5 Simple Hacks to Boost Employee Satisfaction TODAY - Oak Engage
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5 Simple Hacks to Boost Employee Satisfaction TODAY

   Minute Read     Performance & Culture Employee Engagement

5 Simple Hacks to Boost Employee Satisfaction TODAY
Table of Contents

    If employee satisfaction isn’t one of your top priorities...well you need to move it to the top of the list! Improving employee satisfaction is essential to employee retention, engagement and creating a positive employee experience.

     It’s no secret that people aren’t solely motivated by finances anymore. Work is a huge part of our daily lives and as work-life balance and purpose becomes increasingly important to employees it’s important that your employees have a real sense of job satisfaction. We’ll be showing you how you can improve employee satisfaction in this blog post, covering: 

    • What is employee satisfaction?
    • Why is employee satisfaction important?
    • How to improve employee satisfaction?
    • Improving employee satisfaction in healthcare
    • Improving employee satisfaction in manufacturing
    • Improving employee satisfaction in retail 

    Why not watch our video for a speedy breakdown of how you can improve employee satisfaction in your workplace today... 

    What Is Employee Satisfaction?

    How do you define employee satisfaction? Employee satisfaction is how happy your employees feel about their job, their experiences at work and the business that they work for. What makes your employees happy? Company culture, salary, workload, flexibility, resources and technology, perceptions of management - all these things contribute to employee satisfaction. Everything that can impact the basic needs of your employees can impact employee satisfaction.

    employees happy to be working together

    Are employee satisfaction and engagement the same thing? This is a question that gets asked a lot and although they may seem similar they are in fact different. Whilst employee satisfaction comes from external factors, employee engagement relates to the emotional commitment that an employee has to your organisation, engaged employees will actually care deeply about the work they’re doing and how it impacts the wider business.  

    How to Track Employee Satisfaction

    So now you know what employee satisfaction is… how do you discover whether your employees are satisfied or not? You need employee satisfaction. You can do this by using Employee Satisfaction Surveys. These surveys are carefully designed to see how happy employees are with their job and are the first step toward making employee satisfaction a priority. 

    infographic shows 4 reasons why employee satisfaction is so important

    These surveys can be done as frequently or as infrequently as you like - you can do them monthly, quarterly or yearly and they’ll give you a snapshot of exactly how satisfied your employees are. Need some inspiration on questions to use in your survey?  Check out our employee satisfaction questions!

    Why Is Employee Satisfaction Important?

    An organisation is only as powerful as its people so you need to look after them. Employee satisfaction will have a huge ripple effect on employee retention, productivity levels, and loyalty and will have an impact on your customer satisfaction. 

    Picture this, if your employees are unhappy they’re not going to come to work as their best self, they’re going to be searching for a job that better suits their needs and they’re not going to give 100% effort - this will have a huge impact on your teams and the business as a whole. Employees that are satisfied come to work enthusiastically, they put their all into their role and they’re proud to be part of your organisation. 

    image shows only 64% of employees sat that they’re happy in their current job

    Job Satisfaction rates in the UK are amongst the lowest in Europe with only 64% of employees stating that they are happy in their current role and this is steadily declining. Similarly in the US, 65% of employees are satisfied with their jobs with only 20% claiming that they are passionate about their jobs. Where has the highest job satisfaction rate? Austria, with a rating of 7.67. So how can you try and improve employee satisfaction within your organisation? 

    How to Improve Employee Satisfaction

    There is a range of things you can do within your organisation to improve employee satisfaction and your employee's overall experience. Here are a couple of ideas…

    Improve Communication 

    One of the best things you can decide to do for your organisation is to make communication a priority. Make sure you utilise technology and tools that facilitate two-way communication and let your employees share their voices. 

    Having a modern intranet is essential for your organisation. Oak’s Intelligent Intranet gives you the platform to home all the information your employees need access to, gives them the tools and resources they need to do their job and gives them social tools and spaces to interact and connect with one another. 

    Recognise and Reward Employees

    Recognition is something that we grow up with all our lives and it shouldn’t end in the workplace. As children, we are recognised for good behaviour by our parents, teachers and even friends and so it’s normal for us as humans to crave positive affirmation. If your employees feel like their work isn’t recognised this can have a huge impact on their well-being at work, leading to decreased morale and feeling undervalued. 

    37% of employees would work better if they were recognised more at work

    In fact, 37% of employees said if they were recognised more that it would encourage them to produce better work. Oak has brilliant employee recognition features that all employees can use to thank one another, celebrate employees and recognise those big life milestones such as birthdays and work anniversaries. 

    Promote Health and Wellbeing 

    When your employees are happy and healthy they have a better quality of life. Your employees will be less stressed and when employees feel good it’ll create a positive work environment where everyone in your organisation will thrive. So it’s surprising to hear that only 40% of UK businesses have wellbeing strategies in place

    image shows only 40% of companies have a standalone wellbeing strategy in place

    There are different ways you can promote well-being in the workplace but here are a few suggestions to get your ideas flowing: 

    • Flexible working
    • Personal development
    • Fitness/Hobby subsidies
    • Self-care blogs on your intranet
    • Fitness advise and sessions on your Intranet
    • Health insurance
    • EAP Programmes
    • Encouraging healthy lifestyle choices
    • Focusing on employee voice
    • Arrange regular social activities for employees
    • Encourage proper breaks

    image of satisfied employees getting lunch together

    Want to start putting together a proper wellbeing strategy? Read our Employee Wellbeing Guide right here

    Create a Good Company Culture (Encourage a Social Culture) 

    Did you know that good team spirit is one of the biggest contributors to employee happiness? 73% of employees said that being part of a good team was the main source of their happiness. Similarly, businesses that have strong cultures have a 72% higher employee engagement rate than those that don’t. 

    image shows 73% of employees said being part of a good team was the main source of happiness

    You need to make sure you’re using the right methods - online and offline - to create a good company culture. 

    In the Office:

    • Team events 
    • Team lunch outings or dedicated lunch spaces where employees can mingle 
    • Make the company mission visible 
    • Encourage projects across teams
    • Creating productive workspaces 
    • Walk and talk meetings

    Remote Working: 

    • Tools to connect your workforce - Internal communications apps, Instant chat, Social hubs 
    • Employee recognition software
    • Use employee feedback tools such as engagement and pulse surveys 
    • Have regular one to one meetings
    • Proper onboarding procedures 

    Want to know more about creating a good company culture? 

    Our Ultimate Guide to Company Culture teaches you everything you need to know. 

    Support Career Development 

    Progression is a key motivator in the workplace so offering career development paths for your employees will be a key driver of motivation and productivity. 94% of employees are attracted to companies that offer them the potential to grow in their job role

    If your employees know where they’re headed and can strive to achieve certain goals then they’ll feel fulfilled and satisfied knowing that they’re developing the skills they need to get there. Plus, workers who feel more challenged in their job roles tend to feel more engaged meaning high engagement and retention rates for your business. It’s a win-win for everyone! 

    image shows workers who feel more challenged in their role feel more engaged

    Different industries will require different strategies and methods to ensure that their workforce is satisfied so let’s take a look at things you can do, depending on the industry you’re in… 

    Improving Employee Satisfaction in Healthcare

    Healthcare roles are incredibly demanding and there are a number of things that go into keeping patients healthy and safe… up to date technologies and medicines, recruiting top specialists and frontline staff feeling satisfied in their roles. This can sometimes be overlooked but is incredibly important. 

    The effects of having dissatisfied healthcare workers can be detrimental as healthcare jobs are incredibly stressful and can lead to burnout and high turnover rates. Here are some ways you can begin to improve employee satisfaction in healthcare:

    • Invest in leadership: By having great leaders they’ll act as role models that will mentor, advise and be a figure of motivation for employees, this is especially important in healthcare. Train your leaders up so they’re the best that they can be and so that they’re in touch with your workforce. 
    • Create development plans for employees: Make sure employees are certain about their career path and any milestones you agree on together. Having something to work toward will be motivating and knowing their impact on the wider team and organisation will reiterate just how meaningful and important their roles are. 
    • Provide mental health and wellbeing resources: Healthcare can be incredibly high stress - the nature of the work and long hours require a lot of physical and emotional stability but we’re all human and we all need help and support with anxiety, stress and looking after our wellbeing.

    Make sure you provide resources that will help your workers. Offering EAP Programmes, benefits and resources that encourage employees to manage their stress and health are things you should be offering your employees.

    satisfied employees having fun at an office party

    • Have fun: For those that work long hours and are continuously making sure other people are ok, make sure your workforce is happy by incorporating fun wherever you can. This will enhance employee relationships, morale and a productivity boost. Why not have fun Fridays where you play a game or do something fun on breaks, you could throw a party if it’s someone’s birthday and schedule dedicated time to brainstorm fun ideas and activities inside and out of work for your team to do together. 

    Take a look at more ways of improving employee satisfaction in healthcare..

    Improving Employee Satisfaction in Manufacturing 

    Only 25% of manufacturing employees are engaged with turnover levels reaching record highs. But did you know that the top drivers of employee engagement in manufacturing are how senior leaders value their workforce, employee voice and employee recognition? 

    • Make employees feel valued, appreciated and heard: Employees value feeling appreciated for the work they do high above salary so make sure you let employees know just how much their work and theM as employees contribute to the company’s overall success through employee recognition. 

    Make sure you’re consistently giving your employees the chance to provide feedback through surveys and feedback so everyone in your organisation is on the same wavelength. Employee voice is so important in today’s working world so fostering two-way communication is essential to a satisfied workforce. 

    screenshot of Oak pulse surveys

    • Provide flexible hours: Giving employees the opportunity to work hours that fit around their lives and schedules is one of the biggest keys to employee satisfaction. Giving employees the trust to do what works best for them lets you know that you value all the work they do, their decisions and their time.
    • Personal development and learning resources: By investing in your employees and enabling them to enhance their skills you’ll give them the opportunity to enhance their skills and further their career. 
    • Trust your employees to be creative: Manufacturing is an industry that can sometimes be subject to routine, give your employees autonomy and let them be a bit creative. They might find better ways of getting work done and it allows people to innovate and find new methods of completing tasks. 

    Improving Employee Satisfaction in Retail

    The retail sector here in the UK is much higher than the national average and shows that much needs to be done in the way of employee satisfaction. Decathlon has vowed to make employee satisfaction one of their main KPIs and said that people need proper onboarding, tailored development plans and environments where they can be themselves and are treated fairly. So how can you improve satisfaction in retail?

    Embrace a culture of continuous learning: When it comes to training and learning, rather than box-ticking when employees first join, why not deliver experiences that mean employees are continuously learning? And in turn, improving the customer experience. Help employees cultivate a mindset that makes employee development a priority by including learning and development into the mission and goal setting process and encourages staff to partake in self-development. 

    Communicate consistently: Clear communication is key to any business and for many brands, creating a seamless channel of communication can be a big challenge. Why not utilise an employee app that workers - desk-based and deskless can access for all the important information that they need. By having everything in one place your employees know exactly where to go and are clear on company strategy and goals. 

    employee apps communicating to desk-based and deskless workers

    Empower your employees: When employees are passionate about the brand they work for it will reflect in their enthusiasm, productivity and morale. Empowering your teams is essential and this can be done through technology in employee engagement apps that allow two-way communication, social interaction and uniting your workforce under the umbrella of your brand! 

    It’s not all about being at work, consider outside of work: What makes your employees happy outside of work? Have you got some foodies in your team? Do certain people like a certain sport? Encourage your teams to get active and bond over shared interests. Sport especially has been shown to boost staff satisfaction levels and increase productivity. 

    In fact, 80% of people in the UK believe including sport in their day not only improves performance but it helps them work better as a team member. So what are you waiting for? Set up that work football tournament or sailing club and see how satisfaction can skyrocket. 

    Your employees are the bedrock of your organisation and how it performs - you should be focusing on making your company a great place to work that gives employees everything it needs and more. 

    By following these tips and fostering good communication online and offline, recognising your employees' efforts, ensuring they focus on their health, encouraging personal development and working on creating a winning company culture you can guarantee your employees will be more than enthusiastic about coming to work. 


    Vic is one of Oaks Content Marketing Specialists. She specialises in communication and marketing and is also a host on the Comms In A Nutshell podcast for Internal Comms & HR professionals.