Fundamental Concepts for Employee Satisfaction

employee satisfactionLearn the basics of keeping your employees satisfied with their jobs.

While every supervisor?s ideal is an engaged and enthusiastic team, keeping employees motivated and doing their best is easier said than done. Even programs such as contests and rewards tend to reap little as far as long-term engagement goes because they amount to extrinsic motivators. What employees really want comes from within. Intrinsic motivators such as control, mastery and purpose are among the best ways to keep an employee productive and invested.

1. Control, or autonomy, takes place on a sliding scale, of course. In some jobs, employees can be given more freedom than in other jobs. However, in whatever possible areas, employees do need to be in control because they become more invested and motivated. Examples of empowering employees versus indifference or micro-managing include broadening telecommuting options and/or letting employees set their hours, and encouraging employees to customize their workstations.

2. Purpose, or achievement, helps employees feel and see the results of their productivity. Show employees how they make a difference, or incorporate more purpose-driven missions into the company culture. For example, have employees volunteer somewhere a couple of days every month during their work hours.

3. Mastery, or improvement, gives employees a feeling of self-satisfaction and financial security, and it also contributes to their sense of purpose. A few ways to help employees with mastery are to promote cross-training, continuing education, independent projects and seminars in which employees themselves lead the workshops. Everyone has something to teach.

4. Socialization, or connection,
helps employees feel valued and part of a team. It also helps the company show it cares about employees. One approach is company volunteer events; other ways are happy hours, family events, sports teams, celebrating employee birthdays and the like. Socialization also helps break up any ?boring? office routines.

5. Progress, or achievement, keeps employees striving to improve. Have employees set goals, short term and long term, for themselves. Cross-train them in various roles in and out of their home department.