Why Understanding Employee Satisfaction is Important in your Business

Stacey Selway

Employee satisfaction is a common buzzword these days, and something that many companies are directing resources into. However, as an umbrella term, it is wide-ranging and influenced by a number of factors.

As a company that places thousands of jobseekers across a range of industry sectors – understanding the importance of employee satisfaction is crucial to us, and feeds in to our mission to help candidates and clients reach their full potential.

For this reason, we undertook comprehensive research into what influences employee satisfaction, and set out to measure levels of engagement amongst the workers that we have placed across Health, Logistics, HVAC and Engineering.

The importance of employee satisfaction: Top 5 factors

From our research, we concluded that there were several key factors influencing employee satisfaction. These were:

  • Training and development

One significant contributor to levels of employee satisfaction is training and growth. In fact, according to studies by Gallup, companies that engaged in dedicated development schemes saw profits double compared to those that didn’t. In addition to this, research from Linkedin showed that a resounding 94% of employees said that they would stay at a company longer if it invested in career progression.

  • Work-life balance

Work–life balance is another huge factor influencing employee satisfaction. Research shows nearly half of UK workers (47%) spend significant time feeling overwhelmed by their workload, and 85% feel their work is causing them stress.

A government report on job related stress demonstrated that it accounted for nearly half of all working days lost due to illness. Furthermore, a study from The Corporate Executive Board found that employees who believe that they have good work-life balance work 21% harder.

  • Management

A poll of 2,000 UK workers conducted by Investors in People found that 49% of employees were considering leaving their job because of poor management. In addition to this, research from Gallup shows that managers account for at least 70% of the variance in engagement scores.

A National Study conducted by Ultimate Software revealed that for 93% of employees, trust in management was cited as essential to staying satisfied at work. A good manager-employee relationship can play a significant role in retention too, with more than half of all workers stating that they would reject a 10% pay increase to stay with a great boss.

  • Pay and benefits

Competitive pay makes employees feel valued and boosts staff retention and morale. Additionally, when workers know there are bonuses or commissions, they are increasingly motivated to deliver results. This improved retention means that business owners don’t need to continue to spend time, money and energy on recruiting new candidates.

  • Feedback

According to Harvard Business Review, 72% of people feel their performance would improve if their managers provided corrective feedback. In fact, the same survey found that 57% of people prefer corrective feedback to purely praise and recognition.

Additionally, a study by Officevibe shows that 4 in 10 workers are actively disengaged when they have little or no feedback. The research also highlighted how important it is for employees to receive regular levels of feedback, with 43% of highly engaged employees receiving reviews at least once a week, compared to only 18% of employees with low engagement.

The survey

Based on the above research into the importance of employee satisfaction, we distributed a survey to 41,635 candidates across all four of our divisions to gauge employee satisfaction. Respondents were asked to which extent they agreed with the following statements:

• I am happy with the pay and benefits I receive

• I would recommend my place of work to someone else

• My work is an important part of my life

• I am proud to work in my industry

• I receive regular feedback as to how I am performing

• There are opportunities to learn and grow with my employer

• I receive sufficient training to do a good job

• I am happy with the balance between my work and home life

• I have confidence in the leadership/management team

• My manager motivates me to give my best every day

Can’t be ignored

As such a large contributor to a business’s health, the importance of employee satisfaction is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. By undertaking this research, we hope to give candidates a clearer idea of the situation in their sectors, and give our clients better tools to craft their employee satisfaction strategies

To find out the results in your sector – please download the white paper here.

At WR, we deliver a range of recruitment services: contingent, exclusive, and our brand new retained model – WR Search. Whether you’re looking for a new role, or hiring for a vacancy, we’ll make your job or talent search as seamless as possible.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 0330 333 5074 today