Employee Retention & Satisfaction

Employee satisfaction is a reliable predictor of employee retention. When employers engage in practices that support good working relationships, employee satisfaction improves because workers tend to believe the company is using their skills and appreciating their service and commitment. In turn, higher job satisfaction generally results in higher levels of employee retention.

The Benefits of Retaining Employees

According to INC., mployee retention refers to the length of time employees stay with your organization, as opposed to employee turnover, which is the percentage of employees who leave your organization. Employers measure overall retention as well as departmental retention and retention according to position or title.

For example, assume your organization employs 100 people and you have an average of three employees who resign each month. Monthly turnover is calculated by dividing the number of resignations or terminations by the number of total employees. In this case, the monthly turnover is 3, divided by 100, which is 3 percent.

Retention metrics can show how long employees stay in their positions before they either leave for another department or company. Measuring retention is especially helpful in creating succession plans that are based, in part, on the length of time an employee generally stays in each role on his or her's ascent up the corporate ladder.

The Importance of Job Satisfaction

Employee satisfaction means that workers are fully engaged in their tasks and feel that the company appreciates their effort and diligence. But if they don't feel that in their work or in how things are run, this becomes a common reason as to why employees leave.

While many employees leave for other jobs in search of a bigger paycheck, the underlying reason for turnover in many cases is dissatisfaction. This affects the individual – and the business, too.

According to a report by The Engagement Institute – a joint study by The Conference Board, Sirota-Mercer, Deloitte, ROI, The Culture Works and Consulting LLP, they found that employees who are disengaged cost U.S. companies up to $550 billion a year.

Given this phenomenon, an employer’s best interest is served when the company focuses on ways to improve employee satisfaction. Improving satisfaction can reduce turnover and help maintain a stable and motivated workforce.

Resolution in the Workplace

Resolving job dissatisfaction requires a diligent effort on the part of employers, according to career transition coach, Leigh Branham. Identifying dissatisfaction is the first step – employers can’t just rely on a few disgruntled employees as a barometer for a measurement of overall employee satisfaction.

The key is to prevent them from imposing their toxic views on the remaining workforce. Resolve employee dissatisfaction by opening a communication path from management to staff and focusing on consistent application of company policy. Among the reasons why employees leave organizations, communication is a common underlying reason why employees experience job dissatisfaction.

How to Improve Communication

Opening communication lines between employees and their supervisors or between supervisors and their managers is one of the most effective ways to improve job satisfaction. When employees aren't privy to information they believe will help them perform their job duties or are kept in the dark about organizational changes, they can feel that the employer doesn't value them enough to share critical information.

There are many ways to create employer-employee communication paths. This includes scheduling regular staff meetings and encouraging supervisors and managers to routinely provide constructive feedback and compliment employees on their work. You can also publish a company newsletter.

Being Consist Yields Results

Most employers have policies and guidance in place for maintaining some semblance of structure within the organization; however, these guidelines are useless without consistent application of the rules. Employees become quickly disillusioned when they discover that all employees aren’t subject to the same rules and regulations.

Inconsistent application of employee rewards also is demoralizing for the workplace. For example, assume company policy prohibits employees from eating lunch at their desks, yet one supervisor continually permits her employees to eat lunch at their workstations. Employees whose supervisors adhere to the rule, may feel they are being held to a higher – and, perhaps unreasonable – standard than their peers.

Or, if an employers cherry-pick employees they want to reward and ignore another employee's performance, morale is sure to plummet. Consistent application of workplace policies is another essential practice for maintaining employee satisfaction, and thus, improving employee retention.