Leading companies from across the globe know very well that the productivity yield of happy employees beats the output of disgruntled or resentful employees by a mile. A satisfied and motivated employee is an asset that buttresses the company's bottom line while actively contributing to creating a positive and output-oriented work culture. No surprise then that numerous companies across India and the world keep experimenting with strategies to increase job satisfaction and improve employee turnover ratios.
Before we proceed, we must bust a myth that is often treated as an axiomatic truth: throwing fat pay packages at an existing or a new employee cures all problems of demotivation. This is false. A big paycheque does not, by itself, translate into motivation or better performance. This strategy might work wonders for an employee who finds meaning, value, and self-esteem in his job, and the added financial heft can be a plus point. However, demotivated, and uninterested employees cannot be impelled into high productivity simply by throwing bigger pay packages. Such a gambit deters other diligent employees of the company and bumps up the company's operational costs.
Let us look at how to scale up employee satisfaction dramatically:
Nip Micro-Management in The Bud
Nothing kills employee satisfaction faster than a micro-managing mid-level manager who dictates all work choices and sets the tone for any task to be performed. A harmonious workplace is one where there is mutual respect and acknowledgment of distinctive styles of working and meeting objectives. Micro-managing kills not only creative brainstorming but also drains young professionals of interest in their work. HRs must be encouraged to keep an ear to the ground and allowed to intervene at the first possible sighting of instances of micro-management.
Integrate Flexibility in Work Roles
Developing and sustaining employee engagement boils down to several small factors rather than one or two big administrative decisions. In the new work paradigm post-Covid, senior management must realize that the balance of power is now equally poised if it has not altogether shifted in favor of the employees. Companies that have adopted hybrid working modes are more popular with employees vis-a-vis companies that insist on working on site. Firms have been known to deliver better results when employees are given added flexibility of fixing work schedules that let them juggle between the office and home. Additionally, liberty to rejig work timings is also progressively becoming the norm for many IT and tech companies. Several senior management teams are quickly embracing that an employee's work schedule is of little relevance if deadlines are met, and the work is completed.
Recognize Excellence by Going Beyond Financial Rewards
Numerous productivity surveys attest that an employee is never singularly motivated by financial compensation alone. A worker wants his work to be appreciated by colleagues and seniors and, by extension, wants to feel valued and cherished in the team dynamic. Several companies honour outlier employees by awarding them with the 'employee of the month' rewards or gifting them small yet significant rewards of shopping vouchers, extra holidays, or stationery gifts. Sometimes, something as small as praise and commendation in the internal newsletter can boost employee morale and productivity.
Address Workstation and Housekeeping Issues at The Earliest
Haven't we all fumed at the desktop in our office and stifled an urge or two to hurl that dinosaur age equipment out of the window? These kinds of problems are far too common, not just in small companies but also in many listed multinationals. Shaky chairs, broken work desks, water coolers that work erratically, or uncleaned toilets frustrate employees and break their workflows. These issues must be managed quickly and decisively.
Further, employees must be allowed to individualize their workspaces. A standard wall where photographs of shared memories, fun, and celebrations are put up works wonders in boosting office camaraderie and morale. Tasteful experimentation with office decor can keep the mood light and productivity high.
Take Control of Official Communications
There are difficulties in the story arches of all companies. All companies have a bad quarter or a year, and it is during these times, that corporate gossip spreads like wildfire. Some of these Chinese whispers are innocent, while many of them turn out to be quite malicious, ill-informed, and ill-founded. It is during these times that hell breaks loose in an office setting. While the managerial leadership is battling other crises, the workforce becomes demoralized and starts hunting for opportunities outside. Things can be prevented from coming undone by taking decisive control of the internal communication channels. A word or two from the senior-most leadership on the future course of action can soothe many from a confused state and assure employees that things are okay.
Communications such as these must be a two-way street. Inquiries, questions, and comments must be elicited from the workforce, and employees must feel that they have a voice and a say in the democratic processes of the company.
Running a company requires excellent people management, and great people management requires a team that cares, is alert, and knows its way around people. A company that figures out the best fit at critical positions with these attributes usually never fails to fly and does not fret over job satisfaction. They typically start with that, naturally! We hope to bring more such content that helps employees and companies likewise.
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