Job Satisfaction and the $1 Trillion Problem

job satisfactionAccording to an article by Gallup ‘This Fixable Problem Costs US Business $1 Trillion’ U.S. businesses are losing ship-loads of money every year due to voluntary turnover. And, they say, ‘most astounding part is that most of this damage is self-inflicted’

The go on to say that over half of exiting employees (51%) say that in the three months before they left, neither their manager nor any other leader spoke with them about their job satisfaction or future with the organization and that 52% of voluntarily exiting employees say their manager or organization could have done something to prevent them from leaving their job

So, if I’m reading this right, US Businesses (and presumably this applies to UK Businesses) could save themselves a small fortune in the costs of turnover by doing something as simple as having the managers and leaders in the business talk to their employees about job satisfaction and their future. Shocking isn’t it?

So why aren’t managers talking about job satisfaction? Here are my guesses

Reason #1: Not knowing how to talk about job satisfaction

For the majority of my working life I’ve been running workshops and training courses on management skills. Yet I’ve never been asked once to run a workshop on how to talk to employees about job satisfaction (not that that ever stopped me – I’ve been talking to, and writing for, managers about this topic for years). Yet, as the Gallup article illustrates, having the skills and confidence managers need in order to have meaningful conversations about employee job satisfaction is vital to the success of any business

It’s not just about retention either. We know from research (and our own experience) that showing a high level of interest and concern for our employee results in higher levels of motivation and performance

But if managers don’t know how to have these conversations (‘Where do I start?’ ‘What can I ask?’ ‘Is this meant to be part of the appraisal meeting?’) then they just won’t bother

Reason #2: Not knowing how to deal with unworkable ideas

When I talk to managers about employee job satisfaction they often tell me they’re reluctant to open a conversation in case the employee comes up with a list of wants or needs that they, the manager, either can’t meet or don’t want to meet (‘they’ll just ask for more money and there isn’t any’ is a regular comment)

Again this all about skills; the ability of the manager to get clear from the outset the parameters of the conversation so that they can manage the employee’s expectations and then being able to assertively deal with any unworkable ideas that come up in the conversation (you can read more about how to do this HERE)

Reason #3: They are not required to have conversations about job satisfaction

Here’s what I don’t get. We’ve known for years how valuable improved job satisfaction is for our businesses. Yet I’ve never met a manager yet who has had a performance objective, target or standard set related to taking action to discuss satisfaction. Have you?

Enough said?

Would you like to learn – in just 10 minutes – some new strategies how to improve employee job satisfaction?

job satisfactionThen why not take a look at my Kindle book ‘A step-by-step guide to improving your employee’s job satisfaction (without using salary increases, bonuses or any money at all!’

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

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