How to Measure Job Satisfaction and Foster Happy Employees

How to Measure Job Satisfaction and Foster Happy Employees

How satisfied are your employees?  Research shows that less than half of all U.S. employees are unsatisfied with their jobs.  They may show up to work, but typically “go through the motions” without developing a sense of enjoyment or fulfillment.  You can foster happy employees.  First you must measure job satisfaction.

What Is Job Satisfaction?

Job satisfaction is defined as the level of contentedness an employee experiences.  In the most basic sense, it’s a metric for how much an employee likes or dislikes a role.  We know that role satisfaction has much to do with the level of engagement in three parts of the mind; cognitive, affective, and conative.  If an employee has a high level of job satisfaction, he or she is enjoying the blend of all three that enables their best performance.  A low level of job satisfaction, on the other hand, means the employee is missing one or more of these critical measures.

Job satisfaction is referred to as a state of mind, and it is, however is not difficult to measure.  You can identify levels of job satisfaction by reviewing performance.  Employees who are not engaged in all three parts of the mind, they dislike their jobs, often display performance strain in one or more essential values; cognitive- knowledge and skills, affective – experiential and/or cultural, or conative -method of execution.  Conversely,  employees can have a high level of job satisfaction and perform poorly.

Factors typically viewed as measures of job satisfaction:

  • Company culture
  • Work environment
  • Relationship with peers
  • Work-life balance
  • Level of flexibility
  • Recognition
  • Salary or wages
  • Benefits

The List Is Incomplete.  You Should Measure Job Satisfaction Differently

While there are plenty of successful companies that ignore this metric, measuring job satisfaction is important.  The benefits of job satisfaction to business performance are many, such as you achieve a lower turnover rate.  There is a correlation between overall job satisfaction and turnover rates.  If your employees are satisfied in all three metrics, they are more likely to stay.  If they aren’t happy, there is a greater chance of separation.

You need to foster job satisfaction to keep your turnover rate in check.  While it is nearly impossible to achieve a 0% turnover rate, high levels of employee satisfaction will be reflected in your turnover rate.

Measuring job satisfaction also allows you to identify problems within your workforce that may otherwise go unnoticed.  The reasons are many, and they fall into one of three parts of the mind.  Your feedback may include expressions like these; they aren’t receiving recognition for their hard work, or perhaps they are being forced to long hours with little or no flexibility, or they feel ill equipped for managing change.  Measuring job satisfaction measures are essential to your business growth and sustainability,  You can then use this information to create metrics for ensuring engagement and satisfaction.

Three Essential Factors As Metrics For Job Satisfaction:

  • Alignment of conative or natural method of execution to role expectations
  • Level of cognitive or learned knowledge base and skills to role requirements
  • Level of affective influence or collaborative strengths and positive cultural influence

Add a Suggestion Box

You can use a suggestion box to get continual feedback on job satisfaction.  Some employers assume that suggestion boxes are only useful for collecting feedback from customers, but a suggestion box is equally useful for collecting feedback from employees.

Employees can prefer to give feedback anonymously for fear of repercussions. With a suggestion box, they can leave feedback anonymously without revealing their identities.   You can encourage employees to fill out a card and leave it in the suggestion box.  You can then collect their responses to gauge their overall level of job satisfaction.

Send Satisfaction Surveys

Many companies use satisfaction surveys to measure job satisfaction.  A satisfaction survey is a questionnaire that asks employees whether or not they are satisfied in various areas of the employee experience.  Surveys can be tangible such as a printed survey, as well as digital forms such as a Word document or an email.  Satisfaction surveys are designed to gain insight into levels of satisfaction across your company.

Keep satisfaction surveys reasonable, they don’t have to be long or complex.  Specific satisfaction surveys often work best. You can create a satisfaction survey asking employees to rate their level of satisfaction on a scale from one to 10 on specific aspects of your company.  This a quick and effective strategy that provides accurate insight into job satisfaction.

Make Satisfaction An Ongoing Experience, Talk to Employees in Person

You should also incorporate job satisfaction in live conversation with your employees in person.  Informal satisfaction can occur when you come across an employee during the workday, stop and ask about his or her workday.  You can ask the employee if he or she has experienced any problems recently, and if so, to provide a brief description. Talking to employees in person is a more personal way to measure job satisfaction.

Brent Hermansen