Unhappy employees can bring the entire workplace down. Drops in productivity and an increase in absenteeism are two common signs that employees are stressed out and fed up with their jobs. If things around the office are moving slower than normal and it seems everyone is coming down with a mysterious stomach bug to get out of work, it may be time to reassess your game plan and take steps to increase the job satisfaction of your employees.
Offer Employee Satisfaction Surveys
Give your employees the opportunity to express their wants and needs by offering an employee satisfaction survey. Not only will the survey results key you into specific things employees like and dislike, it will show your employees that you value their concerns and opinions. After all, everyone likes to have their say in things. Ask a series of questions and give them the ability to answer anonymously. This way they'll answer honestly and you can assess the strengths and weaknesses in your management plan. You don't have to give in and accommodate all of the desires of your staff, but addressing even a few of their concerns can go a long way toward increasing their job satisfaction.
Give Employees More Control
Employees who have the ability to control various aspects of their work environment are more likely to enjoy their jobs and less likely to dread going to work every day. Offering something as simple as the ability to customize their work stations with their own decor can dramatically improve employee happiness. If your work is office-based, let them choose their chairs to maximize their comfort or they can decorate their desks to reflect their unique personalities. Depending on the nature of your company, consider offering employees the ability to work from home occasionally or offer more flexible scheduling so they have more say in when they work.
Create an Ideal Work Environment
A poorly lit workplace filled with technology is sure to leave employees feeling down in the dumps. Make your office functional and provide your staff with the basic necessities they need not only do their jobs, but to work as easily as possible. Make the office a place you would enjoy working and give them the tools you would want to have if you were in their positions. This not only boosts satisfaction, but increases productivity and keeps your office running smoothly.
Be Easy to Get Along With
While you need to retain control and be an authority figure to keep your company in order, you don't need to be the boss everyone dreads seeing in the morning. Show your employees you care by acknowledging them daily, even if it's just to say "good morning." Be understanding of unexpected events in their lives, such as sick children or the loss of a loved one. Speak to them with respect, even when disciplining them, and don't patronize them or belittle them when they make mistakes. You don't have to be your employees' best friend, but if they like you, they will like working for you.
Jobs with no potential for benefits, such as paid vacation, retirement or health insurance, typically feel like dead-end jobs. Employees don't want to devote their lives to a company that isn't going to reward them in the end. Offering benefits incentives after a certain period of employment, such as six months or one year, encourages staff to stick around for the long haul and gives them a reason to stay with you. Offering periodic raises will have the same effect, and in the long run it will save you money by reducing your turnover rate. You can also offer award incentives such as "employee of the month." In doing so, you thank your employees every month by showing your appreciation and they will try their hardest to earn the distinction.