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The 3 essentials: employee well-being, satisfaction and recognition

Published by: LifeWorks,

There is a major disconnect in the modern workplace, and it involves employee well-being, satisfaction, and recognition. In a study we conducted with HR.com, we found that employees think their employers need to focus more on improving employee satisfaction, recognition, and well-being.

However, employers think differently.

According to our research, employers believe they need to focus on improving engagement and development first; employee satisfaction was the third priority. This disconnect suggests that it may be time to rethink your priorities.

While engagement is an ongoing concern — Gallup’s June poll found only 32 percent of employees are engaged in their work — it’s time to listen to what employees think employers should focus on improving.

Let’s take a look at why each of these three areas matter, and how you can make improvements:

Employee satisfaction

Focusing on employee satisfaction and happiness should be your top concern. For starters, happy employees are less likely to leave. They won’t actively seek out new opportunities if they actually enjoy coming to work every day.

Happy employees are also more willing to go the extra mile and are even more productive. A 2014 study from the University of Warwick found that happiness made people around 12 percent more productive.

Professor Andrew Oswald, one of the research leaders, highlighted how Google, an organisation known for focusing on boosting satisfaction, saw a 37 percent increase in productivity.

There are several factors to consider if you want to make employees happier. They want access to professional development, they want to find meaning in their work, and their work-life balance should be healthy so they can manage their overall well-being.

To give your employees more to smile about, start by showing them that their job is secure and that the company is thriving. You can do this simply by sharing your company’s financial health.

For example, Buffer exhibits transparency to the extreme. They share their product roadmap, their revenue in real-time, and information on fundraising.

In addition, fun should be a must every single day. Host games and activities in and out of the office to get your teams working together and connecting on a personal level.

Employee well-being

When employees are worked to the bone, they’re more prone to get sick, miss work, and start to disengage. However, when you take a proactive approach to helping employees address their health, they are more likely to feel valued.

When you play an active role in improving employee well-being, you send employees a powerful message: they are more than just an asset to you. You see them for who they are — people, with families, hobbies, unique personalities, and active home lives.

To focus your culture on employee well-being, start rewarding those who participate in your wellness initiatives. For example, when someone completes a health risk assessment when they’re scheduled to, give them a gift tailored to their lifestyle like a magazine subscription or gift card to a spa.

Assign ‘health action plans’ and use rewards along the way to help them progress toward health goals. Each person’s goals may vary. Some may want to manage their diabetes or lose weight. Establish mini goals, and recognise them when they reach each one.

Employee recognition

Along with employee well-being, recognition plays a crucial part in employee satisfaction. Your staff likes to be celebrated for the value they bring.

They also like to see how their work impacts the team and the bigger picture. When colleagues from another team show their appreciation, it makes them realise how their work impacts others within the organisation.

Structure a peer recognition program that aligns with your culture. For example, start a fun tradition like presenting trophies or banging a gong when your teams achieve a goal.

Also, celebrate work anniversaries and big milestones for your staff. For example, Two Rivers Marketing gives employees personal caricatures. Employees can hang it by their desk and be reminded that they’re a valued member of the team.

While it’s important to boost engagement and development, if you help employees feel happier and more satisfied in their work, they will naturally be more engaged and enthusiastic about growing with your organisation.

How are you improving employee well-being, satisfaction, and recognition?

Make your employees feel loved