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How to Improve Employee Satisfaction

Wednesday September 14, 2022

What is employee satisfaction?


The phrase “employee satisfaction” is often used to broadly describe employees’ happiness with their job, employee experience, and the company they work for. This is a metric that a variety of different values can measure, but organizations use it to determine the health of their team and create projections for employee retention. The higher the employee satisfaction rating, the more confidence a company has in how happy its team is. Satisfaction can be measured at different levels, either by the whole company or individual teams.


Employee Satisfaction vs. Employee Engagement


Is there a difference between employee satisfaction and employee engagement? These terms are often used interchangeably, though they do measure different things. For instance, an employee can be satisfied but not engaged, and vice versa. Employee satisfaction measures purely the happiness and contentment of an employee. Employee engagement measures more than just happiness, things like working toward company goals and supporting the team.


Why is employee satisfaction important?


While satisfaction and engagement metrics point to different outcomes, high employee satisfaction is likely to lead to high employee engagement. If someone is not satisfied with their role or the organization they work for, they most likely will not care as deeply as someone who feels more content.


Low employee satisfaction is a warning sign for attrition. People who do not feel happy in their job are likely to start looking for new opportunities where they feel they can achieve a higher sense of satisfaction. Additionally, unhappy team members will not produce as great of results as a happy team because they are less likely to be committed to the goals of the team and their responsibilities.


What is the key to employee satisfaction?


Growth: While the goal of employee satisfaction is to ensure your team members are happy at the current moment, this includes having a clear path for growth and future success. Knowing what comes next in your career is a huge motivator for doing the work you do today. If there is not a path for career growth outlined for employees, the work they’re doing now will feel like it’s not really worth it. Having something to look forward to and work toward is a big factor in employee satisfaction.


Feedback: It’s important for your team to understand what success looks like in their role and how exactly it’s measured. Additionally, providing detailed and thorough feedback is important to communicate progress. Consider 360-degree feedback, where peers provide feedback in addition to the manager and the employee reviews their own progress. This builds confidence and teamwork while the employee is shown how they’re tracking to progress toward their goals.


Who’s on the team: The saying “people don’t leave jobs, they leave people” is definitely true, and something many of us have probably experienced in our careers. Often, happy employees cite the team they work with as one of the biggest perks to their job. Hiring for a strong culture fit will help build a team that supports each other, gets along, and enjoys working alongside each other. One way to do this is to include team members who will be working directly with the candidate in job interviews. Getting feedback from the team instead of just the hiring manager will help guide the hiring process on both sides – by giving the candidate a look at what the team is like and vice versa.


Skill sets: It’s important to have the right team for the job, including how the team interacts as well as the skills they each possess. Skills are easier taught than fitting into the culture, but it is important to consider each team member’s strengths to create a team where everyone can thrive. When someone is able to utilize their skills and feel appreciated for doing so, they will feel supported by their team in a positive environment.


Ways to Improve Employee Satisfaction


According to the Harvard Business Review, employees stay with a company until something causes them to leave – or, intertia. Factors that affect this include both internal and external forces. Within the company itself, job satisfaction and company environment affect an employees’ decision to stay or leave a company. The graph below from HBR shows the relationship between job satisfaction and environmental factors.




Other ways the Harvard Business Review recommends improving employee satisfaction include:

  • Creating collective purpose: It’s important the team feels a sense of purpose in their work, and focusing on this as a collective team instead of individual happiness levels will increase connection and satisfaction. Feeling a deeper sense of purpose will create more engagement and thus happiness.
  • Turn engagement into ownership: Give your team a chance to contribute meaningfully to the work they’re doing. Allow ownership over the input and outcome of each project so everyone can work to their fullest potential. Involve your team in decision-making processes that affect them, listen to feedback, and provide platforms for everyone to succeed.


How can Teamraderie help improve employee satisfaction?


At Teamraderie, our experiences are built to equip your team with the tools they need to build connections and increase team engagement. We have specifically tailored Psychological Safety Journeys, too, that provide you with everything needed to improve psychological safety and wellbeing on your team in just 4 experiences.

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