- December 8, 2009
- Posted by: admin
- Categories: Blog, Business Dynamics, Communication, Corporate Culture, Enterprise Agility, Human Resource Management, Relationship management
People working at different places undoubtedly seek job satisfaction. It is imperative for anybody to feel good about the work they perform and the environment they are associated with.
Job satisfaction is based on a number of factors for e.g. job duties and responsibilities, work environment, impartial performance appraisal, career development opportunities, training and development, working hours/schedule, monetary benefits, leaves etc. These, along with many other factors also play its part in employee satisfaction and dissatisfaction.
In this regard, the management must be vigilant to work on these areas proactively and devise required strategies before this feeling of discontent arises. Several companies are conducting surveys, which can facilitate them in measuring the level of satisfaction in the employees (taking into account that the end result may not necessarily be 100% in favor of the company). However, this can help the management considerably to keep the staff contented with the work, environment and the company itself.
Would like to know your perspective on how the company can keep their workforce contented and integrated. Furthermore, share your experiences regarding the same. How would you, as an individual/manager keep motivational levels at par?
The best research I’ve seen on this was done by CLC about 2 years ago. They did a very thorough analysis of employee engagement and productivty/work quality to focus on teh primary drivers and provided all of us with statistical reinforcement fo what we all recognize intrinsically- job satisfaction is directly attributable to your manager. No amount of corporate programming can take the place of a good manager. For this reason, we advise and work with clients to educate and tool tehir managers to do the thinsg taht really make a difference. These days, when program budgets are really tight, we’d advise you to focus on cheap and powerful basics:
1- Educate your management team so they understand the power they have to make a difference
2-Tool them with low and no cost solutions…….and reinforce constantly
What can make a difference? It would eb inappropriate for me to recant CLC’s study, but here are a few quick and easy tips that can be implemented today and start reaping rewards immediately:
First- Make sure your employees can connect what they do to company success. Programmers do not write code, they provide the tools to help teh company deliver services, communicate to clients, collect revenues etc. Help every member of your team to answer this question: How does my work help our clients?
Second- Someone did something great today. Make sure they know it. Take 5 minutes at the end of each day and write yourself two reminders. First- who did I congratulate on a job well done today? It can be as simple as ‘Good job describing that problem. I really understand the issues now and have what I need to help you find a solution’. If you do this every day, it won’t be long before you can congratulate yourself every day. Next- write yourself a reminder to mention it to them or to someone else tomorrow. Twice recognized is the goal!
Third- Someone had a teachable moment today. Take 5 minutes to outline exactly what they did and why it did not entirely meet their objective. Make sure you talk to them about it tomorrow. The goal is not to correct but to guide. How might they do this next time so as to achieve teh goal/improve the quality?
Well, I would say, your first customers are your employees.
But unfortunately, 99% of the internal customers are taken for granted. Companies invest so heavily in improving their resources, i.e. buildings, machinery..etc. but sadly overlook their greatest resource – the people.
Dissatisfaction from external customers stems from a chain of
disgruntled internal customers. This weakens the link, allowing external
customers to break away and go elsewhere. And remember, a chain is as strong as its weakest link.
Enduring companies are those that develop endearing relationships with
their employees that go beyond being professional to being personal.
Because your other resources does not have feelings, emotions or
sentiments. But your human resources does have all these. A pat on the back can make them smile; a word of rebuke can make them cry.
Management’s top priority should be to work on their employee satisfaction; promote the hard working guys; motivate the hardly working ones; get your act together; soon your external customers will join in the act.
Work on your people and they will work on your customers who will
then work on your profits. Remember, internal cleansing reflects in external radiance.
Employees can make your business ; they can also break it. Therefore,
treat your employees as your partners and they will act like partners.
Happy employees are the best ambassadors of any business. The best cheese comes the happiest cow 🙂
To put it simply, treat your customers like your guests and your employees like your family..!
In my opinion the best way in this situation is to create employees’ loyalty..
I like the definition of loyalty provided by Fred Reichheld in his book, The Loyalty Effect. He defines loyalty as the willingness to make an investment or personal sacrifice to strengthen a relationship.
Our employees serve as the face of our organization on a daily basis. Whether they interact with clients by telephone or e-mail, or meet customers face-to-face every day, we need loyal employees in order to have loyal clients. If an employee is not happy at our organization, that fact will come across to customers; if he is loyal, that will come across too. Employees who are loyal and enthusiastic will encourage our customers to also feel loyal and enthusiastic toward our organization.
The question is how do we foster employee loyalty?
Since each employee is a unique individual, no single approach works for everyone, but here are ten ideas that I have put into practice in my own business to improve loyalty:
1. Offer more than just a job
Employees who view their current job as part of a rewarding career path with their employer are naturally more motivated and invested in their work. They may also be more likely to view necessary but tedious parts of the job in the context of the bigger picture.
2. Generate goodwill through good deeds
Being involved with a company that “does good” makes employees feel good about their jobs and their employer. In some way, each employer supports the larger community. Develop and communicate your company’s outreach efforts and community support philosophies. Then offer employees the opportunity to participate in those efforts or to have their own involvement in charitable causes supported by the company.
3. Get out the checkbook
While you can’t buy loyalty, you can destroy loyal ties if you’re not paying someone what he or she is worth.
4. Empower employees
Providing a channel for employees to communicate ideas and influence company practices gives them a stake in the business’ success and promotes team spirit.
5. Invest in training and development
If you invest in your employees, they are more likely to invest in your company. They’ll also have a better understanding of your organization’s business goals and practices, which can likely translate to improved performance.
6. Share your vision
Communicate your company’s direction and decisions. Employees feel trusted and are more trusting when they know about company decisions.
7. Challenge employees
My experience is that setting and meeting high expectations makes employees feel more positive about their jobs.
8. Recognize and reward often
Employees appreciate positive feedback and tend to be more productive after receiving it. Additionally, giving praise to an employee is like tipping over a row of dominos: a productive employee tends to inspire and motivate co-workers by example.
9. Find common ground
Align career development with company goals. If a concession that you make for an employee is not good for both the employee and the company, it will not be good for long.
10. Get to know your employees
An employee’s relationship with his/her boss and coworkers is one of the most important factors in determining how loyal that employee is. Treat employees as individuals and look for ways to foster solid relationships.
Make Ur Day A Gooood Oneeee
Treat your people as people, not things. Encourage their personal development and learning.
Keep them involved at all possible stages – no involvement, no commitment
Give them responsibility
Encourage a culture of openess
Laugh at every opportunity
Dont just tell them you value them, show them! Walk the talk
Create a “can do” environment
Encourage new ideas
For many of us, the idea of having a job that is truly satisfying – the kind where work doesn’t feel like work anymore – is pure fantasy. Sure, professional athletes, ski patrollers, and golf pros may have found a way of doing what they love and getting paid for it.
Career dreams are one thing; practical reality is often another. When they happily coincide, seize the opportunity and enjoy it! Luckily, when they do not, it’s good to know that it is possible to get job satisfaction from a practical choice of career. Job satisfaction doesn’t have to mean pursuing the ultra-glamorous or making money from your hobby. You can work at job satisfaction, and find it in the most unexpected places.
The heart of job satisfaction is in your attitude and expectations; it’s more about how you approach your job than the actual duties you perform.
Identify Your Satisfaction Triggers
There are three basic approaches to work: is it a job, a career, or a passion? Depending on which type of work you are in right now, the things that give you satisfaction will vary.
If you work at a JOB, the compensation aspects of the position will probably hold more appeal than anything else, and have the greatest impact on whether you stay or go.
If you work at a CAREER, you are looking for promotions and career development opportunities. Your overall satisfaction is typically linked with your status, power, or position.
If you work at a PASSION, the work itself is the factor that determines your satisfaction, regardless of money, prestige, or control.
Building Job Satisfaction
Once you have identified the blend of status, power, or intrinsic enjoyment that need to be present in your work for you to feel satisfied, you then need to work on some of our seven ‘ingredients’ for a satisfying job. These ingredients are:
Knowing your options
A sense of purpose
The first step in the search for job satisfaction is to know yourself. If you’re to be happy and successful, you need to understand your strengths and weaknesses.
Some days you may deny it, but we all thrive on interesting challenges. Does this mean your job has to be the head of engineering at NASA? No, different things challenge different people at different times. You just need to figure out what you can do to make sure you don’t allow yourself to go stale at work.
Set performance standards for yourself
Teach others your skills
Ask for new responsibilities
Start or take on a project that uses skills
Commit to professional development
Closely related to the need for challenge is the need to minimize boredom. Boredom is a common culprit when it comes to job dissatisfaction. When your mind is bored you lack interest and enthusiasm and even a well-matched job becomes dissatisfying.
Know Your Options
When you feel trapped, you can start to get anxious. At first you wonder what else is out there for you. This progresses to the point where you become convinced that anything other than the job you’re doing has got to be more satisfying.
To combat this, continuously scan your environment for opportunities. When you feel you have options, you have more control. When you make a positive choice to stay with a job, that job has much more appeal than if you feel forced to stay because you feel you have no alternative.
Maintain a Balanced Lifestyle
You’ll have heard many times that you need to keep your life and work in balance. When you focus too much on one at the expense of the other you risk putting your whole system in distress.
Find a Sense of Purpose
Last, but certainly not least (for many people) is the need to find a sense of purpose in the things you do. Even if you have a boring job, it helps a lot if you can see the real benefit you’re providing for people.
Well, I’ve always been skeptical of company surveys but I’ve noticed that employees stay motivated in the long term if they see their professional growth in that company and if they feel that they are valued well (otherwise they’ll bolt for the next larger offer).
1. Let the employees know that their growth potential will go hand in hand with the firms success
2. Have a plan for them how to progress and engage them through their managers to reach those goals.
3. Small amenities count, if you can’t pay good bonuses, providing coffee or a weekly breakfast goes a long way.
4. Have events during or after office hours where the company will pay for group activities (Crabbing at Kemari, Bowling, rock climbing, cricket, bbq etc) it’ll bring people closer and that has a terrific impact on the cohesiveness of the organization.
5. Recognition award, people enjoy that stuff. don’t ask me why. they just do. Even if they are a version of the grammy’s with a fun flavor it makes people feel valued.
6. Provide services to your employees that they will value in money terms. Providing pick and drop services are highly underutilized, employees recognize fuel costs and bus fares being saved.
I get annoyed at being expected to work hard for rewards others alone reap. What nonsense. Work harder? Stay after hours? Why? So management can get a big bonus? So shareholders can reap profits? So the CEO can get written up in a magazine? So the salespeople can reap a bonus?
No, all rewards should be shared. And companies who don’t share monetary rewards with employees are hypocritical, with one set of rules for the bosses & owners, and one set of rules for the servants.
I am all for capitalism and am an entrepreneur. But the thing that motivates a living creature is if it is rewarded for its efforts.
So many employers, if not your average capitalist (of which I am one), cannot see this basic fact, that people at all levels need an improved life to look forward too as much as the owners and bosses do, but of course to a proportionate level.
The reason employees are dissatisfied is because they are not rewarded. Duh. And that “duh” is to society, not you.
We all deserve ever-improving lives for our efforts. That is what motivates us. Being treated fairly and having a meaningful job worthy of respect should be a given. But beyond that the number one motivator at a job is the thing we can most translate into the rewards we desire: money.
Celebrate accomplishments – a simple thank-you note or public praise will increase an employee’s confidence
Share the skills and knowledge – employees are in the need to grow and learn and when they do they are productive and confident
Share the project vision – must involve the project team and key business clients in all aspects of project planning.
Share the client – must do everything possible to get the team members as close to their clients as possible.
Share the success – implement creative reward systems.
Deliver early and often – development techniques lead to higher levels of client satisfaction but results in the team getting clear and earlier feedback on their work effort.
Raise the team profile – should use any opportunity and technique to raise the organisational profile of their team and the work that their team is doing.
A team whose members are aligned with its purpose, feel a challenge in their task, have a strong sense of camaraderie, feel responsibility for the outcome, and experience growth as a team and in their personal lives, will tend to sustain motivation over the long haul.
you need to arrive at the system, where people motivate themselves. Then, with all other useful things (e.g. respect, compensation, being in control), you can have high levels of satisfaction.
I would say individual development is a huge part of job satisfaction for the younger workers. For me I have seen corporate loyalty go to almost nothing and for me if I don’t feel like I am growing as a person I get bored and want to try something new. In this age of knowledge Gen Xers feel if they aren’t moving forward they are moving backwards. Invest in the people and your ROI will be greater than you can imagine.
If you can read human minds, there is not problem to motivate your employees to participate in to the systems that you want to accomplish for maximizing your profits.
There is only one solution to all these matters…..
FREE LUNCHES, all the way. Even if you go bankrupt 😉
Artists are happy when we bring in the megabrands and the most highly visible projects.
I am neither an MBA nor a HR manager. But, as the position in the company demands, I need to build a team, groom it and manage it. I am a non conventional manager and do it my style. So you can ignore the ones that are not correct !
I was employee number two of this company and I picked up few programmers who I know and can deliver. Luckily they were good. When we wanted more people, our company wanted to advertise for people. I refused and let the boys bring in their friends. They used to bring in freshers and used to groom them in 3-4 months. Today I have 18 programmers (plus 8 admins) and most of them are 3 year old and above. And one person is with me for 10 years! This brings a bonding between them. The attrition is very low. That is how referrals work ! right ?
Then I take them out for dinners now and then at my cost. Drinks and dinner. This too brings them closer .I am very free with them and very approachable.
Every one makes mistakes and we learn from them. In case of mistakes, I take the total responsibility and they know that I am there for them.
I have 4 senior guys and make them accountable and take care of their growth.
I arranged for medical benefit for them as well as for their parents.
I started a small concept of ‘pooling money” where each of them ( including me) contribute Rs 1000 every month and give some amount out of that to whoever needs at 0% interest. However they need to pay back in 10 months.
While on official tours, ensure that their travel and accommodation are comfortable.
We have a project in Cairo and send them in rotation, and have sent 16 of them abroad so far! They are happy to visit a foreign country now and then.
Treat them well and respect them for their work. They will give their 100%
I believe in practical than theory.
The Human Search Engine
“Definition of success is different for every different person.
According to Maslows theory, there is different stages of need and expectation from work ranging from:
1. Physiological Needs.. Expects basic needs to be fulfilled from job.
2. Safety needs….. Security and protection of job
3. Social needs… Sense of belongingness and love in organization
4. Esteem needs … Needs to be recognized in organization.
5. Self actualization…. working at highest post with highest compatibility
So expectation from job of a person differentiates depending upon his specialization compared to other. May be that’s an answer for younger person getting highly paid than former organizations, as current generation get NICHE specialization.
Again, his expectation differentiate depending upon his competence for job. A person not competent for current job profile wont expect of high profile job but job with will match his caliber. Hope that helps.
While all of the factors you list are important to job satisfaction, they are all logical reasons for an employee to choose to become engaged. I have found that the best ways to get people to bring their “A Game” to work is to appeal to their emotions first, then – once them believe you really mean it, offer logical ways that they can help improve the company.
The secret is in training the supervisors to communicate more honestly, show more vulnerability and be genuine in the eyes of their staff. Employees are very quick to judge and when they see you using manipulation to get them to perform at a higher level, they’ll grumble and fight you – everybody loses. Conversely, when they feel Loved and Respected, they will immediately begin looking for ways that they can help make the company (and their own work life) better.
Individual managers can use this approach and will immediately see improvements in morale, teamwork, retention and productivity, as well as enjoy time savings from less recruiting and training requirements. It’s as easy as “Making it Real”.