Employee satisfaction establishes whether or not workers are satisfied and pleased with their work. Employees who feel happy are far less inclined to quit. In addition to being healthier ), happier workers additionally turn out work of greater quality. So, ensuring employee satisfaction is important for all organizations, irrespective of the number of employees. This article explains the meaning of employee satisfaction and what a good employee satisfaction score is. You will also learn 12 ways to improve employee satisfaction in an organization.
Satisfaction in the workplace is crucial for employee productivity, engagement, health, and long-term organizational loyalty. Unfortunately, most organizations in Thailand are not seeing these outcomes. Research shows that 90% of Thai workers are open to new job opportunities, and over 50% are actively looking for a change. How do you improve employee satisfaction in an organization to stem attrition, low productivity, and high costs? To answer this question, let us first understand the meaning of this concept.
What is Employee Satisfaction?
Employee satisfaction is an umbrella term that describes whether or not employees feel happy and fulfilled with what they do. The most important aspect of employee satisfaction is that satisfied workers voluntarily perform their duties and make any contributions that the business requires.
The human resources sector uses the broader term satisfaction to define how contented or satisfied people feel with specific elements such as their daily tasks, their employee experience, and the organizational culture.
Employee satisfaction is a vital metric that can be used to determine the overall health of an organization; therefore, numerous businesses conduct regular surveys to evaluate employee satisfaction and monitor satisfaction indices over time.
Remember that there is no one answer to “what is a good employee satisfaction score.” By measuring it over time, you can notice an upward trend. A high level of satisfaction demonstrates that employees feel satisfied with their employer's treatment of them.
Employee Satisfaction vs. Employee Engagement
Engagement and satisfaction are often used interchangeably. Despite the fact that engagement is one factor that influences satisfaction in general, the two are not equivalent.
Crucial for retention, satisfaction is not inherently a reliable indicator of performance. Engagement, which indicates, among other things, an employee's enthusiasm for their task, is directly correlated with productivity. Ideally, satisfaction results from both tangible and intangible factors, such as benefits and wages, as well as engagement, appreciation, and efficient leadership.
A business must consider each side of the equation. If they only focus on employee satisfaction and disregard employee engagement, they could find themselves with a team of complacent, materially contented individuals who are happy with doing only the bare minimum to sustain their employment.
But focusing on engagement alone is not the answer. It may result in a team of highly engaged workers who perform well even as they look for fresh positions with companies that are more capable of, or willing to meet their material prerequisites.
How to Measure Employee Satisfaction?
You cannot improve what you cannot measure. So, when exploring how to improve employee satisfaction in organizations, the first step is to measure satisfaction. This will also tell you what is a good employee satisfaction score for your company.
There are two major ways to do this – the ESI and the eNPS.
The Employee Satisfaction Index (ESI) assesses the level of employment satisfaction among employees. It can be established by surveying employees with the three queries listed below.
- How content are you with the work environment?
- How effectively does your workplace fulfill your needs?
- How close is the job that you do to your ideal role?
Employees respond to all three inquiries using a 1 to 10 scale. The ESI is then calculated by totaling all employee scores, dividing this total by the highest possible score, and multiplying the result by 100.
The Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) is a further indicator that can help you understand how your staff members feel about your business by measuring their loyalty. On a scale from 0 to 10, how inclined are you to endorse your organization as a preferred employer?
On the basis of their responses, employees can be grouped into three categories – promoters (responded with a 9 or 10), passives (responded with a 7 or 8), and detractors (responded with anything between 0 and 6). To determine your eNPS, you have to subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters.
Now, you are in a pole position to find out what is a good employee satisfaction score and where your company stands on this benchmark.
What is a Good Employee Satisfaction Score?
If you are wondering what is a good employee satisfaction score in terms of ESI, the answer will vary from one company to another. However, most employers consider an ESI of 80-100 to indicate very high satisfaction. 70-79 is taken to indicate high satisfaction, and 60-69 to acceptable satisfaction.
Now that you know what is a good employee satisfaction score, it is also important to remember that an ESI of 50-60 typically indicates low satisfaction, and 0-50 may mean very low satisfaction among the workforce.
Next, let us discuss what is a good employee satisfaction score according to the eNPS method of measurement.
If your eNPS is more than 0, it indicates that you have a greater number of promoters than detractors, which is an acceptable starting point; however, the optimal range differs by industry. Typically, a result between +10 and 30 is considered acceptable, though higher scores are achievable. An outcome of +50 is regarded as outstanding, whereas +80 is deemed world-class.
So, if you are using the eNPS scale to measure and improve satisfaction, this 20 to 50 would be the ‘sweet spot’ to aim for.
Learn More: What You Lose By Not Engaging Your Employees
What Causes Low Satisfaction?
If you are trying to figure out how to improve employee satisfaction, you may have noticed dissatisfied or demotivated employees in the workplace. This often stems from these reasons:
1. Problems with the management
75% of workers leave their jobs not solely due to pay issues, but because of management concerns. If the employee does not feel valued or acknowledged by their immediate supervisor, it can lead to dissatisfaction at work. Think about carrying out a survey or holding a private conversation with employees from various divisions to determine how their managers behave with them.
2. Friction with co-workers
Employees value intimate and pleasant relationships with coworkers. Communication, partnerships, and teamwork are crucial to the success of any organization. Without these factors, individuals may find themselves to be isolated, leading to further disenchantment. In fact, this is one of the key reasons why, when employees were cut off from their teams during the pandemic, it led to the Great Resignation.
3. Insufficient salaries
Workers can become readily demotivated if they suspect they are underpaid. Some might immediately start looking for greener pastures and higher-paying positions elsewhere. Although remuneration isn't always the most obvious reason for quitting a job, some employees do associate their salary with their value to the company. This factor has become all the more important in a climate of high inflation and rising costs of living.
4. Lack of career opportunities
If there's no scope for progression, it's unlikely that anyone will stay on in the same job for over 10 years. This lack of advancement opportunities is among the biggest reasons why employees choose to resign. They look for companies that offer more meaningful professional growth and also contribute to their personal development.
5. The absence of work-life balance
A good deal of a regular employee's day is spent at work, but everyone requires time to focus on or be with their loved ones, pursue interests, or manage other responsibilities. If there is no clear separation between their personal and professional lives, individuals may feel overburdened. In the absence of a proper work-life balance, your employees will experience fatigue and a sense of discontentment.
6. Lack of purpose
Individuals look for inspiring and rewarding jobs. They may rapidly lose focus in a job that they believe isn't really challenging or doesn't contribute significantly. A frequent cause of employment dissatisfaction is tedious work like unending data entry. Ideally, technology should be employed to cut down on these tasks. This leaves more time for doing the things that employees truly value.
12 Ways to Improve Employee Satisfaction
To address the above, employers need to know how to improve employee satisfaction in an organization. Some of the most effective strategies include:
1. Recognizing employees regularly
Employees need to feel recognized and valued. In addition, they'd like to think that their work is both personally satisfying and beneficial to the company's growth and development. When you acknowledge and reward exceptional employee effort, they will become more confident about what they do. These individuals are much, far more inclined to engage in future self-improvement and idea-sharing.
2. Supporting employee health
Health problems and stress at work are two of the most common causes of discontent with one's work. A work environment that promotes healthy habits and staff wellness can help prevent exhaustion, fatigue, and various other ailments. The availability of health and nutritional services and scheduling flexibility can encourage mental and physical well-being along with health benefits.
3. Offering competitive pay
Although money isn't everything, it's a logical starting point when you're focused on how to improve employee satisfaction. It's quite easy for staff members to figure out if they might earn more working for another company. Consequently, ensure that remuneration is competitive – in line with industry standards and the present cost of living. There must be an unambiguous payments and benefits system – with a clause for promotions in place – so that people never have to worry about the next pay raise.
4. Providing benefits that matter
Employee benefits are often ignored or forgotten – when it comes to employee satisfaction and contentment. However, this component of remuneration could have a major effect on worker happiness. When you make investments in your employees' health insurance, retirement packages, or other family-friendly benefits, they feel that you are genuinely concerned about their health and progress. 5. Planning for employee career progression
Some employees seek additional employment opportunities because they are unsure of how to advance their careers inside their current organization. This can be addressed by creating a distinct employment structure and making it transparent and readily accessible for all employees. Focus on having one-on-one conversations with employees about their career objectives and the various standards and criteria for achieving these goals at your organization.
6. Removing inefficiency
As organizations grow, processes need to change to accommodate the expansion. Employees will be upset and will squander time battling through layers of red tape if they cannot adapt to changing conditions. Is it necessary for senior management to physically authorize every single leave? Can technology simplify, automate, or facilitate processes? Consider the biggest time-wasters in your business, such as unnecessary meetings or redundant processes, as these make employees dissatisfied with a company over time.
7. Conducting research
Changes can be made to increase job satisfaction by discovering what employees really want. Use polls and interviews to determine which tools, resources, and perks are most important to workers. This information can then be leveraged by HR teams to develop initiatives and programs that may even surpass expectations. Modern technologies like people analytics help dive deeper into survey data. You not only discover what is a good employee satisfaction score, but you can also locate hidden drivers of satisfaction/dissatisfaction.
8. Demonstrating stability
Employees can be preoccupied by anxieties surrounding the organization's overarching challenges. This can result in uncertain employment, which can induce stress and negatively impact job performance. Employers must ensure that workers are aware of the business's financial stability. During times of economic unpredictability, it is advisable to emphasize the company's continued resilience and endurance – and identify affordable methods to reward employees, such as prizes or additional time off. A robust internal communication plan is also essential.
9. Building relationships and workplace communities
Because employees spend a great deal of time at work, it is vital for them to form connections with their peers and coworkers. You should help nurture genuine relationships by introducing ice-breakers and conversation starters – games and activities at the workplace. Getting out of the workplace for team picnics, coffee sessions, and happy hours also fosters individual engagement.
10. Encouraging feedback
Feedback can be crucial for employee contentment, but managers often lack confidence when traversing this slightly tricky terrain. The absence of feedback leaves individuals uncertain about the value of their work and efforts. Therefore, managers must perfect the art of providing feedback, i.e., ensuring that it's positive, beneficial, authentic, and impartial. The benefits of feedback are tremendous. It can increase trust and employee satisfaction, sustain employee motivation, and minimize turnover.
11. Investing in skill building
Determining if employees wish to acquire new skills or require training is critical to ensure employee satisfaction. When you allow staff members to nurture their talents, you increase their employment satisfaction and productivity. This also indicates that, in addition to your organization's growth, you care about their professional growth.
12. Empowering employees and discouraging micromanagement
Empowered individuals feel more assured, independent, and in charge of what they do. There are still situations where top-down management styles are necessary, but in broad terms, employee empowerment is highly beneficial. It results in increased levels of creativity and promotes creative problem-solving skills. In contrast, micromanagement often breeds discontent and may break down the channels of two-way communication.
Best Practices to Maintain Employee Satisfaction
By now, you have mastered how to improve employee satisfaction in the organization and achieve a good score. The next step is to maintain it, in a sustainable manner, for the long term. This requires:
- A comfortable and functional work environment: Even apparently insignificant factors can have major effects on employee satisfaction. For example, malfunctioning computers and servers can be an ongoing cause of frustration, hindering productivity.
- A culture of transparency: An organizational culture that’s transparent will include the implementation of internal communication tools that offer updates on current positions, possibilities for growth, and other important changes. What’s even better? Asking for employee feedback on potential readjustments.
- A strong mission statement: Employees whose personal beliefs align with the business's purpose and mission are far more likely to be happy with their careers because they recognize that their work is part of, and contributes to a larger, shared set of goals and targets.
- Inclusion of the remote workforce: If you work with a remote or hybrid workforce, bear in mind that all of the previous points also apply to them. You can go above and beyond by organizing routine one-on-one meetings, arranging virtual game evenings, and providing a work from home (WFH) allowance.
- Psychological safety and grievance redressal: Organizations must look at all employees as equals – and this is a top priority. Encourage workers to express any concerns. Additionally, it is essential to acknowledge and address issues raised by workers.
Learn More: 70 Ways to Improve Employee Engagement for HR
Typically, losing an employee costs a business 1.5 times the employee's annual salary. Besides productivity losses, the organization will also need to train and adjust to a new hire’s learning curve. Employees who are satisfied with their jobs are unlikely to quit, which may substantially decrease attrition costs.
A cloud-based HR software suite can give you the tools you need – satisfaction surveys, people analytics, communication platforms, payroll, and benefits management, among other things – to improve employee satisfaction in an organization.
Learn more on how Darwinbox can help improve employee satisfaction and employee engagement levels.