When examining the pillars of a truly successful business, employee satisfaction is among the most essential. A happy workforce is more productive and able to deal with the challenges that arise might within the industry. In recent years, the American workforce in general has become increasingly satisfied, per a 2016 report from the Society for Human Resource Management.
In fact, satisfaction levels have reached 88 percent, the highest in over a decade. Part of this shift has to with the decisions and policies of HR departments in companies across the globe. HR directly engages with workers, and their efforts can either engage employees or cause them to feel disconnected from their jobs. Here are just a few of the ways HR helps foster employee satisfaction:
1. Encourage positivity
In a SHRM survey, 67 percent of all workers said that being treated respectfully was very important. Another 55 percent believed that there needed to be a level of trust between senior management and employees. Part of building this kind of respect and communication is to have a truly positive workplace, and HR leaders are the driving force behind just such an environment. Simple measures like assisting with employee feedback, perpetuating employment encouragement and handling reviews smoothly and professional are essential to a truly positive workplace. Employees want to feel as if they can engage with managers and coworkers in an environment where their opinions and ideas are valued and respected. It's up to HR departments to continually maintain this balance, and technology plays a huge role in that process. Having the right platform gives HR more control over employee information so they can make more informed decisions.
2. Handle payroll and benefits
It's not just respect and communication that's highly valued. SHRM also found 60 percent of employees value overall compensation. Another 63 percent believe benefits are especially important. It's the HR department that is directly responsible for helping to organize and provide these benefits. It's not just about having benefits, but the size and scope of these perks. Workers want to know they're being taken care of, and that means HR departments have to be able to go above and beyond with offerings like paid holidays and flex time. These benefits are a definitive indication of how much an employee is valued, something people can look toward when deciding how they feel about their current position. HR staff is only as effective as its technology platform, and an efficient system is vital for making the most out of benefits and payroll services.
3. Foster teamwork
Gretchen Rubin is the author of "The Happiness Project," which explores how people can transform their lives for the better. Inc. magazine highlighted Rubin's point that people crave teamwork and that these "social connections" can boost people's moods and make them more productive. For an office or department to truly work in tandem, they're going to need the help of an HR staff. It's the HR department that is at the heart of perpetuating a culture of teamwork, a place where people communicate freely, everyone interacts on an even playing field, and the team celebrates achievements as a whole. Effective teamwork is about showing people the power of collaboration, and the success that comes when everyone is on the same page. True teamwork means being connected, and that's only possible if HR makes technology a priority. Your average HR department has to be able to connect and engage multiple departments to enhance visibility.
4. Aid against burnout
Employees may be quite satisfied these days, but that might not always be the case. A 2015 survey from WorkplaceTrends.com and Staples Advantage found that while 86 percent of employees are satisfied, 53 percent of that group experience feelings of burnout. And if not properly addressed, these feelings can turn otherwise happy workers into angry ex-employees. That's why it's so important that HR departments continually track the feelings of employees. The best way to do that is with surveys, which address issues like goal-setting, employee motivation, people's perceptions of management, overall satisfaction and suggestions for management. With these surveys, HR department have an organic list of employee issues and concerns, and they can use that as a roadmap to improve engagement and satisfaction. The right HR software can help with maintaining this kind of survey and storing the information in a readily accessible, cloud-based platform that supports the needs of a more fast-paced business environment.
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