Cultivating a high level of employee satisfaction in the workplace.
As the age-old saying goes, “Good help is hard to find.” But in the post-pandemic hiring world, good help is even harder to keep.
An important aspect of retaining quality staff is ensuring they maintain a high level of employee satisfaction. But with whom should the responsibility of the satisfaction ultimately lie? With the employee? Or with the manager?
Some would argue that it is the manager’s responsibility to ensure all employees are satisfied and feel valued by their place of employment. While others argue it is solely the employee’s responsibility to ensure they find a way to maintain personal fulfillment through the work they do as well as a positive outlook on their work environment.
In my experience as a fitness industry leader, a combination of both approaches yields the greatest success for employee retention. However, it requires commitment and intentionality from both managers and employees to truly work.
Here are a few ways that managers and employees can work together to cultivate an environment that supports a high level of employee satisfaction.
Quality and open communication is necessary for any relationship to thrive. This includes working relationships as well.
Managers can support employee satisfaction through maintaining honest and transparent communication with employees regarding items that directly affect the employee’s role or work environment.
For example, if I plan to implement a policy or procedural change I know will affect the way my employees do their jobs, I make sure to communicate to my staff that I will be making this change in advance of doing so.
I explain to them why the change is being made, when it will officially go into effect, and how it will impact their roles. I also use this as a time for them to communicate any concerns or questions they have related to this update.
It’s also important for employees to communicate needs and challenges to their managers. As the saying goes, “closed mouths don’t get fed.” Thus, a manager can never solve or address an issue that an employee is experiencing if this information is never shared.
As managers, it’s important to support your employees by providing them with various opportunities to grow and develop their professional skills.
This can include sharing interesting articles with job-specific information with employees, contributing funds to send staff to national conferences or to purchase new certifications. Or even just completing regular performance evaluations and providing staff with timely feedback.
Employees appreciate knowing their managers are truly invested in helping them become the best professional version of themselves possible.
On the flip side, employees can enhance their job satisfaction by not only taking advantage of the professional development opportunities their managers provide, but by also seeking these opportunities for themselves.
As a fitness professional, I consistently maintain a high level of passion and interest for the work I do because I am always seeking new ways to learn and develop my skills. Whether its attending webinars in my free time, or volunteering to serve on certification exam development committees. I am constantly seeking professional growth and improvement.
Set Realistic Expectations
The most challenging thing about working with others is no two individuals have the same viewpoint. Thus, there will always be something an employee wishes their manager would change about their job duties, or something that a manager wishes they could change about the overall work culture/environment.
The most important thing for both employees and managers to remember is nothing is perfect. Therefore, individuals at all levels of an organization must set realistic expectations about what is considered satisfactory in their work environment.
For managers, this requires applying understanding towards your employees as they navigate some of the nuanced challenges of their jobs. And for employees, this requires lending patience to your managers as they traverse the politics and red tape associated with their roles as leaders.
In summary, the process of building and maintaining a positive work environment requires ongoing commitment from all levels. If both employees and managers focus on doing their jobs to the best of their abilities, being kind and respectful towards others, and working together to navigate challenges that arise, success in this endeavor is inevitable.
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