Happy Employees = Successful Business: A Guide to Employee Satisfaction

Improve employee attendance

As an employer, you know how vital it is to keep your employees satisfied in order to build a successful business. But how do you go about doing that?

Well, we’ve put together this handy guide and filled it with tips on how to maintain employee satisfaction in the workplace – from exploring flexible working options and providing recognition for a job well done to implementing timely wage increases and tackling broader cultural issues.

Let’s get started! 🙌

What Is Employee Satisfaction?

Employee satisfaction can be defined as the feeling of contentment that comes from being both satisfied and engaged with an organization. However, it often goes much deeper than that.

Employee satisfaction is about:

  • Understanding that one’s work has a purpose
  • Knowing that you are truly valued, respected, and recognized for your contributions
  • Feeling at home and being able to let your unique talents shine through
  • Believing that opportunities exist to advance in the organization

That’s the kind of employee satisfaction both you and your team want to strive for.

What Is the Difference Between Employee Engagement and Job Satisfaction?

Since working nine to five isn’t just a clever song by Dolly Parton but the reality for many workers in today’s world, the amount of engagement and job satisfaction an employee has can make or break their work experience. However, differentiating between the two terms is not always easy.

Employee engagement refers to how much effort an employee puts forth when completing their job, while job satisfaction is how much fulfillment they get from performing the tasks expected of them.

It might be somewhat simpler to look at it this way: can someone do the bare minimum (engagement) without feeling empty and unmotivated (satisfaction)? That’s when an employer needs to step in and ensure their employees have both engagement and job satisfaction with their roles.

Main Benefits of High Employee Satisfaction

Employee satisfaction is widely considered to be a critical aspect of the success of any business, and it starts with how employees are treated. When you treat them well and provide good rewards, your employees feel more respected and appreciated, which in turn bolsters their morale and improves motivation across the organization.

But that’s not all!

Higher employee satisfaction also encourages greater creativity, better communication, and collaboration between staff members, enabling livelier team dynamics. Additionally, when teams are happy, they tend to take fewer sick days and have more uninterrupted time for productivity.

Overall, it’s safe to say that investing in employee satisfaction is an investment in your company’s well-being as a whole.

How to Measure Employee Satisfaction

📃 Employee surveys

Employee satisfaction surveys are the perfect way to get an inside look into how your team is really feeling. It’s like a secret spy sent in to figure out what makes everyone smile and frown.

Using surveys, employers can get the feedback they need to improve working conditions and job satisfaction, allowing employees to be more productive and passionate about their work. But in order to make sure you’re getting useful feedback, it’s essential to know how to craft a good survey:

  • When putting together a survey, keep questions succinct, relevant, and with a light yet professional tone of voice.
  • Ask employees to rate their opinion instead of just answering yes or no.
  • Focus on the areas that need investigation the most (e.g., if you see that many employees are on the verge of burnout, ask questions that will help you drill down into the problem).
  • Make sure that there’s space for additional comments at the end of the survey so employees can provide free-form feedback – this will give you better clarity into how employees feel about certain issues within the workplace.
  • Don’t forget to remind participants that their responses are anonymous.

In the end, you don’t want your employees trudging through long, boring forms. To guarantee their feedback reaches you effortlessly and quickly, you might need to embrace the internet age and get creative with your surveys.

Encourage your employees to participate through incentives or bonuses, amp up the fun factor with different survey types like quizzes, polls, and multiple-choice questions, and use platforms that make survey completion as streamlined as possible – who said that collecting feedback cannot be a little bit fun?

👀 One-on-one meetings

One-on-one meetings offer a unique opportunity for employers to really get to the heart of their employees’ satisfaction levels. Through candid conversations, you will better understand why someone enjoys working for your business and what could be improved from their perspective.

A few simple questions can help break the ice and lead to highly engaging dialogue that gives invaluable insight into how employees feel about their work environment. Don’t be afraid to ask challenging questions – after all, there’s no point in skirting around the elephant in the room.

With effective communication and an open mindset, one-on-one meetings can become an incredibly valuable tool for gauging employee satisfaction. However, there are a few distinct drawbacks to using one-on-one meetings as the primary source of employee satisfaction evaluation:

  • Firstly, these types of interactions can be daunting, and harder for an employee to open up in an honest fashion.
  • Secondly, having managers evaluate their own employees’ satisfaction can induce bias in the results, leaving the process vulnerable to manipulation and inaccuracies.
  • Thirdly, managers have limited amounts of time available to schedule personal check-ins with every employee they oversee, which makes a comprehensive assessment a difficult and exhausting task.

Ultimately, although one-on-one meetings remain a useful way to measure employee satisfaction on small scales, they’re certainly not a foolproof method when it comes to surveying entire companies’ worth of staff members.

💯 Employee satisfaction index (ESI)

The ESI is a simple but effective way to measure the satisfaction of employees with their workspace. By asking three straightforward questions, employers can get an insight into how their staff feels.

These questions are:

  • Are you satisfied with your current workplace?
  • Does it meet your expectations?
  • How close is your workplace to the ideal one?

The answers are given on a scale from 1 (worst) to 10 (best), which is then used in a simple formula to ascertain their ESI value:

(question mean value ÷ 3) * 100

The higher one’s ESI score is, the more satisfied they are with the workplace. And although using the ESI survey alone, you won’t be able to identify the root causes of low employee satisfaction, the fact that it takes just a few minutes yet gives lots of helpful information makes the ESI an invaluable tool for any organization looking to optimize their employee experience.

💖 Employee net promoter score (NPS)

Employee NPS is quickly becoming the gold standard when it comes to gauging the level of employee satisfaction in an organization. It is a simple one-question survey that gives invaluable insights into employees’ overall experience.

The question it asks is as follows: On a scale from 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend [Company Name] to another potential hire? 

Those who are passionate about their workplace will score an NPS of 9 or 10, while those who has a lousy experience rate lower.

While some may say that one question isn’t enough to accurately measure how employees feel, it’s certainly enough to make businesses take notice if there’s something wrong with their team morale – so any decrease can lead to swift action from management.

Ultimately, employee NPS is the key to understanding how much people really appreciate their work and the impact it has on employee engagement and loyalty. NPS surveys are quick and painless and act as an excellent metric for determining whether your organization is truly providing the value they deserve.

❌ Absenteeism rate

Employee absenteeism is like the proverbial sore thumb – it’s tough to ignore and almost always a sign of something bigger. It’s essential for companies to measure their absenteeism rate so they can adequately address any underlying issues that might be causing their staff to take too many days away from the office.

Whether it’s a problem with company culture, lack of workplace satisfaction, or health-related issues, understanding why employees take too many absences can help you improve their satisfaction with the workplace and boost their overall performance.

To calculate the absenteeism rate for an employee, use this simple formula:

(absence days ÷ available workdays in a given period) * 100

The higher the score is, the bigger problem you have with employee absenteeism. However, each individual score requires careful investigation. Some employees may be absent from work for a long time for totally valid reasons (such as sickness), while others can take absences here and there simply because they don’t feel like working, and you cannot figure it out exactly without getting additional information and feedback from employees themselves.

In either case, a good piece of absence tracking software will help you understand which staff members tend to take more absences than others by collecting accurate attendance data without the need to manually go through and tabulate the numbers after each workday yourself.

actiPLANS is a great example of such software. It takes the hassle out of absence tracking, giving you more time to focus on what matters – taking care of your team at work.

With just a few clicks, employees can pinpoint how many accrued days they have for vacation or sick leave and then proceed to schedule time off on an intuitive visual timeline. And as for managers, they can easily see who is absent from work, when, and for how long. They can also approve employees’ leave requests automatically and run informative time off reports to get a comprehensive picture of team absences.

Leave Time & Balances Report, actiPLANS

Whatever type of absences you’re trying to manage, actiPLANS can make the process smoother and stress-free. Get ready for a more organized and productive work environment – sign up for a free actiPLANS trial here.

🔁 Employee turnover rate

Employee turnover rate is an important statistic for any business. Simply put, this key number looks at the number of employees that voluntarily leave a company within a certain timeframe. After all, nothing wreaks havoc on morale, daily routines, and consistency like losing someone from the team. That’s why it’s such an important metric to crunch when analyzing how successful a company is on many different fronts.

Employee turnover rate can serve as an incredible barometer in measuring the overall contentment of a company’s personnel. And you don’t need an advanced degree to calculate your employee turnover rate. All you need is a calculator:

  • Just crunch the numbers by taking the total number of leavers in a month.
  • Divide it by the average number of employees in that same month.
  • Then, take that answer and multiply it by one hundred – what you’re left with is your monthly staff turnover as a percentage.


The next step is analyzing your employee turnover rate. You may start by collecting data from past personnel records and get organized by sorting out data regarding hires, resignations, and any other employee exits. From there, you can slice and dice the numbers in a number of ways (for example, average length of employment for each department, comparison of new hire versus resigning rates, or historical trends based on the company’s growth over time).

Then, take your analysis one step further by delving into such issues as employee satisfaction surveys to see if the low retention rate is related to something internal.

The end result? An overwhelming amount of data and insight that can help you determine how to retain your employees better in the future.

How to Improve Employee Satisfaction

🤝 Promote trust

Why should employers focus on building a foundation of trust with their staff?

Well, it could have something to do with the fact that people who trust their bosses tend to report higher job satisfaction levels, feel better supported in their roles, and even experience improved well-being in other areas of life. From accessing additional learning opportunities to feeling like they can really be themselves while at work, employees who benefit from trusting relationships tend to thrive regardless of the task or pressure they face.

Put simply, a little trust goes a long way when it comes to boosting employee satisfaction!

💌 Improve your employee appreciation strategy

An effective way to improve employee satisfaction is to make sure they feel appreciated. Giving employees recognition for a job well done or establishing a modern reward system with tailored benefits and personalized experiences are both excellent ways of bolstering morale and reminding employees that their efforts don’t go unnoticed.

After all, a happy employee is typically one that works their hardest, so take a moment and express your gratitude today.

💰 Offer fair and competitive compensation

It’s not rocket science: people like getting paid what they’re worth and being compensated for their skills on an even playing field. Money may not buy happiness, but it can certainly help motivate employees.

After all, money talks. It shows that a company is invested in its staff members and recognizes the value they bring to the table. In addition, offering competitive salaries encourages workers to stay with their current employer rather than try other opportunities elsewhere. When everyone’s happy with the financial aspect of their job, more productive conversations can take place so that true team-building can kick off…and all because of fairer pay!

🧑‍💻 Try flexible work arrangements

Flexible working not only has numerous benefits for those employed, but it also provides noticeable advantages for employers themselves. In addition to increased engagement, productivity, and satisfaction, offering workplace flexibility takes away the physical restrictions of being at the office, encouraging a greater sense of autonomy in workers.

Therefore, if you are looking to make some morale-boosting changes that have lasting effects, then open up doors to new (flexible) opportunities.

🌱 Provide opportunities for growth

Providing opportunities for growth can make a big difference in the satisfaction rate of your team. How exactly? Think of it like investing in your employees. By offering them the chance to take new classes, gain skills, expand their knowledge, and refine their interests, you are giving them the platform they need to become better employees and ultimately reach their dreams.

Instead of having a stagnant workplace and an unmotivated workforce offer some opportunities for growth. This way, everyone will stay excited and productive – a win-win!

🌴 Encourage employees to take vacations

When it comes to improving employee satisfaction, there’s no better strategy than getting them out of the office. Thus, encourage your employees to take a well-deserved vacation. Not only will they come back from their trip with fresh ideas, but chances are they’ll be happier and more energized once they’ve had some time away from their workspace.

Money can’t buy happiness, but it definitely can buy airfare! So, if you’re committed to improving employee satisfaction, make sure vacations are located in the budget – you might even score yourself some beachfront views by proxy.

Use actiPLANS to manage employee vacations with ease and grace

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Job satisfaction is important for many reasons. Employees who are satisfied with their jobs tend to be more productive, have less absenteeism and presenteeism, are less likely to leave their job, and report feeling healthier than employees who aren’t as satisfied with their work.

Luckily, there are ways to improve employee satisfaction. By making some changes in the workplace and taking steps to support your employees, you can create a work environment that leads to happier, more content employees across the board.

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