As a business owner or manager, your employees are your greatest asset. But, unfortunately, too many managers don’t value their employees. They often ignore employees, do not take the time to listen to their ideas or provide feedback, or worse—micromanage…

In fact, managers are often the primary reason for employee dissatisfaction, low productivity rates, and high employee turnover. According to a survey published by Gallup, managers account for 70 percent of variance in employee engagement.

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What’s worse is that only 30 percent of employees in the United States, and only 13 percent of employees worldwide are truly engaged and are happy in the workplace.

The good news is that management talent exists in every company. The key is finding it. Let’s take a look at some key areas of employee satisfaction, why it’s so important. And why and how your business should invest in employee engagement and satisfaction, from start to finish.

The pyramid of employee needs

The foundational elements that an employee needs to do his or her job are having 1) a safe work environment, and 2) the necessary tools to do their jobs successfully.

Nothing is more frustrating or stressful for an employee than being expected to accomplish a task or meet a deadline without having the necessary resources to do so. Set your employees up for success and ensure they have what they need to do their jobs well.

According to the Pyramid of Employee Needs published by Harvard Business Review, engaged employees need the following:

  • Feel part of a great team
  • Autonomy to do their jobs
  • Opportunities to learn and grow each day
  • Make a difference and have a direct impact on the business

These facts might catch many managers by surprise. Most managers assume that employees’ only drive is money. However, 36 percent of employees would give up $5,000 per year from their salaries in exchange for happiness at work.

Why is employee satisfaction so important?

It’s a simple formula: When an employee is engaged in his or her job or within a company, then he or she goes above and beyond their normal duties. Higher morale leads to higher motivation, which leads to higher productivity for your organization, and ultimately higher profits. Furthermore, high employee engagement leads to 37 percent lower absenteeism.

By obtaining a higher level of employee satisfaction, businesses see the following benefits:

  • Reduced employee turnover
  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Experienced or “senior” employees remain loyal
  • Reduced hiring, recruiting, onboarding and training costs
  • Increased productivity
  • Increased company reputation

Why you should invest in talent management to reduce employee turnover

By recognizing the importance of employee engagement and satisfaction, investing in employee engagement programs, and increasing management talent, organizations will improve as a whole. Investing in employee engagement and satisfaction shouldn’t be see as a time or cost investment, but rather a savings.

One challenge that many companies are having today is dealing with millennial turnover. Studies have shown that millennials are more likely to “job hop” than more experienced employees and older generations. In fact, in the last 20 years, job-hopping has nearly doubled. There are many reasons for this, one of which may be that millennials are more interested in trying to find a career rather than settling on one job. Women are more likely to “job hop” than men.

So, how do employers cope? Investing in better employee satisfaction tools and using them from the start will result in less absenteeism, higher productivity and output, and less employee turnover, and cost savings and benefits right along—even among millennials.

Investing in employee engagement

Now you understand what employee engagement is and why it is so important, here are some cost-effective ways to invest in employee engagement.

Surveys

Surveys are a great way to gauge employee satisfaction levels. Employee satisfaction surveys will deliver clear and actionable feedback for companies in terms of what they are doing well and where they need to improve, and also show managers what they can do to help ensure the best workplace possible.

Some examples of surveys include the following:

  • Onboarding Surveys – Onboarding surveys help managers and companies to evaluate and improve recruiting as well as ensure that new employees are up and running efficiently during their first few days. Ensuring long-term employee success begins on day one.
  • Employee Satisfaction Surveys – Employee satisfactions surveys can be conducted on a regular basis, such as quarterly or even annually and provide great feedback related to employer performance.
  • Exit Surveys – Exit surveys are typically conducted during an employee exit interview. Exit surveys provide companies with feedback and details pertaining to why employees resign. These surveys provide companies with actionable data needed to improve the organization as a whole and reduce the employee turnover rate.

Employee Satisfaction and Engagement Programs.

In addition to surveys, companies can also develop and implement employee satisfaction and engagement programs that are focused on driving employee engagement and satisfaction levels and ensuring that employees are happy in the workplace.

For example, Spotify, the large on-demand Internet music provider has over 1500 employees worldwide. Their challenges stemmed from the use of multiple vendors and resources, and keeping worldwide employees connected. As a result, it was difficult and time consuming for Spotify to connect employee engagement to team performances and business outcomes.
The solution? Spotify implemented a Full Voice Employee Program, which provided a wide range of survey options, such as Employee Engagement, Employee Satisfaction, Employee Loyalty/Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS), 360 degree feedback and onboarding and exit surveys.

The results from surveys allowed Spotify to connect project outcomes and business performance, identify key drivers of employee satisfaction, and even reduce administrative times by 75 percent.

Ensure End-to-End Employee Engagement

All in all, taking employee engagement and satisfaction seriously pays in many ways. Although it may take companies and managers time and money to develop, build, and implement an employee engagement program. It has a high return on investment in terms of reduced administrative and HR costs, increased productivity, reduced employee turnover and a higher customer retention rate.

After all, happier employees mean happier customers.