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Recommendations for maximum employee satisfaction

1 Why employee satisfaction boosts business success

If employees are satisfied with their jobs, business is better. Numerous economic studies prove this. On the other hand, those who spoil it with their employees in the long term must prepare themselves for hard times. Bad mood in a company is therefore also an indicator of bad management. For a long time, economists found it difficult to make reliable statements about whether and how employers benefit from satisfied employees. This has only changed in recent times. Meanwhile, a whole series of studies (including a study by Armin Falk and Michael Kosweld published in the American Economic Review) show that companies that make their staff happy have many advantages. If, on the other hand, the climate between management and employees is strained, the economic prospects of the company will also suffer.

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2 Measure employee satisfaction

Before employee satisfaction measures can be taken to increase employee satisfaction, the status quo should be recorded. The results can be used to identify critical issues and derive measures. 

Direct measurement
An employee survey can be used as an instrument to collect data. Satisfaction results from the discrepancy between expectation and experience. In order to obtain a measure of employee satisfaction, their perception of the workplace situation on the one hand and their expectations and wishes on the other should be asked. For a successful employee survey, learn more in the specialist topic: Employee survey.

Indirect measurement
In addition to directly recording a mood picture, employee satisfaction can also be measured using associated key figures. Employee satisfaction is reflected in the following measures:

  • Fluctuation rate
  • Black days
  • Sick leave
  • Performance
  • error rate
  • Successful settings

Significant data is most likely to be obtained by combining direct and indirect methods. An employee survey provides concrete starting points for improvements, indirect measures serve as warning signals for grievances or as measures of success for successfully established satisfaction measures.

Mitarbeiterzufriedenheit messen

3 Three basic rules for more employee satisfaction

Employee satisfaction is not witchcraft. Some simple but very concise rules help to increase employee satisfaction.

1 A varied job creates diversity. And this usually leads to the employee having more fun at work. There should be a balance between routine work and demanding activities. A balanced work-life balance also increases employee satisfaction.

2 Respect for employees is demonstrated, for example, by the scope for action and decision-making. These increase the employee's self-esteem. Feedback on the results helps to point the way. And a good relationship created in this way promotes trust. Employees generally act reciprocally. The consideration of individual needs additionally increases motivation.

3 With a good working atmosphere, employees are happy to come to work. The working atmosphere is characterized by a relaxed and relaxed atmosphere, a high degree of tolerance as well as mutual recognition and appreciation. Helpfulness and social support among each other, cooperation between different hierarchical levels as well as open and clear communication are further important cornerstones of a positive working atmosphere. In this way, managers in particular ensure that their employees feel comfortable.

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4A Increase employee satisfaction

Maslow's needs pyramid is considered the central theory of employee satisfaction. Superiors have many ways to address basic human needs:

  • Basic physiological needs: Occupational safety and health regulations.
  • need for security and protection: permanent employment contract, fair salaries, transparency of decisions, company pension schemes
  • need for affiliation and contact: promote personal and professional development; teamwork
  • needs for recognition and respect: direct, sincere praise, awards, gratuities for special achievements
  • need for self-realization: challenging activities, opportunities for advancement

4B Satisfaction factors TODAY

Maslow's motivational model has served as an orientation for employee satisfaction programs for over half a century. However, life and the professional world have clearly changed since the middle of the 20th century. People no longer have to worry about their survival for professional reasons. But what factors really guarantee job satisfaction today? If you ask employees today what counts for them, the answers are grouped into three major satisfaction factors: career, community, meaning.

Career - intrinsic motivation: Satisfied employees have a job in which they can work independently. This allows them to use their strengths, develop them further and gain new ones.

Community - Affiliation: Satisfied employees feel respected and perceived. They feel like they're being taken care of.

Meaningfulness - Pride: Satisfied employees feel they make a significant contribution. They identify with the goals of the organization and believe that they are doing something good for the world. If an employer manages to meet its employees' three needs, it will get back high performance and loyalty. However, if the needs are only inadequately met, performance and commitment will be lower. All three factors are proving to be significant. Different scenarios make it clear that all three have to be fulfilled:

A: An employee is very well integrated into a community and he can work very self-determined, but he does not understand what he is doing the whole thing for. B: An employee works self-determined and fully supports the mission of the company, but she feels that no one appreciates her work or is interested in supporting her.
C: An employee feels very supported and valued by superiors and colleagues. He feels that his work makes sense, but the chances of further development are nil. It cannot develop its potential and has no further prospects.

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5 Retain satisfied employees

Employees who identify with the company feel more responsible. Fluctuation is reduced, absenteeism due to illness is reduced and the quality of work results is higher. All this and many other effects of high employee retention increase success and minimize avoidable costs.

Learn more about employee retention.

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Measuring and increasing employee satisfactionHRpuls