Gone are the days when company leaders could take employees’ satisfaction for granted – or, worse, express complete indifference toward their teams’ well-being. Today’s top companies compete fiercely to make “best places to work” lists.
Those efforts pay off. Satisfied, fulfilled employees are:
More Likely to Stretch Themselves
Happy employees tend to embrace challenges, even when it’s not in their best interest to do so.
“When life is made meaningful and fulfilling, when affinity is felt,” says teacher and philosopher Arnold Siegel, “it is because we took up the challenge to extend ourselves beyond our initial reach.”
Siegel’s words apply to life in general and the workplace in particular. Show your employees you value them as people and they’ll show you just how hard they’re willing to work for you.
More Likely to Sing Your Company’s Praises
Satisfied employees are more likely to evangelize – to serve as walking, talking billboards for your cause. Employee evangelism builds on itself, drawing ever more qualified candidates into your company’s orbit, raising its profile, and – just maybe – worming it onto those coveted “best places to work” lists.
Easier to Manage
Satisfied employees don’t ask questions they should know how to answer. They don’t need to be micromanaged. They don’t need someone to organize their tasks for them. They don’t need help with the basic job functions that you hired them to carry out. And they don’t need to be reminded how to apply their skills.
Bottom line: satisfied employees demand less time and energy from management. That’s good for everyone.
Likelier to Stick Around
“There are numerous reasons why employees can become discouraged with their jobs and resign,” writes Kristen Gregory of Neumann University. These include “high stress, lack of communication within the company, lack of recognition, or limited opportunity for growth.”
It’s no longer a buyer’s market for talent. In a tight labor market, the cost of operating a revolving door is higher than the cost of doing whatever it takes (within reason) to retain quality employees. And, by definition, satisfied employees are quality employees. A handful of well-placed gestures that show just how much you value your team go a long way toward keeping it in place.
According to a study by the University of Warwick (U.K.), satisfied employees are up to 12% more productive than employees who don’t feel fulfilled in their work. Since productivity is closely tied to profitability, this has a direct impact on your bottom line.
Better at Their Jobs
It’s not just productivity. Happy employees really are better at their jobs, overall. And that’s pretty much the ball game, right?
Let’s break it down.
Happy, fulfilled employees are:
- Less likely to make preventable mistakes
- More likely to pay attention to small but important details
- More likely to go the extra mile for clients or customers
- Less likely to interfere with organizational operations
Any one of those traits is a good find. All four are dynamite.
Takeaway questions to explore: Are your employees happy with their work? What can you do to improve their experience – and their output?