Employee satisfaction is a big deal in today's corporate world. Studies have shown there's a direct correlation between employee satisfaction and productivity and companies are starting to understand the ROI they can receive when they start working to improve it. When it's lacking, it can be detrimental; Gallup-Healthways estimates that because of employee unhappiness, over $300 billion is lost a year in productivity. But why is it so important? How does employee satisfaction drive productivity?
Here are four reasons why they’re important.
1. Employees Work Harder
Satisfied employees work harder. When an employee is happy with what they do, they take pride in their job and strive to do it well. They enjoy it and don't mind spending time and putting forth extra effort. Workers that have a high level of employee satisfaction are those that go above and beyond the expectations. They excel, they solve problems and they’re creative and innovated. They drive your company's productivity because they're happy to do so.
Employees that are dissatisfied with their work do just the opposite. They barely get by and simply go through the motions instead of trying to do a good job. They're not concerned about quality of work or customer service. They show up late, they call off and sometimes they just don't care.
2. Customer Satisfaction
When employee satisfaction increases, so does customer satisfaction, and that's the ultimate goal for many companies. If your customers are happy, they'll continue to buy your product or service. It's a direct line for improvement. Increased employee satisfaction leads to increased productivity. Increased productivity leads to an increase in customer satisfaction. Increased customer satisfaction leads to greater profit margins and greater profit margins lead to an increase in a company's financial success.
3. Gives Work Meaning
Nobody wants to hate their job or feel like they’re wasting time. People want to see their work as meaningful and a way to make a difference. This is one of the top signalers of employee satisfaction. If people feel their job has meaning, they tend to have greater joy in what they do. Feeling like you have a purpose at work has shown to be more likely to increase employee satisfaction than a raise or bonus. It makes someone feel good not only as an employee, but as a person as well.
4. Taking More Initiative
When workers have a high level of employee satisfaction, they’re more likely to take initiative at work. They'll volunteer for projects; they're more social and go out of their way to do a good job. All of these reinforce their engagement and, therefore, increase their satisfaction. Most importantly, those employees that take initiative are also more likely to step forward to make changes in the office that help to keep them engaged. If they start struggling in an area or find they are dissatisfied with something, they are more likely to seek a solution or assistance from a supervisor. The unhappy worker, on the other hand, will simply let it be another burden of the job and never seek a way to fix it.
ROWE Proves It
Results only work environments (ROWE for short) are a new philosophy hitting the corporate world. Instead of focusing on the hours an employee works, ROWE focuses on what the employee gets accomplished. Implementations of ROWE have shown great success in both employee satisfaction and productivity. Best Buy experimented with ROWE and demonstrated its effectiveness. They increased productivity by 35 percent, employee satisfaction went up and turnover rates dropped significantly. Their employees were happier, healthier and more engaged. One of the main reasons for this is that they were rewarded not for time spent, but for work done. It gives employees a sense of accomplishment and approval and lets them know their work has been recognized
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