Your employees are productive and do everything you tell them to do. But are they happy? Will your best and brightest work as hard as they can and stick with you or will they leave at the next opportunity? Gallup research shows that the majority of U.S. workers have some level of dissatisfaction with their jobs.
Studies also show that employees rarely disclose their frustrations with work situations until they are well on their way to finding a new job. That’s why it’s imperative for managers to get an accurate read on how things are really going at the office. But that’s easier said than done.
One way to gauge employee satisfaction is to meet one-on-one with each member of your team regularly. Ask them not only how they feel about their jobs but how your company — and you — can help them meet their personal and career goals. And don’t forget to provide regular feedback. Take a few minutes each week to provide positive feedback on recent accomplishments. Make sure if you’re providing negative feedback that you also provide some positive feedback as well in the same meeting.
Perhaps the best way of all to get honest feedback from your team is to make sure that each person feels that they can come to you with the good and the bad. Do you show irritation when employees approach you with problems or issues? Do you glance at your computer or phone while your employees are talking to you? Do you appear rushed when people come to talk to you? You may unknowingly be encouraging people to not be candid about how they feel and about what’s going on at the office.
How well do you know your employees’ hopes, dreams and personal challenges? Do you know what’s going on in their lives? Their children’s names? Their hobbies and what they do on vacation? It’s amazing how much happier people feel when someone takes a genuine interest in them. Taking the time to listen to your employees, support them in their careers and genuinely get to know them can go a long way towards helping them be happy at work.