Quiet quitters, the Great Resignation, and economic issues all mean huge challenges for keeping your workforce up and running. Thankfully, there’s a way to retain employees and build skills in one fell swoop: by creating best practices for increasing employee growth and satisfaction.
Engagement vs. Satisfaction, and Why it Matters
Mick Jagger famously sang “I can’t get no satisfaction”. Thankfully, he’s not an HR person. Generating job satisfaction is critical for hanging on to employees. Even way back in 1973, the Harvard Business Review saw a strong relationship between retention and job satisfaction, which is defined as “a person’s overall evaluation of his or her job as favorable or unfavorable”.
Exhausted HR staffers might roll their eyes and say “but I’ve got a great engagement program – isn’t that enough?” Yes, there is also a vital connection between retention and engagement; but to cover all the bases, you’ve got to have both.
This is because liking your work (satisfaction) doesn’t mean that you will work hard at it (engagement). Perhaps somebody enjoys a job because they can goof around all day – not exactly what you would call committed. On the other hand, you can be entirely engaged in a role but still feel that you could get a better deal elsewhere, and eventually leave to find meaningful tasks and a better work environment.
Organizations that want to increase job satisfaction often start by measuring current levels among employees. There are various indexes for this purpose, including the Job Descriptive Index (JDI). Although the JDI has 72 questions, they are grouped into five categories. For each category, employees are asked a series of questions to determine how they feel about that particular dimension of their job.
What’s interesting is that four of the five are directly related to the concept of growth. Think about that for a moment: growth opportunities are intrinsically entwined with job satisfaction. How do you get there? Here are some common growth initiatives to get you started:
Promotions / Promotion Opportunities
If you’re implementing an employee growth strategy, then you probably know that certain HR activities begin during an employee’s post-onboarding phase. First and foremost is a career management plan. This formally lays out an employee’s growth objectives in the organization over time and details the skills that they will need to get there.
In turn, this plan will lead to various activities. To prepare a worker for the career ladder, a job enrichment program is a great way to go. This includes things like job rotations and job shadowing as a means of introducing employees to different roles. But it’s also critical to actually enable growth through internal mobility initiatives.
Teams are all about interaction. Employees join a group with certain attitudes and abilities that influence how they fit in. Of course, there will be some workers who are naturally more successful in the group than others. But, with a growth mindset, every employee can be given skills and experiences which make the most of their talents.
When it comes to teams, communication is of the utmost importance – with communication coaching as an effective way of improving this skill. Then, of course, there is teamwork, which allows an employee to be an effective contributor to a team while cooperating efficiently with peers.
The essential method for developing supervisory skills is through leadership training, but this is about more than knowing how to fill in timesheets. A good supervisor unites the team through soft skills such as empathy, problem-solving, and conflict resolution.
The Work Itself
This is the bread and butter for HR and L&D, so most departments will already have relevant programs, even if they aren’t thought of as growth initiatives. To increase both the level and variety of job satisfaction factors, consider the following:
- Awards – recognition in addition to pay, such as days off, mention in newsletters, and spots on company social media
- Engagement – workshops, L&D courses, upskilling opportunities, and various job enrichment activities
- Retention – cooperating with managers to ensure that they are following essential leadership concepts; allowing frequent feedback from both sides; addressing work-life balance issues through innovative scheduling and WFH
- Assessment – gauging satisfaction and skill levels through the JDI and similar measurement methods
What About Pay?
The final part of the JDI, which to many people is the main determinant of their satisfaction, is the pay. As an HR person, you often have limited ability to influence this factor. But, if the other four JDI elements are maximized so that growth is both enabled and achieved, then upward mobility – and better compensation – should result.
Satisfy L&D Goals with GrowthSpace
At crucial points of any employee growth initiative, L&D comes into play. To ensure that every course provides the maximum benefit, you’ll need a platform that customizes talent development according to the exact needs of the employees and the goals of the organization. GrowthSpace is the answer for companies that want to deliver outstanding L&D experiences at scale while satisfying precise skill development targets.