, a title, or a learning opportunity?
There are many motivation theories leaders can study. I am a supporter of the Two-Factor Theory and Expectancy Theory. A good leader should combine theories with real situations to build high employee satisfaction.
These six key elements contribute to the employee satisfaction index. Focusing on them can keep employee satisfaction high, ensuring a strong company culture and high retention.