Employee Satisfaction and Company Success
Success in business can be measured in a number of different ways: profitability, number of clients served, the degree to which the mission is accomplished, and more. Yet no matter how success is measured, all companies want to do well and succeed, and this is true whether the company in question is a for-profit company or nonprofit organization. Thus, companies implement rules and standards for such things as customer service, quality, production, and other matters to keep customers returning and the reach of the company extending. One factor frequently overlooked in the drive to improve business success, however, is employee satisfaction.
The Key Role of Employee Satisfaction
No business can accomplish its goals without a dedicated workforce. In other words, except for those few small businesses that are owned by one person who is also the company's only worker, companies rely on a properly trained and knowledgeable employee base to provide services. Because happy people tend to be better workers, a business will never be as successful as it could be unless there are measures in place to help establish and maintain employee satisfaction. Satisfied employees are happy to come to work and willing to go the extra mile for their employers because the employees love their jobs and want to advance the company's mission.
Many long-range studies have demonstrated that companies with satisfied employees routinely increase their profits on a year-over-year basis. Various employee satisfaction surveys are released each year, and often, these appear in articles with titles such as "The 100 Best Companies to Work For." Companies that appear on these lists are often the most profitable companies that are offering their services today. For example, a recent list put out by Fortune magazine indicated that American Express, which appears on their list, increased its profits to such a degree that its stock price rose 22 percent in 2013. In the same period, Whole Foods, another business on the list, saw its stock price rise 31 percent as a result of increased profitability.
Why Employee Satisfaction Increases the Bottom Line
Employee satisfaction translates into tangible effects that inevitably lead to a company's increased profitability and success. For example, employee turnover is drastically lower for companies with employees who report a high level of job satisfaction. A low turnover rate means that the very best employees are staying and that the number of new trainees is reduced. The time saved in training new employees translates into more time spent directly on other measures that can increase a business's success. Given that human beings are naturally incentivized by the promise of a reward, encouraging words and specific prizes for successful job performance will encourage many employees to work harder and be more satisfied with the results of their labor. This leads to more success for their company.
How Can Employers Improve Employee Satisfaction?
Companies that want to increase their employees' satisfaction have a number of different steps that they can take to accomplish their goal. First, a healthy package of benefits tends to result in more satisfied employees. Generous retirement plans, affordable health insurance, and other benefits keep people with the same employer longer than those companies that offer only a minimum range of benefits. Of course, such things raise the employer's costs, but there are many benefits that do not force employers to shell out more money. Regular encouragement of employees through words or thank-you letters will keep many of them happy and satisfied. Flexible work hours and offering employees the ability to work from home are also factors that make it easier for workers to find satisfaction. Policies that encourage employees to take an ownership role in the outcome of their work can also lead to greater satisfaction. Give employees a role in decision-making, listen to their concerns, and show them how important their specific tasks are to the company's mission and a company will find itself rewarded with employees that are more engaged and are seeking to advance the company's interests.
In short, employee satisfaction and company success go hand in hand. Learn from employee satisfaction studies and experts and business success will almost certainly follow. It is not hard to benefit from what other companies have learned in this regard.
- Does Employee Engagement Impact a Company's Bottom Line?
- Do Happy Workers Mean Higher Company Profits?
- Employee Engagement Is a Key to Long-Term Business Success
- Employee-Friendly Workplaces and Company Success
- Ethics and Employee Engagement (PDF)
- Make More Money By Making Your Employees Happy
- Purdue Research Links Employee Satisfaction, Profits
- Putting Performance and Happiness Together in the Workplace
- To Boost Customer Satisfaction, Business Owners Should Pay Attention to Employee Job Satisfaction