Employee Satisfaction: Where Does Your Team Stand?

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A meaningful vision of the future, sense of purpose, and great relationships.

These all seem like reasonable employee satisfaction expectations. And with all three met, there’s no doubt you’ll have a team full of engaged employees.

Unfortunately, according to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report, only 33 percent of U.S. employees are engaged in their jobs. Even more surprising, an overwhelming 91 percent say the last time they switched jobs was to explore “greener grass.”

The same report also found slightly more than half (51 percent) of employees are actively looking for new jobs. This means it’s more crucial than ever to not only focus on employee satisfaction, but measure it to stay ahead of employees’ changing mindsets.

Here’s how you can measure employee satisfaction and stay ahead of their career expectations:

Assess Work Relationships

Effectively measuring employee satisfaction means looking at each person individually and as a team. That’s why overall happiness is crucial to the success of your business. If one co-worker is unhappy, their actions, negative attitudes, and lack of productivity can seep through to your entire team.

First, determine what employee satisfaction and engagement looks like at your company. What does your team need from their working relationships in order collaborate on an idea, improve business processes, and create successful outcomes?

If you’re unsure, sit down and have a brainstorming session with your team. Employees will feel empowered as they come up with solutions to improve employee satisfaction and will be recharged with positive energy.

Once you’ve discovered what your team needs, you’ll be able to better assess where employees struggle in their working relationships. Keep the communication channels open by encouraging your team to come to you with any troubles or issues they couldn’t resolve on their own.

Seeing your awareness towards their happiness with co-workers will motivate employees to keep you in the loop to continue measuring their satisfaction.

Gauge an Employee’s Sense of Purpose

The new age employee isn’t showing up just to clock in and out. Instead, they want to know they’re adding to the overall greater good of the company. When an employee is dissatisfied, their sense of purpose quickly dwindles — along with their interest and passion.

This is where poisonous disengagement begins, and employees begin looking for work elsewhere.

If your team is already feeling unhappy, they’re in a vulnerable place. Get them to honestly open up about their employee satisfaction by using anonymous measurement methods. For example, create anonymous surveys with open-ended questions to leave room for employees to expand on their feelings, opinions, and expectations.   

Don’t be afraid to put yourself and other company leaders in vulnerable positions. Like Joe Gebbia, co-founder of Airbnb, explained his process for measuring employee satisfaction in The Airbnb Story.

Gebbia and the Airbnb team hold sessions called Elephants, Dead Fish, and Vomit. Each person on the team is welcomed into a monthly meeting where they can freely air big truths no one wants to talk about, grievances they just can’t let go of, and time to express concerns without judgement or interruption.

These meetings are undoubtedly extremely useful for employees to get matters off their chest. But they also allow company leaders to gauge where employees’ satisfaction stands, and what they can do to proactively fix those issues.

Understand Their Vision of the Future

Workplace optimism radiates through an entire organization when it is part of its culture. However, optimism for the future is a difficult feat if you’re unaware of where employee satisfaction stands.

In order to measure how satisfied your team is with their future at your company, have them discuss how their personal goals align with organizational goals. Seeing how they tie themselves in with the future will help you measure how excited they are to move forward with you.

If you find certain team members have trouble connecting themselves with the company’s future, offer a solution. Maybe updated tools or learning processes would motivate them, or, if possible, offer a new position within the company where you feel they’d excel.

No matter where your employee satisfaction currently lies, it could change tomorrow. The job market is incredibly competitive, and keeping up with your team’s emotions, happiness, and passions is extremely difficult. Always keep the conversation flowing to proactively address your team’s satisfaction.

How do you keep tabs on your employee satisfaction? Let us know!

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Val Matta
Val Matta
Val Matta is the vice president of business development at CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution that gives job seekers complete control over their job search. It's available for individual users, university and military career services centers, libraries, and corporations seeking to offer outplacement assistance to former employees. Connect with Val and CareerShift on LinkedIn.