As a human resources professional, do you know what makes your employees feel satisfied? If you and the other executive members of your business don’t, you could be losing money each year from costs associated with stressed-out employees booking time off.
What Makes Your Employees Feel Satisfied?
The Statistic Brain Research Institute of the American Institute of Stress reports that job stress tops the list of physical symptoms caused by stress that 77 percent of Americans experience regularly. Annual costs of stress-related missed days and health care in the United States is a staggering $300 billion. So what is it that today’s employees want to feel happy and satisfied in their workplace?
According to a combined Harvard Business Review and The Energy Project study of 12,000 primarily white collar workers indicates that workers need four essential needs to be met in order to be happy on the job. The four needs are:
1. Physical needs
The worker needs to feel recharged and renewed in their workplace. This can come from a comfortable and relaxed work environment.
2. Emotional needs
The worker needs to feel appreciated and valued. managers that show their appreciation for their employees have an overall more satisfied staff. Having a fun and social work environment can also make the workers more productive as they want to come to work.
3. Mental needs
The worker needs to be able to focus on important jobs without being constantly interrupted and chastised. This is where a micro-manager becomes a problem. Constantly looking over your employees shoulder and telling them what to do can cause more stress and dissatisfaction.
4. Spiritual needs
The worker needs to feel that there is some purpose to the work that they do, a higher purpose than just taking home a paycheck.
Human resources professionals can use this needs guideline in the development of new programs in the workplace.
How To Support These Needs
- What are some of the ways you can ensure that corporate policies support these essential needs? Some practical ways include: Ensuring that workers have regular breaks to allow themselves to re-focus. In unionized workplaces, this is often a negotiated item, but in other settings (especially in white-collar environments), often workers take it as a badge of honor to stay at their desks through breaks and lunchtime. This is not conducive to maximum production. Taking a small break every 90 minutes is essential to the creativity and health of all workers.
- Regardless of the importance of the job and the skills of the worker, people should not stay more than 40 hours in their formal workplace setting. Creativity and innovation fades as the hours after that accumulate. Even a change of setting if the person moves to a home office, dons more comfortable clothing, and feels more relaxed, can spur creativity.
- Find programs to show employees that their work is valued. One company recently sent a memo to its staff to advice that on the three long weekends of the summer (from July to September), they were giving everyone the Friday before off as well as a way of saying thank-you for their hard work the rest of the year. The response was amazing.
- Effectively matching a worker’s skill and aptitude to their job is another crucial component in reducing job stress and increasing worker satisfaction. When selecting applications for different positions, using programs that match personalities with tasks can also be effective.
Every company has it’s own method of making employees feel satisfied. There is no one-size fits all method, but as long as the employer is taking the initiative, workers will feel appreciated. There is nothing worse than an organization that does not put effort meeting employees needs.