Guide for managers: how to boost job satisfaction

Back again with our guide for managers! This time, to discuss the best way to enhance job satisfaction in the work environment.

There are many definitions of this parameter, but all of them make clear that their effect on productivity is crucial. Moreover, it seems that, provided that there are minimum conditions there’s a strong conexion so that productivity generates satisfaction and satisfaction impacts on productivity.

What we, as managers, would like to work on, is the general attitude of an employee towards his work and the impact of that attitude. So everything you are going to read may sound quite ethereal to you, but make no mistake: they are almost philosophical principles, yes, but their effect couldn’t be more real.

Employee satisfaction, the Holy Grail of HR

We are becoming more and more aware, in all areas of organizations, of the importance of happiness in the workplace, and of the relationship between happy employees and satisfied customers. A happier employee makes a happier customer, and that makes you happier. 

The most beautiful thing about happiness is that it is contagious!.

In a previous article we talked about some of the ingredients and tools to find the grail of human resources departments: from surveys that assess the situation in a practical way along with the ubiquitous salary, to a bunch of more intangible skills and attitudes, such as inclusive leadership or the never-enough-valued recognition.

If it’s so simple, why is it so hard to achieve job satisfaction? Good question. Probably because it does not depend on ourselves exclusively, subjective expectations and perceptions play a fundamental role as well. Your basic task as a manager is to try to match the subjective with the objective. 

Here you have some basic strategies because, sometimes, you can help the stars to align and the magic come true.

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Team building

In a regular team, there are leaders, but also colleagues. There are guidelines, but also collaboration. There are objectives to meet, but also bad results and criticisms. These are the elements to play with to build a strong and cohesive team.

Does that have an impact on well-being? Of course it does. Every employee benefits from healthy working relationships (both vertically and horizontally), having well-defined missions, feeling capable of contributing somehow and having a shoulder to lean on when everything gets difficult. Take care of your team and you will see the results.

Put everyone in their place

We are not talking about disciplinary measures, but about trying to get each employee to do what he likes. Sounds idyllic? In a real context, this is certainly not an easy task. But the world is not black or white, but gray: let’s try to get closer to the goal, even if we know that it is unattainable.

The real work begins in the recruitment phase (planning of the job, interview and onboarding), but a continuous work of evaluation and communication will help you to define the functions of the position and the capabilities of the employee. Continuous training (well oriented) and motivation are your best weapons to obtain results.

Dodge dissatisfaction

Sometimes we tend to focus on the factors that generate job satisfaction and forget about the factors that generate dissatisfaction: a serious mistake. The tremendous effect that “this dark side” has can undo all our most constructive efforts, and sometimes it’s all about something that has a simple solution. 

Is it about learning to see (and teaching to see) the glass half full? Yes, but also to make all that bunch of small (or not so small) things disappear from day to day that have an impact on the professional area as well as on personal matters. Asking your employees is the best way to know where you have to concentrate your efforts.