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7 Jun 2019

Maximising employee satisfaction – adapting to changing needs and personalising recognition

Employee satisfaction is crucial when it comes to helping a company meet its bottom line.  Poor levels of employee satisfaction can not only be severely damaging to the companies productivity but also the reputability of that organisation. Companies have begun to realise that that employees, in this day and age, require more than just  higher wages. Employees today, especially with regards to millenial and Gen Z workers, are renowned for expecting increased emotional support and appreciation. For them it is about feeling valued and not so much about tangible gifts or financial rewards. Despite this, there are plenty of ways to diversify your reward and recognition policies to cater to all staff. The best companies treat their employees well and reap the rewards from high productivity, company loyalty and maximum effort. With that in mind, are the key amendments that you can make to your current recognition plan to give a boost to your team.

Review management styles and policies

Holding on to your best talent requires a review of management strategies. Making sure that work is getting done with team work, group input and adequate recognition schemes. A survey by Personnel Today shows that 47% of workers dislike their job because of poor management. A further 32% didn’t feel like they related to the company ethos and culture. With a sobering percentage of employees affected solely by management strategies, it is an area that can always do with looking at. Simple surveys are a quick way to get feedback and to immediately see any issues within management strategies and what is causing dissatisfaction. Even if an employee can see the company is trying to change its approach, the team are still more likely to get behind it if it is showing it values its staff. Reminding people of the company ethos an important part behind motivation. Regular reviews on good work and team building days are a good way to keep company values fresh and to better understand employee needs.

Recognising employees promptly and frequently

One of the things employees are looking for is consistent reassurance that the job they are doing is of a good standard and that their employer is pleased with their work ethic. Making sure an employee knows they’re work is valued and that they are on the right track is sometimes all it takes. A study from Each Person found that, when asked what would make them feel more valued in the workplace, almost half of the respondents (48%) said a simple thank you. With the UK national average being around 62% who feel as if they are not valued by their boss/workplace, the small things really can make a big difference. Just saying thank you and letting them know just how valuable they are to the team goes a long way.

Meaningful work

The importance of meaningful and fulfilling tasks is increasingly significant. Today’s employees, nowadays, are looking for a challenging yet exciting work in order to progress their career and reach their own potential. Looking at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, we can see that a sense of fulfilment and achievement in your career path is essential to boosting self esteem and happiness. Limiting quantity/ succession of mundane tasks will significantly improve workplace engagement that will attribute to a positive employee experience. It is important that the employee experience is company a priority as it will reflect on the business and can be detrimental if the staff are overworked or mistreated.

Feedback and Growth

Personal growth and development of the key things people are looking for in today’s modern workplace. In times of economic/job insecurity and political hostility, people are looking for reassurance that their job is stable and that there is room for progression. It is also about allowing employees to make mistakes, learn from them, adapt to a new job role whilst improving their weaknesses is all part employee growth. If companies acknowledge that the transition into a role is not always smooth and can take a while to see the full capabilities of new recruits. Creating a tolerance for mistakes and learning will enable employees to relax and not make unnecessary mistakes which could be induced by pressure .Feedback should be coming in the form of rewards and recognition and constructive criticism for improvements. None of this should be negative. Showing positivity towards your employees is necessary as it will often be reciprocated in the form of engagement and ultimately productivity.

Empowering your team and giving them voice

Allowing freedom of opinions and ideas and giving that opportunity to the employees to voice their concerns if critical in the modern working environment. One of the biggest concerns employees have is not having their voices heard by the company. Be sure to keep communication open and make sure to promote an open discourse. Feeling heard is important to employees.

Ensuring a healthy work-life balance

Flexibility, the freedom to balance work time, time to be spent with loved ones and health, hobbies and interests. For the company, employees that work for you have lives outside of work. For most people, employee satisfaction doesn’t always increase with higher wages. Andrew T, Jebb says ‘higher income is often associated with larger workloads and less free time’. As long as it is acknowledged that people have lives outside of the workplace, this enough for most employees to be satisfied. Things like allowing employees to fully switch off on their weekends and holidays to the best of your ability can make a big difference. It is important for people to be able to switch off with their own downtime.

The needs of employees are constantly changing. It is up to employers to manage this and tailor individual rewards and recognition to their team. The best way to do this is to find out what means the most to people, with regards to their work, is to talk to them. Communication is key. Whether it be through surveys, meetings, or even a company bonding session over an activity, you will quickly be able to find out what makes your team happy. Once you find that out, you can restructure you recognition plan to suit the needs of all.

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