Employee engagement is about more than just compensation. Learn how increasing job satisfaction can be a part of your strategy.
The paycheck is often the top-most priority for employees in a job, but it is far from contributing to whether they stay. Consequently, employees are also ascertaining if their pay increases will be substantial to provide them with the same or more purchasing power that is necessary to cope with inflationary increases across goods and services. Ensuring that employees are appropriately compensated for their work and skills is table stakes in today’s market.
The pandemic’s effects on stress, financial instability, and burnout have recalibrated what it means to be satisfied with one’s job, with one in five globally planning to quit their jobs in 2022. Stepping out of the pandemic’s shadow requires world leaders to continue to understand how working practices, behaviours, and attitudes are now evolving. Additionally, Generation Z’s notable focus on a sense of purpose contributing to their job satisfaction stands out among other demographic groups’. Plus, with Generation Z valuing pay much less than every other generation, the reality of fulfilling job satisfaction at work today is a much more nuanced challenge for senior management.
Feeling satisfied at work is about more than compensation, it is about having one’s psychological needs met.
An organisation with high turnover rates should pay attention to their employees’ low levels of engagement and satisfaction at work. However, a low turnover rate does not necessarily signify the opposite.
Employees may continue staying on payroll for a number of reasons unrelated to engagement; it may be a tight job market, the non-monetary perks, or inertia. They may also continue doing that despite being disengaged. Organisations should seek to solve the problem of dissatisfaction before employees begin to leave. Improving job satisfaction, however, can greatly reduce turnover and increase organisational productivity.
A positive employee experience, the result of engagement, growth, and satisfaction, is instrumental to organisational success. Resonating with the organisation's purpose is one of the key things that employees look for when deciding to stay at a company.
So, what contributes to meaning and satisfaction then? The most prominent one is the ability to do work that has an impact on society. Other examples include an alignment between the job and one’s personal interests or an opportunity to nurture and grow a specific skill set.
A desire for ownership, meaningful job design, and a frictionless environment are among what matters to the diverse demographic of employees today. Tactics that are commonplace and transactional, such as one-time bonuses, may not appeal to employees today. Leaders who are aware of this can work towards developing more personalised approaches to increase job satisfaction.
It is not surprising that employees seek more than just a paycheck from their employers today. The methods may differ, but in principle, there are a couple of ways employers can cultivate a purpose-driven engagement strategy:
1. Offer non-monetary recognition
According to HR Technologist, 63% of employees who are recognised are unlikely to look for a new job. Recognition needs to take the form of non-monetary initiatives to display a more nuanced sense of meaning in one’s work.
Employee recognition programmes can benefit from a module such as BI WORLDWIDE’s DayMaker Service Anniversary (DMSA), which leverages social recognition to motivate employees. By giving employees a platform to personalise and celebrate work-related achievements, DMSA adds meaning to employee contributions.
2. Personalise relationships
Employee recognition is a step in the right direction. To take things further, employers can make the non-transactional recognition pathways more personal by expressing gratitude and appreciation.
Also a part of DayMaker, the Nominations module is a way of creating audience-smart promotions. Customisable forms lets employers build and implement a culture of mutual recognition across hierarchical levels, as employees can submit nominations for teams and individuals.
3. Provide opportunities for growth
Career advancement potential is also where many employees find purpose alignment at work. Investing in every employee as if they’re here to stay can renew their sense of commitment to the organisation and help them see a future in the long-term.
Senior leaders will need to mobilise their line managers to work closely with their reports to craft personalised plans that support their development and growth.
The employee experience today is a dynamic and holistically different one from years past. Employees today want more from their jobs, from career advancement opportunities and non-monetary recognition, to positive manager-employee relationships.
By reflecting and reviewing what needs to change at the fundamental level - think alignment between organisational purpose and reward strategy - senior leaders can roll out a more comprehensive and targeted approach at engaging their employees.