Keeping employees motivated requires a balanced combination of financial and recognition-based rewards, not simply more pay or time off from work. John McGill looks at ways you can promote a healthy work ethic in your business.
Employee satisfaction is a measure of how pleased workers are with their working environment.
Keeping morale high among employees can be of tremendous benefit to any company, as happy workers will be likely to be more productive, take fewer days off and also display greater loyalty to the business.
This is incredibly timely, as companies address generational expectation of rewards and adapt their performance management to meet this. A 2016 survey by Deloitte of millennial loyalty reveals that 66 percent expect to leave their company in 2020, making it more important than ever to promote allegiance in your workers.
There are many factors that can contribute to improving or maintaining high employee satisfaction, which wise employers would do well to implement.
One of the most crucial elements of any company’s rewards programme has always been employee recognition.
Promoting a positive work culture
It seems obvious that employees who are succeeding and feeling good about their own personal work contributions to a company are far more likely to:
- Be proud to work for your company.
- Be happy to come to work each day.
- Feel valued within the company.
Employees who don’t feel like they are getting anywhere and are unhappy with not only their own performance but their position in the company, are clearly not going to achieve these.
So how do we promote a culture and working environment that encourages work productivity but also employee satisfaction? The answer is a question of balance.
In its 2015 Vacation Deprivation study, Expedia.com collected data from nearly 10,000 employees across 26 countries.
One important figure in the research was that 22 percent of the world’s workers feel some sense of guilt when wanting to book vacation time – with the largest percentage giving boss disapproval as the reason for this.
However, 85 percent of the world’s workers say they feel happier after a vacation, with vice president and general manager of Expedia.com, John Morrey, agreeing that balance is the answer.
“A healthy work-life balance is critical, not only to give workers a chance to enjoy their lives outside of the office, but also to recharge, making you more productive when you get back to work,” he said.
By promoting employee recognition, the results clearly show that employees will be happier within their working environment – not only taking fewer holidays, but feeling less guilty about taking the time off.
Compensation isn’t always the answer
Developing stronger working relationships is crucial to understanding your employee’s perception of value, with recognition ranking the highest along with monetary reward. Further data provided by worldwide management consulting firm McKinsey & Company supports this idea.
According to the firm, cash-based incentives may be less successful on employees than motivational rewards such as praise and recognition.
Praise from an immediate manager ranked highest in effectiveness at 67 percent, while monetary rewards including an increase in pay or stock options were noticeably lower at 52 and 35 percent respectively.
Another incentive presented in the survey was the opportunity to lead projects, with 62 percent feeling this was an effective motivational reward. It seems that increased responsibility, along with recognition, could be the driving force to employee satisfaction.
The key to keeping your employees happy requires a balance of financial and inspirational rewards. When increased recognition and employee engagement is implemented at a management level, the effect produces a working environment not only more productive, but more present.