Six strategies for increased job satisfaction

by Miles Burke

Increasing job satisfaction makes great business sense. You end up with engaged employees and a better business.

Recent workplace studies that have shown that encouraging management to focus on strategies that increase job satisfaction creates a more productive workforce and higher rates of business success.

By focusing on increasing job satisfaction, your organisation can:

  • Lower employee turnover
  • Create brand ambassadors
  • Improve company productivity
  • Increase bottom line profits
  • Reduce recruitment costs

So how do you go about increasing job satisfaction?

Every organisation is different. What works with one team may not work as well with others. But there are a number of similar activities that work.

1. Ask employees about their personal motivations

Ask your team what they want. This can be as simple as team meetings where everyone openly discusses the issues they face in their roles, and looking for creative ways of easing them.

Using an employee survey system can highlight areas of concern, as well as employees who could do with additional mentoring.

2. Reduce micro-management

Nobody likes having a manager constantly peering over their shoulder. Reduced micro-management will make employees feel trusted. They will reward this trust.

By removing micro-management, a task goes from being something that they are expected to do to being something that is their responsibility.

3. Improve the work environment

Improving small things can have a huge impact on the satisfaction of your team. This doesn’t necessarily mean spending big on new equipment or office fit-outs. A new coffee machine or kitchen equipment or comfortable, ergonomic seating for employees makes a difference. Run a survey on what employees would like in their work areas.

4. Improve communication across all levels

Improving communication in the organisation, from leaders to workers and – importantly – workers to leaders, is credited with increasing job satisfaction in many organisations.

Staff should be allowed to be critical and to feel they can raise concerns in a non-threatening environment. If employees are afraid to speak out, they are unlikely to put much effort into the job and will probably want to leave as soon as possible.

5. Create an employee recognition program

An employee recognition program doesn’t mean sticking their name on a plaque in the reception area once a quarter. It could be as simple as managers making an effort to thank people individually.

6. Reduce time stress

Tight deadlines have been shown to be major sources of stress for many employees. Organisations can look for ways to ease this stress by scheduling projects and work further in advance, or freeing up time by having fewer meetings.

Encourage employees to keep a journal for a few weeks, and then ask them to highlight times they felt they didn’t need to spend energy on these tasks. Reducing these tasks through the use of better delegation can free up many employees for more relevant work.

‘True motivation comes from achievement, personal development, job satisfaction, and recognition’ – Frederick Herzberg

Armed with these six strategies, management can focus on improving employee satisfaction to the benefit of everyone. 

A longer version of this article originally appeared at 6q.