Business Processes for Employee Satisfaction
Employee satisfaction has a direct impact on a company’s success. This is not only because dissatisfied employees usually cannot reach their full potential. On the contrary, low job satisfaction can help leaders identify problems in their business processes early on and systematically eliminate performance inhibitors.
Therefore, it is important to regularly measure employee satisfaction. Various methods are available, such as a standardized questionnaire. In this guide, you will learn what employee satisfaction really means for your company, how it can be measured, and what aspects need to be considered.
Definition of Terms
Employee satisfaction describes an employee’s attitude towards their work, their company, and their workplace. A large discrepancy between expectations and reality often leads to dissatisfaction.
Employee satisfaction influences various aspects within the company:
- Work processes
- Working atmosphere
- Work results
Therefore, it is important to measure employee satisfaction in an appropriate way. The insights gained from this help to optimize or automate business processes in such a way that the needs of the workforce are also taken into account. The data from various studies shows that more satisfied employees are more productive on the job, less likely to be absent, and more likely to recommend their employer.
Data Collection Methods
Questionnaires on employee satisfaction can be structured differently depending on the model and method used. The two best-known theories are Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and Frederick Herzberg’s two-factor theory. For our work, Herzberg’s approach is particularly relevant.
As the name suggests, Herzberg distinguishes exactly two types of influencing factors: on the one hand, factors related to the content of the work (motivators), and on the other hand, factors related to the context of the work (hygiene factors). Content factors can include responsibility or recognition, while context factors can relate to pay and external working conditions.
Satisfaction and dissatisfaction do not represent the two extreme expressions of a property, but should be considered as two independent properties. The “hygiene factors” (not dissatisfied – dissatisfied) as well as the “motivators” (not satisfied – satisfied) represent these two areas. According to the theory, both expressions must be present to experience job satisfaction.
Although the rigid separation between hygiene and motivational factors by Herzberg is now considered outdated, the theory still offers an important, central insight for entrepreneurs and leaders: satisfaction does not necessarily exist when there are no reasons for dissatisfaction!
In addition to the survey, it makes sense to use indirect data. These include sick days, staff turnover, process compliance, and performance. But even the seemingly downstream value of employee satisfaction, such as customer satisfaction, is relevant and can be measured through KPIs such as the Net Promoter Score. If no data is available for this, the relative number of complaints can also be used as an indicator.
Rules are for lackeys. Context is for kings.
Only the context created by surveying employees and the available data enables the identification of exactly those screws at which the greatest possible effect on employee satisfaction can be expected with minimal effort. Based on my experience, smaller measures can often have significant effects here: A customer experienced frustrated employees who complained in the survey that they had little influence on the work results. A workshop with a randomized focus group revealed that this was mostly due to the fact that customer inquiries for task assignment were distributed to employees (skill-based routing). In the subjective perception of the employees, their own achievements were regularly diluted by the persons to whom the previous or subsequent work step was assigned, and there was a feeling that it was pointless to make an effort. At the same time, the indirect data showed a relatively high level of customer satisfaction, but with room for improvement.
The test introduction of an option to wait for the agent on the phone, with whom the customer had spoken last (agent-based routing), was well received by customers. On the part of the workforce, increasing satisfaction was measured in the metric “own contribution to corporate success”. Customer satisfaction initially only increased slightly.
On the leadership side, however, interesting new insights emerged that could be built upon: Customers waited for certain agents more frequently than for others. For the future, the company now had the additional option of learning which behaviors customers reacted positively to.
Often the screws are even simpler. I have accompanied some measures from the shift system being shifted by an hour to adjusting a customer questionnaire to the input mask in SAP, whose effect, in addition to higher job satisfaction, was already measurable monetarily in the first year. The additional success regularly exceeds both the costs of the measures taken and my fee in the first year.