Most of the business owners and managers I work with genuinely want their employees to be happy at work, to have a high level of satisfaction. Why wouldn’t they? (For one thing, happy employees are always far more productive than unhappy employees!). What many business owners and managers don’t know is how to help their employees to be happy – how to ‘delight’ them. Here are four proven, practical ways to delight your employees.
Employee Satisfaction Tip 1. Get clear on your expectations
‘Knowing what’s expected of them’ consistently ranks highly on employee satisfaction surveys. Employees want to know what their manager wants from them – what they have to do in order for their manager to consider then to be a good performer. One way to delight your employee is to have a focused, ‘adult to adult’ conversation in which you both explore and agree what effective performance looks like for their job. Research also tells us that having clear objectives with effective measures can improve performance by over 30% so if you agree your expectations as performance objectives you can expect not only improved satisfaction from your employees but also improved performance.
Employee Satisfaction Tip 2. Help your employees connect their efforts to the mission and purpose of your business
We know from research that employees want to ‘connect their efforts to the mission and purpose of your business’. In short, I guess, they want an answer to the question – ‘why am I doing this?’ A way to delight your employee is to spend time with them exploring the ‘Why’ of their job – why what they do is so important to the business. A simple approach is to take each of the performance objectives you a have agreed and explore how achievement of that objective contributes to your businesses success (or how failing to meet the objective would have a negative consequence to the business). See Helping Employees to Understand the Bigger Picture for on tips on how to do this.
Employee Satisfaction Tip 3. Give feedback and recognition
I guess you won’t be surprised to know that research shows that ‘appreciation for a job well done’ consistently ranks highly as a motivator in employee surveys. You might be more surprised to know that research also shows that most people don’t feel they get enough praise. Putting aside the fact that it’s likely that some survey participants feel they should be praised for turning up every morning, there are probably ways to delight your employees simply by paying closer attention to their performance so that you can find opportunities to praise them. It’s about bringing some focused attention to catching your employees doing things right.
Employee Satisfaction Tip 4. Show care, interest and concern for your employees
We know that showing a high level of interest and concern for our employee results in higher levels of motivation and performance. One of the most powerful ways to do this is to have a conversation specifically about how to maintain or improve their current level of job satisfaction. After all, who wouldn’t feel motivated by having a boss who cares about our satisfaction at work and who is happy to spend the time talking to us about this subject which is so close to our hearts? Having conversations with your employee specifically about their job satisfaction may feel like just one more thing on your ever expanding ‘to do list’. The benefits, though, of spending some good quality, focused time on this issue can be enormous in terms of both employee motivation and in building your relationship with that employee. And here’s the great part. Even if you and the employee cannot come up with a whole range of actions to maintain or improve their job satisfaction, most employees find that the very fact that their boss is interested in their satisfaction and prepared to spend time discussing this with them is highly motivational in itself. It’s a ‘no lose’ situation My post “4 Steps to Improving Employee Satisfaction” outlines this perfectly.
Employee Satisfaction Summary
‘Delighting employees’ doesn’t have to be about salary, bonuses or fast cars (though I’m not saying these don’t help!) Research tells us again and again that what employees want – what delights them – is to be well managed. What much of ‘well managed’ means is clarity, connection, feedback and interest.
Would you like to learn – in just 10 minutes – some new strategies how to improve employee job satisfaction?
I highly rate this book. Given its ‘in just 10 minutes’ title I was expecting an aide memoire of stuff I already knew; a stripped down framework against which to check, test and reassess my own approach. It was that to an extent, but the concept of an employee satisfaction criteria exercise (and how to go about one in practical terms) in an environment where money or benefits are not increasing, was new to me after nearly 40 years in big management roles! The book was well worth the cash just for that fresh angle.
You can check it out on Amazon (and try a sample) HERE