With no shortage of noteworthy events, 2016 was a certainly a year for the record books.
And—rejoice, executives!—it was also a memorable year for employee job satisfaction and engagement.
Employee satisfaction, defined as the measurement of an employee’s happiness with their role in a company, is a metric with growing importance in the world of HR.
A research report released last year by The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) discovered that 88% of U.S. employees reported they were satisfied with their job. That’s the highest level of satisfaction in the past decade.
While undoubtedly a huge, historic number, this surge in satisfaction can be a double-edged sword for companies: the more companies that have a satisfied workforce, the more tempted your people might be to leave. (In fact, the SHRM study noted that 45% of employees are likely to look for another gig in the year to come.)
What can companies do to positively influence employee satisfaction? Try these tactics on for size:
1. Focus on Wellness
One recent scientific study presents iron-clad evidence that exercise substantially reduces anxiety and depression. And that’s not to mention the myriad of physical benefits, too.
But don’t take our word for it. Check out this infographic of impressive statistics about workplace wellness programs.
2. Create Real, Strategic Recognition
Did you know increasing employee engagement just 1% can unlock $20 million in operating income for a $5 billion organization? According to Aon Hewitt's Trends in Global Employee Engagement report, that’s exactly the case.
Recognizing your employees for a job well done requires a strategic one-two punch of intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. Leverage a mix of different types of recognition within your big-picture strategy to recognize your employees meaningfully.
3. Don’t Forget Remote Employees
It might seem obvious, but engaging with those employees functions much differently than engaging with those that you see in the office each day. Remote employees need to stay in the loop, feel like an effective part of the gang and make their voice heard to feel satisfied.
4. Measure Everything
Employee satisfaction can feel like a fuzzy, touchy-feely metric, but with a bit of strategy, you can make accurate measurements to put a finer point on employee engagement and job satisfaction.
Your employee engagement program can only be optimized to reach its utmost benefit if you’re measuring it along the way. Taking a step back after a year’s (or longer) worth of engagement tactics might be too little, too late.
Learn how to measure employee engagement programs to prove ROI and start optimizing your employee programs accordingly.
5. Offer Career Development Opportunities
It’s an old business joke you’ve probably heard before:
CFO asks CEO: "What happens if we invest in developing our people and they leave?"
CEO: "What happens if we don't, and they stay?"
From something small like a Lynda.com course or other training resource to traveling across the country for a conference, giving your people opportunity to learn and develop their careers is crucial to a thriving, satisfied workforce.
6. Get Involved In Your Community
Your company and the people within it aren’t on an island. They’re individual members of a broader community, and the upsurge in popularity of corporate social responsibility around the country indicates a workforce that wants to be a beneficial part of it.
For businesses looking to stay profitable, it’s important: 90% of consumers in one survey said they would switch to brands that supported responsible causes.
What’s one small step your business can take to boost its image in the community and build employee satisfaction? Volunteerism and employee involvement.
7. Create a Company Culture People Love
The very heart of an organization is its people and its culture.
Corporate culture, which can be defined as the style by which employees and management interact and handle business transactions, can seem nebulous and hard to pin down, but it’s the essential lifeblood that drives employee satisfaction.
How can companies care for the culture that binds them? Focus on the wholistic employee experience. Check out our ebook to learn how to build a powerhouse organizational culture.