4 Ways to Improve Employee Satisfaction in the Workplace

By | Posted August 13th, 2012

Helping to improve employee satisfaction is a very important part of managing a company, but why? Won’t throwing parties, taking extra time to acknowledge specific workers, and letting employees take breaks simply decrease productivity and cost more money? Not necessarily.

In fact, according to CNNMoney, happy employees work longer hours (25% more), work harder, and actually end up being more productive than people who are unhappy. They also stay at their jobs twice as long as unhappy workers do. Helping employees stay happy on the job has both short and long-term benefits on multiple levels. In light of this, here’s a look at 4 ways you can make your employees happier.

1 | Don’t Waste Their Time

According to the CDC, having an excessive workload is a source of workplace stress for your employees. A 2011 Gallup poll brings more concern to the fact that 28% of working adults say they just don’t have enough time in the work day to accomplish what needs to be done.

This illustrates just how important it is to equip your employees with the time and tools necessary to get their jobs done efficiently and in a timely manner. So how can you help with this, even on a much smaller scale? If your company has tight deadlines, make sure you value your employees’ time; don’t waste their work hours. Inc. suggests maintaining office organization to spare confusion and also keeping meetings short. One fun way to cut down on meeting times is to have the meeting standing up or right before lunch.

2 | Increase Communication

Good, open communication is vital for a healthy, happy workplace. This is especially important during bad economic times when workers might be worried about having benefits cut or being laid off. In fact, a different Gallup poll reveals 33% of workers are worried their wages will be reduced, 30% are worried they’ll be laid off, and 30% are worried they’ll have fewer hours.

To keep this sort of concern to a minimum, Peter Barron Stark, author of books about corporate leadership, told Forbes that supervisors should over-communicate with employees. They should let their employees know the company’s overall situation, its vision, and how it anticipates moving forward.

To communicate better in general, a Psychology Today article also recommends over-communicating and calls good communication the “lifeblood” of the workplace. Remind workers about the mission and direction of the company. Exchanging information in this way will allow for more trust within the company and better feelings overall.

3 | Appreciate Hard Workers

A 2011 survey by globoforce showed that 69% of employees would work harder if they were better recognized and/or appreciated. On top of that, an OfficeTeam survey showed that almost half of those interviewed said they’d be very likely or somewhat likely to leave their positions if they didn’t feel their manager appreciated them enough.

It is clear that workplace appreciation is important to employees, so how can you provide it without seeming like it’s forced or insincere? CBS News suggests simple measures to allow employees to see your appreciation—add a ping-pong table to the breakroom or have snacks out on a certain day of the week. Small efforts can make a difference. A different CBS News article recommends always praising employees who do a good job as soon as possible and very specifically, as having details about the job well done means you’re paying attention.

4 | Play/Allow Music in the Office

A University of Windsor in Canada study showed that background music in the workplace could improve perception, curiosity, and mood, according to GigaOM.  Furthermore, a survey commissioned by a couple of U.K. licensing organizations shows that 77% of the businesses surveyed said workplace music benefitted the overall atmosphere and staff morale, according to Businessweek.

When choosing the music to play, be careful—music with lyrics may prove to be a distraction, according to research from Taiwan. So what should you pick? Lifehacker recommends classical music as a potential option. Why? It’s been said that Baroque classical music can have mind-boosting effects. When 8 radiologists listened to this type of music during their day, most of them reported they had been in a better mood.


There are many simple, cost-effective ways to both increase employee happiness and benefit the company’s culture overall. Communication, appreciation, time-management, and a little music might be all it takes to help increase worker satisfaction and have a more positive vibe in your office.