Employee satisfaction – A quick guide

Employee satisfaction measures how ‘happy’ an employee is with the organisation they work for. But what exactly is employee satisfaction? Why is it important? And what are the key drivers of employee satisfaction?

What is employee satisfaction?

Employee satisfaction describes how happy – or ‘satisfied’ – a person is in their workplace. It combines not just the employee’s enjoyment in their role, but also their employee experience and the organisational culture – and can be driven by several factors including salary and benefits, recognition, development and leadership.

It’s worth noting that employee satisfaction is not the same as employee engagement.

Satisfaction reflects how content the employee is with their employer, but doesn’t necessarily tie in directly with performance. Employee engagement, on the other hand, combines the measurement of satisfaction and performance to show how interested and fulfilled the employee is in their work.

Why is employee satisfaction important?

Employee satisfaction is a key measurement for organisations looking to build a great culture and an engaged workforce. When you have satisfied employees, you have a team that thrives.

Employees who are more satisfied are less likely to leave, produce better customer satisfaction rates, and have a more positive impact on the bottom line.

What are the key drivers of employee satisfaction?

There are several key drivers of employee satisfaction that organisations can use to improve employee satisfaction:

  1.  Job role: ensuring the work they do has meaningful impact.
  2. Work-life balance: improving health and wellbeing for your employees, reducing stress and burn out.
  3. Employee benefits: including salary, holiday allowances and addition compensation perks.
  4. Recognition: openly rewarding a job well done, and celebrating the moments that matter to your employees.
  5. Community and culture: creating a working environment where employees feel they are heard, valued and supported.
  6. Working conditions: a pleasant working environment with the technology and equipment they need, as well as the hours required to do the job effectively.
  7. Learning and development: offering employees the chance to upskill and grow.
  8. Career pathways: providing employees with clear routes to more senior positions.

What are the benefits of having satisfied employees?

Organisations with a high number of satisfied employees generally have a lower employee turnover and reduced HR recruitment costs. They have lower absence and higher productivity rates, and are more likely to innovate and create a loyal customer base.

What happens when employee satisfaction is low?

When employee satisfaction is low, organisations are likely to see a decrease in performance and morale. This can lead to a negative culture, where employees do the bare minimum required. Signs of stress and burnout become more common, and the customer experience is negatively impacted.

How can you measure employee satisfaction?

The best way to measure employee satisfaction is to engage in regular employee surveys alongside key metrics such as turnover and absence rates. This gives your organisation data-driven insights and helps you identify risks within the business.
Pulse surveys are a great way of gaining employee feedback and are increasingly popular. WorkBuzz’s State of Employee Engagement Report 2022 highlighted that 48% of employers are now asking employees about their feelings and needs at least once every quarter – an increase on the 21% doing so four years earlier.
These surveys give employees a channel through which they can express their ideas, concerns and perspectives, and helps leaders to identify what is (or isn’t) working, respond to areas of dissatisfaction, and nurture a healthy culture.
The WorkBuzz platform can help analyse and improve your employee satisfaction levels through real-time, confidential feedback from your teams.

Related content:

[RESEARCH] The State of Employee Engagement 2022

[eBook] Your first 90 days as an HR leader

[ARTICLE] 5 ways to improve health and wellbeing in your workplace

[ARTICLE] Improve workplace culture with regular employee listening

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