As an HR professional, company owner, or supervisor, employee happiness and satisfaction should be important to you.
Remember this: when employees are happy they tend to do their best work. Furthermore, these types of employees have a better chance of sticking with the company over the long run.
Consider the following statistic shared by Gallup:
“The percentage of U.S. workers whom Gallup considers “engaged” in their jobs averaged 34.1% in March, the highest level since Gallup began tracking U.S. workplace engagement daily in January 2011. The previous high was 33.8% in March 2011, followed by 33.6% in January 2012. Since then, employee engagement averages have been firmly locked below 33.0%.”
Although engagement may be high at this time, as compared to the past, it’s easy to see that there is plenty of room for improvement.
So, with all this in mind, you have to answer one very important question: what process will you follow in order to measure employee happiness?
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Try These Ideas
There is more to measuring employee happiness than walking through your office and observing others. Sure, this may give you insight into how people are feeling and the work they are doing, but it isn’t enough to make a final determination.
Fortunately, there are several ideas you can implement in the months to come that will change your approach for the better:
- Talk to Your Employees
Believe it or not, communication is a lost art in the workplace. If you don’t talk to your employees on a regular basis, how will you ever know if they are happy with their job and the direction the company is headed?
Managers and company owners should open up to employees on a regular basis. Along with this, make it clear that your “door is always open.”
When you talk to your employees in a one-on-one environment, it’s easier to get an idea of how they feel.
If somebody is happy, be sure to find out why this is the case. Conversely, if somebody shows that they are less than satisfied, it’s time to ask them why and then put an end to the problem as soon as possible.
There is no better way to measure employee happiness than by having honest, personal conversations.
- Get Help
It’s easy to believe you have everything under control, it’s easy to believe that you understand your workforce, but it’s possible that you could be way off base.
When you get help from other employees, such as by forming a focus group, it’s easier to see exactly what’s going on. Remember this: regardless of your position, you can’t see everything.
For instance, if you’re a company owner employees may act differently around you than they do everyone else.
For this reason, forming a focus group goes a long way in giving you an inside look at the way the company operates when you are out of sight.
Meet with your group on a regular basis to discuss employee morale, kick around ideas, and make suggestions on ways to improve.
With each meeting, you should feel like you’re moving in the right direction. Even more importantly, you should begin to see a change in the attitude of your employees.
- Use a Survey
Let’s face it: some people won’t be honest when communicating directly with their supervisor. Instead, they tell them what they want to hear, even if it’s not the truth.
If you think this could be a problem, it’s time to take advantage of employee surveys.
Your goal is simple: create a survey that allows you to measure the happiness of your employees.
From there, once you collect the answers, you can review each one for a better idea of where things stand.
You may find that you’re on the right track across the board. However, it’s more likely that you’ll come across a few areas that call for improvement.
If you’re going to use a survey, make sure you are serious about reviewing the results and implementing changes for the better.
- Get Outside Help
The more time you spend with your company the more likely it is that you will lose sight of what is and is not working.
This is why it’s suggested to get outside help from time to time. This is not nearly as difficult as it sounds, so don’t shy away just yet.
An example of this would be to connect with another company owner, asking him or her for advice on how they measure employee happiness.
Sometimes, all it takes is an outside view to give you a clear idea of what should happen next.
It’s hard for some people to open up about the problems they are having within their company, but it’s time to swallow your pride and take action. You may be surprised at the advice you receive when you open up to your network. It only takes one suggestion in order to put you in a better position.
- Conduct Exit Interviews
As you know, even the best employees move on at some point. While this may be disappointing, it’s something you need to come to grips with.
Rather than let the employee leave and forget about their contributions, consider the benefits of an exit interview.
This can be a quick meeting that provides the opportunity to learn more about the employee’s experience, including whether or not he or she was happy during their time with the company.
By asking for feedback, you can better understand how the person felt as an employee. Even if they were satisfied with their experience, it’s safe to assume you can pick up on a couple details that can bring improvement to your company in the future.
Happy employees will do whatever it takes to get the job done. Happy employees will take the time to assist others and work towards company goals.
If you’re not yet measuring employee happiness, now’s the time to adjust your approach. By following the five points above, you’ll find it easier to keep your workforce satisfied – and that’s what you want!
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