Published March 1, 2010

6 Tips to Increasing Employee Satisfaction

A large portion of your company's success stems from the ability of your employees to meet your demands, as well as the demands of your customers. Thus, it stands to reason that keeping your employees satisfied and happy is a direct way to keeping your business successful.

But how do you improve employee satisfaction? Here are six tips to help increase employee satisfaction in your small business.

  1. Ensure Everyone Knows Your Business Mission and Vision

    A satisfied employee is one who knows what he or she must accomplish. Be sure your employees know what your business is about, including your top priorities in customer satisfaction.

  2. Clear Expectations

    One way to improve employee satisfaction is being clear with them about their job duties. This should include a defined job description with goals and expectations. Set a schedule to perform semi-annual or at least annual job performance reviews so that you can analyze performance over the last period compared to the expectations. If your employees clearly know what is expected of them, they have a much easier time achieving their goals.

  3. Empower Your Employees

    Most employees do not like to be micro-managed. Rather, workers get much more job satisfaction when they know you trust them to do a good job.

    Give your employees empowerment. Perhaps that means allowing your customer service people to make decisions on improving customer relations. If a customer comes in with a complaint, you might allow your employee to give a gift card at his or her discretion up to $100 in order to retain that customer's loyalty. Another idea might be allowing employees to come up with time-saving or money-saving ideas.

    Empowerment gives an employee ownership of his or her job, and it makes them more productive for your company.

  4. Reward Employees

    When was the last time you commended an employee on a job well done? Workers like to know that their efforts are appreciated. Rewarding workers to increase employee satisfaction could be as simple as a verbal "job well done." Other rewards could be in the form of a cash bonus or gift card for taking initiative or a promotion, even if it's just in title, for improving working conditions.

  5. Team Building Activities

    Improving employee satisfaction includes building and improving your team. Team building activities might include inviting your workers on a day retreat where goals are discussed and ideas are introduced. You might consider hiring a team building consultant to perform activities with your workers. Or a simple team building exercise is setting a team goal, and if it is met, reward employees with a team lunch or even a movie.

  6. Reasonable Compensation

    Salary is last on the list because it is not the top priority for employee satisfaction, according to human resources polls. Employees would much rather be recognized for their efforts and be rewarded over an excellent salary. That doesn't mean you should skimp, however. Be sure you offer salaries that are comparable to other positions in your industry. And don't forget the other benefits you should offer, such as insurance, retirement contribution, and an attractive time off package.