Improving Productivity, Part One: Increasing employee satisfaction

July 5, 2017


Smiling black and white coworkers looking at camera in the office.

This is part one of a series on how to increase employee productivity. This month we’ll focus on a way that can increase productivity and raise morale: increasing employee satisfaction.

 

It seems pretty simple on the surface—happier employees work harder, leading to more productivity and higher corporate profits. However, many employers are so focused on things like cutting costs, improving efficiency, and sales figures, they often overlook the human factor. Studies have shown that increasing employee satisfaction can raise productivity by as much as 12%. Of course, there are other benefits to having a happier staff, including less turnover and greater customer satisfaction (customers like dealing with happy employees).

 

So, how to increase employee satisfaction?

 

Give your employees more control

The more control employees feel they have over their lives, the happier they are. Today’s employees have demanding schedules. Give them a way to fit their work around their daily lives. Allow for telecommuting when possible. Let workers customize workstations. Encourage employee-driven (friendly) competitions.

 

Listen to your employees

One of the biggest sources of employee dissatisfaction is feeling like their voices aren’t heard. Bosses who listen to their employees show them they have a voice and that their concerns matter. This not only increases satisfaction, but also loyalty.

 

Shorter meetings

Another big complaint by employees is the feeling that management is wasting their time. The biggest culprit: meetings. Try to avoid having meetings whenever possible. If a meeting is vital, try to keep it under twenty minutes. Meetings can, if they are productive, be a great way for employees to feel they are heard; but they need to be focused and short.

 

Encourage socializing

Considering workers spend the better part of their lives at work, it helps if they feel surrounded by friends. Arrange workstations to aid communication. Encourage office birthday celebrations and things like bake-offs or chili contests. Offer volunteer programs to promote friendships outside of the office.

 

Free food

You don’t have to go crazy with this, but offering free bagels or hot pretzels goes a long way toward making your employees feel like they are valued. It doesn’t even have to be a regular thing. Sometimes a surprise gift of fresh coffee or baked goods can be a welcome change to the daily routine.

 

Dole out praise

Too many bosses forget to make a regular point of expressing satisfaction with the jobs their workers are doing. Ongoing positive reinforcement can go a long way toward making employees feel valuable, which leads to satisfaction.

 

It’s easy: take care of your employees and they’ll take care of your business.

 

For help in increasing productivity at your facility, contact Vanguard Resources.