Improve job satisfaction and increase productivity - Business Works
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Improve job satisfaction and increase productivity

by Eve Watkins In any workplace, it is fairly common knowledge that motivation is an important tool in raising productivity levels and ensuring targets are met in a timely manner. However, many employers still make the mistake of assuming motivation and job satisfaction are one and the same when in fact job satisfaction is really a key driver of motivation an error which, if left unchecked, could see companies losing top talent due to better opportunities for their highly skilled employees elsewhere.

During the recession, employers did not necessarily have to worry about this issue as employees tended to follow the old adage of 'not biting the hand that feeds'. In other words, mobility decreased dramatically as employees tended to feel grateful for simply having a stable income; with only 14% of workers in businesses [PDF} affected by a 'strong adverse impact' of the recession feeling secure in their positions, many felt that shopping around for a new job would put them at the top of their employer's hit list should cuts need to be made.

retaining top talent by lifting job satisfaction is a must

Yet now, in the early stages of recovery, increasing numbers are placing factors such as job satisfaction above the security of a position due to the widespread growth in all sectors of the economy. Head hunters are once again seeking out the best workers, so retaining top talent by lifting job satisfaction is a must for firms who wish to stay at the top of their game.

The benefits of offering perks

by Eve Watkins

Achieving top job satisfaction amongst employees is not necessarily done by breaking the bank to offer the highest wages in the industry. In his book, 10 Insider Secrets to a Winning Job Search, Todd Bermont suggests that employers should instead consider offering employees benefits or perks, perhaps in the form of a child minding service in the office or access to a company exercise facility. While this may be easier in some industries than others construction workers, for example, will realise the problems surrounding implementing a day care facility on a busy site alternatives are easy to find with a little imagination and searching around. In Northern Ireland, for example, two of the most prevalent private sector industries are manufacturing and agriculture; both of which come with relatively high risk of accident or injury. It may be worth, therefore, considering getting a quote for a corporate health insurance Northern Ireland programme. This can be valuable in helping employees back on their feet after an accident requiring extensive treatment and also reinforces workers' belief that their employer's primary concern is their wellbeing, thus making them feel like an appreciated member of the team.

The impact of strong management skills

In a study conducted by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), it was discovered that financial rewards such as bonuses or pay rises do not top the list when seeking to motivate employees through job satisfaction. Instead, more than 20% of the 1000-plus respondents cited 'how well they are treated by their managers' as one of the most important factors in boosting personal productivity. This is hardly surprising, as a manager tends to be the core of the working environment: acting as a support, a motivator and when necessary a disciplinarian all at the same time. Ensuring all members of management understand the position of responsibility they hold is immensely important in reinforcing job satisfaction amongst bodies of staff, therefore. Encouraging managers to offer frequent feedback, good or bad, on tasks carried out by employees has been proven highly effective in improving not only job satisfaction, but also inter-company relationships which in turn will lead to an increase in motivation and productivity.

The positive impact of strong job satisfaction can never be underestimated, so it should be a standard practice for all businesses to address dissatisfaction wherever possible in a proactive manner. Feedback need not necessarily be a one way street, as employees should be allowed a platform from which to address any issues they have whether this be during a bi-monthly meeting specifically for this task or, as some employees may feel uncomfortable in a confrontational situation, through an anonymous suggestion box located somewhere in the workplace.

Achieving maximum job satisfaction is a marathon, not a sprint: yet while it may be seen as an arduous task, the results in terms of productivity will make any amount of effort entirely worthwhile.

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