Three tell-tale signs of employee satisfaction
Googling "are my employees satisfied" kind of sounds like googling "how to know if my partner is cheating on me".
While the internet can’t predict the nuances of infidelity, an online search can lead you to useful information about employee satisfaction. And if it turns out that your employees aren’t satisfied, offer solutions like this blog post, for example!
In this article, we’ll explore the issue of employee satisfaction to learn why employee satisfaction is important and what you can do if your employees aren’t happy. But first...
What is employee satisfaction?
While employee engagement, happiness and satisfaction are all closely linked (and used interchangeably) they are not strictly the same thing.
- Employee engagement = employees are genuinely interested in the company, emotionally invested and highly motivated.
- Employee satisfaction = employees are generally content and have positive feelings towards their employer and their role but may not be overly ambitious.
Whereas happiness can be fleeting and doesn't necessarily reflect an employee's overall experience in a particular workplace.
Why does employee satisfaction matter?
Did anybody else grow up with parents who acted like it was normal to hate your job? Or even said that you’re supposed to hate going to work. Why? Because going to work is something you do to survive, not something to do for fun.
If you grew up hearing this narrative, you’re absolutely not alone. But was that generation onto something? Or can we hope to break the mould? Studies show that now more than ever, people care about the intersection of wellbeing and employment.
The new generation of employees (Gen Z especially) are unwilling to sacrifice their mental and physical health in favour of their employer’s bottom line, and rightly so.
In fact, it really shouldn’t be a new or revolutionary concept to say that people are more than corporate drones or that they deserve to be treated as human beings who matter.
So, if we’re asking why employee satisfaction matters, that’s probably the first and most important point: employee satisfaction matters because your workers are people with hopes, dreams, and feelings who shouldn't have to sell their souls to survive.
The second is that satisfied employees are more likely to feel happier at work and crucially, more engaged. And the more engaged they are, the more likely they are to stick around. And in today's job market, retention is something no business can afford to take for granted.
So let's take a look at the tell-tale signs that indicate that employee satisfaction is high in your workplace.
Positive signs of employee satisfaction
1. Productivity is high
Did you ever have a moment in school where you had to slog through a task you hated? (Honestly, is there one single person who could say no to that?) Doing something you hate so you can move on to something fun has been part of our lives since we were in primary school.
But knowing that you have to get through something rarely inspires you to do your best. In fact, you’re more likely to find yourself slowing down because you’re miserable and inwardly complaining the whole time.
And the same is true for school as a kid or employment as an adult. Nobody likes to spend their days doing something that makes them miserable. But if we spend every day doing work we hate, we’re unlikely to excel in that position or to bring our A-game to the table.
By contrast, of course, if you feel satisfied in your career, you may be more motivated to do your best, achieve your goals, and take on additional responsibility.
Speaking of productivity, when you share equity with the team you unlock what we call the Ownership Effect - and that can boost productivity too. Book a free consultation today to discover how a company share scheme could inspire your team.
2. A positive culture
And a comfortable environment!
Happy employees aren’t necessarily those who are swinging from the rafters, eating ice cream all day, and getting nothing done. Although some founders envision that when they think about a 'fun office,’ that’s not quite the reality.
In fact, studies show that employees value a healthy and positive work environment far more than things like ‘Taco Tuesday’ or ‘Casual Friday’, aka quirky office perks.
These incentives might temporarily distract from the reality that you’re going to work but they can only help so much if you have to keep working in a toxic environment for someone who doesn’t value you.
So, don’t be fooled by the myth that today’s generation wants a ‘fun office.’ Rather than prioritising gimmicks and incentives that are a band-aid fix at best, the new generation of employees want things that are actually very reasonable.
Instead of ‘Casual Friday,’ they want a competitive salary, a founder and a leadership team who offers constructive criticism, praise, and makes them feel heard, and a company that provides them with the support and resources they need to succeed.
And consider long-term incentives like an employee share scheme to get your team emotionally (and literally) invested in the business. Book a free consultation today to find out more.
If your company is nurturing a positive workplace culture, employee satisfaction will naturally be higher.
3. Employees encourage each other
Think about a day when you felt really stressed. Were you at your most productive, most focused? Did you feel capable of bringing your best? Most people would answer that question with a resounding ‘No!’ for good reason.
It’s no secret that stress brings us down, and sometimes, if we’re under really significant levels of stress, it can bring other people down too.
So, if your employees are slogging through a toxic environment where they don’t feel valued or appreciated, they’re likely to feel stressed and dissatisfied - and that sentiment can spread to everyone.
But by contrast, when your employees feel motivated and empowered, their positivity will be infectious. Instead of bringing each other down, they can raise each other up because they all genuinely feel supported and valued in their careers.
This, in turn, will improve the productivity and positivity of your overall company culture! A win-win, right? One way to encourage this camaraderie is to align teams behind a common goal.
If an employee has shares in a business, it’s in their interest to ensure that it's a success, so that later, everybody wins. Download our free business case for launching a share scheme to understand how employee share schemes align teams.
Hopefully, you now have a better idea of what employee satisfaction looks like, the tell-tale signs and why it matters.
But there are other ways to measure how great the employee experience is at your company. Check out our blog on how to measure employee engagement.