Generally speaking, I have always been satisfied with my career. That said, there have been a few periods when I thought the grass would be greener with another company. Throughout my career, there have been ups and downs and, on occasion, periods where things leveled off and got boring.
I have been exposed to great technologies and had many opportunities to work with some of the best people in the information technology industry …and, like I said, I have always been satisfied with my career. I can appreciate the emphasis an employee places on job satisfaction.
The level of satisfaction demonstrated by employees is one real measure of how successful a company is. In a climate of stiff competition for good people, a company needs to establish itself as a good place to work. Working conditions should reflect that the company honestly cares about people.
Satisfied employees are more productive, suffer lower levels of stress, are more willing to put in the extra time when necessary, and believe their careers will grow. The people that make up a company need to know that they share a common vision and share values with their company.
They need to know they are a part of the bigger picture.
Are you building a satisfied workforce?
Employees who are frequently communicated with demonstrate high levels of trust with their managers and with their company.
- Communicate frequently – In large groups, small groups, and one-on-one with your employees.
- Share the positive – Employees appreciate hearing the positive feedback their efforts generate. Those who hear positive feedback will be more productive and exhibit higher levels of satisfaction.
- Involve employees – Make employees a part of those important decisions. Seek feedback from your employees on important initiatives and decisions and utilize that feedback in coming to your direction.
- Coach employees – Try taking the manager hat off and putting on a coach hat. Coach your employees on how they can make their careers better.
Listening is a communications skill but deserves it’s own section… Active listening is one of the most important skills any manager could have.
- Make yourself available to your employees.
- Initiate conversations with them.
- Understand their challenges.
- Understand why satisfied employees are satisfied and why unsatisfied employees are unsatisfied.
- Seek to understand how your employees see you… ask your employees to rate your performance and listen to the feedback.
A company’s investment in its employee’s professional development usually translates into high employee satisfaction.
- Become familiar with your employee’s ’styles’ of learning.
- Allow employees to have a say in the direction of their professional development.
- Discuss training alternatives and communicate training initiatives and expected results clearly.
- Make training specific to their job duties available to them, if necessary, but also allow employees to seek training outside of their current duties as well.
- Create, review, and keep up to date training plans for each employee.
Conduct Exit Interviews
If you don’t know why an employee decided to leave, how can you possibly know what to focus on improving? Conduct an in-person interview of those employees who decided to pursue and accept opportunities elsewhere.
Carry this idea one step further by expanding communications effort with existing employees… conduct interviews with existing employees focused on those things about your company that make them want to remain.
Furthermore, seek to understand what it is that makes your employees stay at your organization.
Invest in your Employees
In addition to training and development efforts for your employee, employment benefits such as matched savings, performance bonuses and/or profit sharing, health and life insurances, and other benefits that will contribute to an employee’s, and his/her family’s, well-being have proven to attract and retain employees.
The bottom line?
So, what’s the bottom line? You can solve the puzzles.
- Create a relationship with your employees and actively listen to them.
- Coach employees to take their ownership of their careers.
- Clearly communicate expectations, successes, AND failures.
- Embrace not only your employee’s ideas but also the means with which they wish to execute those ideas.
- Invest in your employees… not just for today but for the future.
Your employees will form a stronger connection to you, their company, and their careers. Employees will feel like a part of the bigger picture and less like a number. Listen and learn from your employees… they are, after all, one of the best measures of the health of your company.