How many times have you as an employer thought whether or not your employees are happy in their jobs? While many of your employees are in their ‘dream job,’ chances are, there are still several of them who are not. Chances also are that such poor job satisfaction might be a big role-player in your employee’s questionable mental health. As an employer, you only want the best for your employees. What if I told you that their ‘less-than-dream-job’ could also be capable of bringing them job satisfaction, thereby contributing to their better mental health and increased productivity?
But first, what is job satisfaction?
Job satisfaction is the workplace happiness, contentment, and a sense of fulfillment that an employee derives from their job. It is emotional in nature though it can be derived by multiple dimensions of the job: from finding ‘meaning’ in the job to being paid bonuses or being sent on wellness retreats.
The link between increased job satisfaction and better mental health
There exists a reciprocal relationship between job satisfaction, mental health, and productivity of employees. Studies have shown, that more job satisfaction leads to better physical and mental health of employees and reduces chances of depression and burnout, thereby increasing productivity: a simple, cause-and-effect calculation.
How can employers increase job satisfaction?
Here are a few ways employers can increase job satisfaction for their employees:
An employee will not be satisfied even in their ‘dream job,’ if they are not fairly compensated for their work. Fair compensation is therefore the most crucial determining factor for job satisfaction.
Career development opportunities
Career development means ensuring the employee’s personal and professional growth by providing them with guidance to move into higher positions within or without the workplace. Regular training for freshers to teach them the job, and for senior employees to keep up with changes in work and technology build desired skills and technical know-how amongst employees, thereby increasing opportunities for career growth. This can be done through formal training sessions or more casual sessions.
Increased autonomy of employees at all levels works a miracle in increasing job satisfaction because rather than feeling like a mere cog in the machine, employees know their voices, opinions, and ideas matter. This improves their self-esteem and makes them feel respected. Rather than feeling alienated from their work, they feel more in control of it and take it seriously. A simple gesture like asking for suggestions or opinions and advice of employees can also go a long way.
There is no better feeling than publicly (or privately) being given due credit for your work. It works like magic by boosting the employee’s morale and making them want to ace their performance every time. Recognizing achievements could look like publicly praising an employee for their work, offering small spot bonuses, or organization recognizing their valuable contribution to the organisation on birthdays. Even gestures like cheering and clapping for employees are appreciated.
Instead of living in the fear of suddenly losing their job, the employee must be able to rest assured in the fact that their job is secure. This reduces anxiety and provides a personal sense of security to the employee who will now most likely, not stress themselves to the point of burnout and be able to function efficiently.
Positive work environment
Nothing good ever emerges from a toxic environment. It is non-negotiable that your employees work in an environment that is safe, supportive, and positive. An organization must set the tone of the workplace by creating a ‘workplace culture’ that is full of positivity and free from harassment, gossip, or any form of bullying. The safer the environment, the more satisfied and efficient your employees are.
According to the Cambridge Dictionary work-life balance is “the amount of time you spend doing your job compared with the amount of time you spend with your family and doing things you enjoy.” A job that demands all of you all the time (unless you’re in the army) lacks such balance. Flexible work hours, designated hours of break, sufficient and easily accessible casual and wellness leaves, having the weekends off, etc. are ways to increase work-life balance.
Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more organizations have come to understand that the good mental health of employees is absolutely necessary for employees to function efficiently. This can be done by offering benefits such as self-care leaves, mental health consultation insurance, sponsored therapy, etc. We at Manah Wellness too, provide a wide range of cutting-edge digital tools, in addition to organizing online and in-person expert-led mental health sessions for employees on behalf of their employers.
Human beings are emotional beings and the jobs we perform affect us.
- Both the employee and the employer can benefit from increased job satisfaction of the employee.
- An employee experiencing job satisfaction has better morale and experiences workplace happiness.
- They care about their job, take it more seriously, and yet do not experience easy burnout.
- Because of such satisfaction, they are willing to work harder and more, with better efficiency and less absenteeism.