In a recent nationwide job seeker study, data shows that “job seekers are not as happy as they used to be.” This year, more than half of job seekers are satisfied at work (64 percent) – but 82 percent of them are open to new job opportunities.
In contrast, in 2016, 74 percent were satisfied and 74 percent were open to opportunities. Employee satisfaction and retention are crucial factors in the success of your company, yet both metrics have fallen. What’s an employer to do?
Here are four ways to improve employee satisfaction and retention:
1. Positive Working Environment
One of the most sustainable and competitive advantages an organization can have is a good company culture. Providing an appealing environment will attract the right employees and can also be the key to making them stay. Want to learn more about hiring for a strong culture? Download our free eBook.
Promote employee relationships through team building exercises, cross-team collaboration and fun events outside of work. The Entrepreneur states that “78 percent of people who work 30 to 50 hours a week spend more time with coworkers than with their families,” so taking the time to plan internal relationship building is worthwhile and makes for happier employees. Boost employee engagement by celebrating accomplishments. Things as little as celebrating birthdays, holidays and community service outside of the office make a big difference.
2. Growth Opportunities
It is important to let your employees know that you are invested in their career. Offer in-house training and e-learning as well as out-of-the-office seminars and certification programs to help employees build their skillsets. Doing so will empower your employees to grow professionally and keep them inspired to do their best at work. It is also important to offer growth within the company. An employee is more likely to stay at a company where they can grow and evolve in their position rather than stay stagnant, doing the same tasks year after year.
3. Competitive Wages and Benefits
A common reason for employee dissatisfaction at their jobs is a lack of raises and promotions. Do what you can to make your wages competitive. You may think that it isn’t in your company’s budget to give employees a raise, but weighing a small raise against the cost of replacing an employee might change your mind. Turnover can cost more than you think. The cost of hiring, onboarding and training can really add up. Some studies estimate that every time a business replaces a salaried employee, it can cost the company an average of six to nine months of their salary to replace them. In addition to payment, another way to increase employee satisfaction is to offer a competitive benefits package, 401K match and adequate vacation and sick time. You don’t want these things to be the reason good employees are leaving your organization.
4. Flexible Working Conditions
If employees are hitting all of their deadlines, allow them to take charge of their time. If they work late hours when the workload is heavy, allow them to leave early or come in a bit later from time to time to keep a balance. It will help your employees avoid burn-out, and often as a result, employees work harder to accomplish their goals when they are refreshed. If job duties can be done from home, be accommodating when the weather is bad and road conditions may affect commute times, or when a child is home sick from school. Allowing employees to flex their hours when appropriate is an impactful way of showing you trust their work ethic.
Keep these things in mind when assessing your employee satisfaction plan. Survey your employees frequently to ask for feedback so you can learn what areas you need to improve on to keep them happy. When morale is up, employees are more productive and less likely to browse for jobs elsewhere. By keeping employee satisfaction top of mind, you will be more likely to increase employee retention, keeping production high and saving your company money in the long run.