Making a Virtue of Employee Satisfaction

Employee satisfaction or job satisfaction is one of the key goals of all HR personnel irrespective of what their individual KRAs are. A satisfied employee is not just a retained employee but an ambassador for the brand, internally and externally. She can help dispel the apprehensions of others and can defend the company in various fora. Happy employees are more loyal to the company and its objectives, they go the extra mile to achieve goals and take pride in their jobs, their teams and their achievements.

The majority of organizations view job satisfaction as dependent on 2 things – salary and ‘recreational activities’. While employees do make an impression based on these parameters, they cannot form the basis of employee engagement. Recently, a study published by Harvard observed that employee engagement programs only serve as a shot in the arm and satisfaction levels dip soon after. What matters is how HR understands the needs of its employees and what it does to bring a match between employee needs and company goals.

Workforce and Challenges

The three main reasons why people in India seek jobs are to acquire new skills (48% of respondents), better work-life balance (39%) and higher-income (34%). Contrary to common perception, less income and stressful jobs are not why people look for better opportunities. Today’s workforce is hungry for new challenges and growth and if their job cannot provide them that, they do not hesitate to seek greener pastures.

Why Employee Satisfaction Matters

Employee satisfaction needs to be treated with both short and long-term visions. In the short term, it is directly linked to attrition and employee-organization match. It is important that people perceive the company in a positive light in their early days of employment, else it would not take long for them to look for a change. In the long term, it is more damaging when an employee is not satisfied but continues to work with an organization due to other reasons. The employee starts to look for reasons to dislike the company more. For example, if a bad appraisal is the core reason behind her disappointment, the employee might then perceive that there is favoritism or that the company does not treat her as a valuable asset. Such impressions corrode the value an employee places on the company and this gets projected extrinsically, often among an audience with whom the equity of the organization gets affected.

Job satisfaction is a very important part of an employee’s lifecycle and motivation to remain loyal to and employed with an organization. A number of activities or tasks of an HR team directly or indirectly influence employee satisfaction levels. Therefore HR must also remember that how a company functions through its policies, senior management and culture will impact how happy employees are and will help it reap financial, cultural and brand equity benefits.

Employee Engagement Statistics 

  • 15% of employees worldwide are engaged in their jobs (Gallup)
  • 59% of employees say they’ve been with their current employer for more than 3 years and among older millennials (ages 30-37), 22% have been with their current employer for more than 7 years (Udemy)
  • 42% of employees say learning and development is the most important benefit when deciding where to work followed by health insurance (48%) (Udemy)
  • Offering career training and development would keep 86% of millennials from leaving their current position (Bridge)
  • 51% of employees would quit their job if the training was not offered (Udemy)
  • If a job lacks growth opportunities and avenues for leadership development, 67% of millennials would leave that position (Bridge)
  • 7% of the world’s 3.3 billion adults who are working or looking for work have a great job (Gallup)
  • 72% of workers are satisfied, but 60% are still looking around for a new job with higher wages (Addison Group)
  • Almost three-quarters of workers are confident they would be able to quickly acquire a new job (Addison Group)
  • 40% of workers say their current company is aware they’re actively looking for a new job (Addison Group)
  • 65% of workers are confident they can leverage today’s candidate-driven market to their advantage, as 54% have negotiated with their current employer for a higher salary in the past year (Addison Group)

Source: Entrepreneur