NobelBiz | Blog The importance of employee satisfaction and ways to improve it Published on 28. July, 2022 ‘Choose a job you love and you never have to work a single day in your life. ‘ Even if the words of the Chinese philosopher Confucius might not be entirely accurate, the idea still stands, the studies showing that there is an increase of 13 % in productivity for fulfilled workers. Employee satisfaction reflects the employee’s appreciation of the company, what makes them feel comfortable within their structure and the level of development in their current position. To put it simply, it is how happy employees are with their jobs. Even as long ago as in the 1930, psychologists recognized that employee satisfaction was beneficial for both business and workers. Maslow’s Pyramid of needs mentioned 5 basic needs that must be met for each of us to feel fulfilled: physiological needs (food, water, shelter), security, love and belonging, esteem, self-fulfillment. If we want to transition this into the world of work, they can reflect different values and needs that are imperative to satisfy for an employee to feel good in the long run: • Remuneration: This includes the employee’s salary, along with any other financial compensation like benefits, shares etc. Employees must be paid at the level of the tasks they perform, and this is essential for ensuring a decent level and feeling respected at their position. The salaries and benefits should be competitive and make employees feel valued. • Working environment: a balanced environment should be clean and comfortable, free of stress, discrimination, and harassment. • Security: the employees need to be reassured that their jobs are secure, it’s impossible to feel good at your work if you feel you’re at risk of losing your position. Workers need to be able to count on the reliability of their employer. • Search for meaning: the need of the employee to have missions that are valued in the overall achievement of the company’s goals and objectives. Each team member should feel that their personal efforts supports the overall mission of the company and feel fully invested in the activities they undertake and transform their professional experiences. • Search for recognition: when an employee feels like he is able to contribute to the building while remaining true to their personality, in particular through the company’s management system. A relationship of trust with their colleagues and managers is crucial for this basic need of belonging and recognition in the workplace. • Career advancement: another factor that directly impacts employee happiness is the opportunity to take more responsibility by training and earning more. • Work/life balance: the impact of work-life balance upon employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention has been a well-debated topic during the pandemic. Employees who feel they have ownership over their work-life balance are more inclined to work at the same job for at least five years. In other words, employee satisfaction is not only about position or working conditions but also about the employee’s broader adherence to the company’s culture and its general objectives and goals. The importance of employee satisfaction People spend up to one-third of their life working, and job satisfaction can affect important organization and personal outcomes. For most people, there is supported evidence that job satisfaction determines a strong positive correlation with life’s overall satisfaction. There are also clear links between mental health and job satisfaction, in terms of burnout and depression. As for the company, the satisfaction of an employee increases his performance, with a direct impact to the productivity of the company. Having a majority of employees happy at their workplace increases the attractiveness of the brand and the reputation of the company, making it easier to retain employees or attract new talent. Therefore, increasing employee satisfaction is not only improving the well-being of the employees but is actually a growth lever for the company. Continuous learning, training, upskilling and reskilling are crucial for the agents, especially in contact centers. Employees must do regular training that is relevant to them and targeted survey questions will show gaps in skills, training, or knowledge. Ways to improve employee satisfaction If you have seen a drop in motivation and productivity among some of your employees or if you are having trouble finding solutions to increase this yield, here are some tips that will increase your employees’ satisfaction at work. • Engage your employees – there are hundreds of ways to engage your employees while giving them the chance to develop new skills. If there is a new big project coming up, offer them the possibility to collaborate on this project. They need to feel good about the company but also useful. • Provide training – as we mentioned before, self-realization is one of the biggest needs in Maslow’s pyramid and some employees are strongly driven by a thirst to develop and learn. By doing so, they get a chance to deepen the knowledge and specialize in something they like. • Provide feedback – when well presented, feedback is a form of recognition. A bilateral and constructive discussion is necessary in giving positive feedback to discover the issues an employee faces or the positive aspects he had upon a project. • Small gestures go a long way – ensure the well-being of your teams by offering evidence of gratitude, from active listening to a simple smile. Also, don’t neglect the financial and physical health of your employees, provide peace of mind by offering them insurance plan, medical and salary insurance benefits or a pension plan. • Communication is key – encourage open communication that stimulates a collaborating atmosphere. You can do this with various tools that facilitate exchange like: instant messaging (chat), internal newsletters, team and project management software etc. • Promote team spirit & corporate culture – to ensure good team synergy, it’s important to have the proper tools and communication to avoid teamwork conflict and friction. • Reinforce your values – your company’s values, vision and values of the people are a central element for all the other aspects. It’s a way to communicate who you are and what you expect from your employees and make it easier for them to behave in the best possible way. • Be consistent – employees can feel good about the company only when they know what to expect. Organizational consistency is the key to organizational motivation, so make sure your employees know that. How to measure employee satisfaction Improving employee satisfaction is a good way to start, but it’s not everything. Taking the necessary steps to assess employee satisfaction is needed to know if the methods implemented are working or not. Before seeking to improve employee satisfaction, it’s necessary to be able to evaluate it. There are many possibilities in which you can do this but the best way is to combine methods and tools to get the most accurate insights. Here are some ideas: • One-on-one interviews: give each member of your team a chance to express how they feel, if they encounter difficulties or challenges • Suggestion box: a suggestion box allows everyone to express their thoughts and ideas, since not all employee feel comfortable expressing their concerns openly. • Employee feedback and evaluation: To measure employee’s satisfaction, there are two types of feedback systems. Directional feedback System, which involves a continual conversation about what the employee would like to change or improve, or their motivation. The other type of feedback is called token system, which a person receives a token, which means for example, your boss just wants to know how you are going, not your individual performance. By regularly asking your employees to give their opinion and evaluate the company, you will get more insights into their level of satisfaction and use them to grow your business. • Employee satisfaction surveys: a method of collecting and analyzing information based on questions with multiple-choice answers. It offers a global overview of employee satisfaction and allows the transmission of mainly quantitative data with results interpreted quickly and efficiently. The questions can be customized to whatever is pertinent to your business but generally, they will fall under these 3 categories: relationship with management, company culture, the job itself. Assessing employee satisfaction on a periodic basis is the fastest and most appropriate way to measure your employees’ satisfaction levels. It’s also a great way to discover what are the most common employee complaints. The best companies conduct both employee survey and employee feedback regularly and use them as a part of their core management system. • Behavioral survey: This is the recent method of measuring employee satisfaction. This method analyses employee’s behaviors, attitude, stress levels and absenteeism. They do this by observing employee’s interactions, office culture, dress code, employee attendance and greeting, general office environment and office atmosphere. Employees’ behavior is measured by observing the reactions of the employees to certain stimuli, they pay attention to pulse rate, heart rate and pulse variability. The results of the survey are based on two types of measures: score or correlation index and attitude index. Employee satisfaction vs Engagement in Contact Centers In a contact center, every interaction is important and the key to success lies in qualified representatives. Customers expect efficient and fast service, and they depend on your agents to deliver solutions to their main concerns. Even the smallest mistakes, delays, or oversights can have a negative impact on your bottom line and affect the agent-customer interaction. Besides training and coaching, your agents need the proper tools and information and the right time. Focusing on employee satisfaction in the industry with the highest turnover can drastically improve the management of people resources and reduce churn. Colin comes with an interesting example, tune in to find out more! Employee Satisfaction and a 360 view on Contact Centers, with Colin Taylor https://nobelbiz.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/featured-main-Furniss_00170.jpg There’s been a shift going on in the world of contact centers, putting behind the times of simple and quick phone calls, with a new era of ‘self-service’ peaking on the horizon. This change has left call centers dealing with more difficult and complex tasks. The interaction between agent and customer had minimized, with more options for the clients to explore and visit and choose from. Contact centers are using a mix of self-service and agent-assisted options, but the agents are left with calls that are too demanding or difficult, the majority being solved by self-service assistance. Conclusion High employee engagement manifests as increased effort, working towards the organization’s vision and goals. In a contact center, there are many things that can contribute to employee engagement, from or-ganization level, all the way to employee management. Because they act as the frontline to your customers, the agents are becoming brand ambassadors, there-fore, employee engagement in contact centers is critical. Studies show that engaged agents positively impact the customer experience and the bottom line, as they will go the extra mile to help customers.