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With employee satisfaction being relatively low over the past few years, we have to wonder what can be done to improve employee engagement? Issues with employee satisfaction are never going to be fixed with an occasional comped lunch or a holiday bonus, more work has to be done to build lasting satisfaction and improve employee engagement across the board.
One of the best ways to improve employee satisfaction is through the onboarding process. An effective and engaging onboarding program is going to set employees off to a flying start, but an ineffective onboarding program can really spell disaster for your new employee and for you. Build unique and personalised onboarding programs filled with lots of different activities - not just the essential forms! Throw in some videos, policy sign-offs, training programs, surveys and whatever else your team might need (and also want) to complete.
The other thing to know when it comes to onboarding is, it’s not just about that first day or first week, it's a journey. Start the onboarding process before an employee starts so they are prepared for their first day, but also so they know they are joining a company that cares. Of course, the first day and week are really crucial, but don’t forget about the first couple of months and the first year! Schedule check-in’s, surveys and performance reviews as part of the onboarding process to ensure your new team member is integrating well within the team and within their new role.
You’ll never know if you never ask! There may be more going on behind the scenes and in areas you don’t have an active role in than you know. Take a look under the hood by implementing employee engagement surveys. Engagement surveys help you measure and report on employee satisfaction, allowing you to make appropriate changes using the insights you have gained. The best engagement surveys will ask a mix of numbered and free text questions and will allow team members to remain anonymous. This will provide you with the most accurate data and insights into how your employees feel about the company, their team and their work.
Your team are likely to experience higher levels of job satisfaction and are likely to be far more engaged if they have the opportunity to grow within their own role and possibly within the company. That doesn’t mean you have to do all your hiring from within the company, but it does mean providing learning and development opportunities. Encourage your team to expand their skill set by not just internal training, external training too.
As briefly mentioned, offering opportunities to advance within the company can also be really successful in keeping your team engaged and satisfied. Make it known from the very beginning that there will always be opportunities for advancement.
Culture is an extremely important factor when it comes to employee satisfaction. There is just no chance an employee is going to be fully satisfied and engaged with a company or job when the company culture is poor. Unfortunately, building a strong and supportive culture takes a lot of time. Your company culture starts with your values. These shouldn’t just be buzzwords that make your company look good, you need to live and breathe your company values.
Though, it’s not just about your values, there is a lot more work that goes into building culture. Creating a positive and supportive culture also relies on your ability to listen to what your employees want and need, creating goals, encouraging positivity and more. The biggest point is that it all comes down to leadership in the end.
Improving employee engagement and satisfaction among your team is crucial at this time and is an issue that affects many companies. Satisfaction cannot be improved with a band aid solution, it takes time and effort and leaders should be prepared to use all the tools they have available to work on employee satisfaction and improve it for the long-term.