As a fairly young adult, I haven’t been working for too many years, but I’ve already seen many different strategies designed to improve employee satisfaction.
One of the first things I realized was that every boss takes a different approach to improving employee satisfaction. This is particularly interesting to see when you have two co-owners or managers governing the same team. In the best scenarios, these two bosses will play to each other’s strengths, drastically improving employee satisfaction.
You probably have some idea what factors can increase—or decrease—employee satisfaction. After all, you know why you enjoy the work you do, why you’ve enjoyed it enough to build an entire business on it. Besides, at some point you were probably an employee too, and you know what made you happy.
Still, knowing what makes you happy in the workplace doesn’t give you all the answers when it comes to employee satisfaction.
Here are a few things I’ve learned about employee satisfaction through my personal experiences in the workplace:
Employee satisfaction can be improved in a wide variety of jobs. Every job I’ve ever had came with its own unique advantages. I had one job where the main allure was simply getting paid to work for people I actually liked. Another job’s main benefit was a 24-hour office, allowing me to work all the hours I needed to.
Right now I have two different jobs, and the biggest advantages of both are pretty much the same: I get to work from home, and I get to work doing something I love. My bosses don’t have to work that hard to keep me interested, because I’ve managed to find a job I simply enjoy doing.
Take a moment to list the reasons why an employee might enjoy working for your company and what benefits your business offers. Often you’ll find that there are small ways you can make the jobs your employees are doing more interesting.
Still, there’s more to employee satisfaction than giving your employees interesting work. At one point, being interested in the work was enough to keep me around for a while. That and a little bit of money were all I needed.
Eventually I grew bored of those jobs, and soon enough I realized I needed to be doing something I truly enjoyed. But working in my chosen field wasn’t enough.
If you want to increase employee satisfaction in your company, you can always find a way to do so. You can get to know your employees and find out what they want, offer more hours, change the work environment to make it friendlier, and truly master your own communication skills so your employees actually enjoy working both for and with you.
It’s also really important to show how much you appreciate your employees. One of the best jobs I’ve had—the one job outside my field I would actually seriously consider taking back if my chosen career doesn’t work out—was great because the bosses had really figured out how to make employees feel appreciated.
There were two big ways they showed this appreciation: with a specific, clearly outlined bonus system for top performers, and by throwing a party for their employees which involved a combination of team building games and great food.
These concrete rewards really made me and other employees feel appreciated, and as a result we loved our jobs.
If you think hard about your own early work life, you’ll probably find dozens of small lessons in the way your bosses acted. These lessons can teach you how to increase employee satisfaction, improve efficiency and take your business to the next level of success.
Reflecting on how old bosses kept you satisfied at work—or managed to lose your interest—is one of the best ways to learn how to keep your own employees satisfied.
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