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4 Small Things That Make a Big Difference in Employee Satisfaction

When your employees are happy, it results in your customers also feeling happy when they interact with your business. Employee satisfaction translates to better customer service, productivity, quality work and ultimately higher sales. You may be tempted to "think big" to maximize employee satisfaction, but the truth is, it's the little things that go a long way. These are the things that are often neglected. Here are four things you can do for your employees to boost their morale: 

1. Facilitate a Sense of Autonomy 

According to a Gallup poll, what employees care most about is having freedom from micromanagement. Although many employers think employee morale is solely tied to salary, the truth is, fostering a sense of autonomy in employees may achieve better results at less of a cost. Allowing employees to manage their own time and complete tasks with minimal oversight makes them feel more motivated to achieve. 

2. Alleviate Commuting Stress

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Can You Be a Friend and Still Be The Boss?

While it’s essential to build solid bonds with your team, defining areas of respect, authority and productivity can be challenging when navigating the line between boss and friend. Instant Offices looks into the implications and shares some tips on how to be a boss and a friend.

The idea of friendship applies as much to our personal lives as it does to our professional ones. In fact, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs places a sense of belonging right up there with some of our most basic human needs. Studies conducted by Gallup, show having friends in the workplace makes you more engaged and happy, and that companies enjoy higher profitability and customer loyalty when friendships among colleagues are common. But how do you navigate the fine line of being a friend who also has to set boundaries as a boss?

Can Bosses and Employees Be Friends?

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Time Management That Could Help Your Grow Your Business In 2018

“How can I manage my time better?”, is a question that crops up with alarming regularity. For entrepreneurs, this can have serious implications on their business – luckily there are steps they can take to prevent a productivity gap from opening according to Instant Offices.

Bryan Hunter, head of digital marketing at Instant Offices says, “It’s important to think ahead, and to plan day-to-day operations. In business, you are constantly overloaded with information and deliverables, while managing people, so interruptions are inevitable. At Instant, prioritisation is key because the company is growing so quickly – when you focus on completing what’s the most important, pre-planned task, it allows you to avoid interruptions or unnecessary distractions.”

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How To Eliminate Passive Aggressive Behavior In Your Team

Employees who complain openly and freely are often referred to as ‘squeaky wheels’. They make their dissatisfaction no secret so you know who is unhappy and what the issues are. But what about the employees who don’t speak up? How do you know what, if any, struggles or issues they might be experiencing?

As employee researchers, we tell our clients that one of the key reasons for doing an employee survey is because it gives everyone a chance to express themselves so you aren’t just listening to the squeaky wheels. You actually get to hear what everyone is really thinking.
And that is important because employees who don’t speak up could be seething inside and what you may discover is that they are acting out in passive aggressive ways that have serious consequences in workplace settings. 
By definition passive-aggressive behavior is the indirect expression of hostility, such as through procrastination, stubbornness, sullen behavior, or deliberate or repeated failure to accomplish requested tasks for which one is (often explicitly) responsible.

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How to Increase Employee Retention With Lean Management Principles

Employee turnover is accelerating, and it’s costing employers money. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers are staying with their employers for a little over four years. The average cost of hiring one new employee can range from $1,000 in services industries to as much as $5,000 or more in professional and manufacturing industries, according to Recruiterbox. This includes costs for in-house recruiters, third-party recruiters, advertising, travel, referral bonuses, sign-on bonuses and relocation.

To avoid wasting thousands of dollars every four years, one effective strategy you can deploy for increasing employee retention is lean management. These principles help you optimize your workplace and reduce your rate of employee attrition.


Lean Management Culture...

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Should You Quit if Your Boss Lies to You?

We recently heard a story that brought to light how one lie can erode your best retention efforts and send your best employees out the door.

A campus hire at a top tier company was overlooked for a special high profile meeting. When confronted, the employee's manager, who did not have the answer, chose to lie about it instead and explained she was not invited was because she was too new to her role. The employee discovered this was a lie because other new hires who had been in their role even less time had been invited. It was discovered that HR made an error and should have invited this employee and they were indeed sorry. The manager also apologized to the employee but the damage had been done. 

Up until this incident the employee was a dedicated, highly engaged member of the team with an unrivaled performance record. Being lied to her by her manager broke trust and now this employee feels let down…she will forgive but she won’t forget. If she leaves over this incident the company will end up losing a valuable new hire and their investment in hiring and training will be wasted. 

As it happens in most situations like this the employee will move on but what about the manager? What can you do when a manager lies?
In most cases, lies takes place because the manager tries to protect him/herself. The fact that fear drives deception does not excuse it, but complicates matters which is why if a manager lies he/she needs to understand why and what it is they fear so they can address their own issues and avoid harming relationships with the people they work with.


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What Drives Employees To Perform? Part 6

Autonomy Wins!!

As our 10-part series on engaging employees continues, we discovered that organizations can achieve higher employee engagement simply by activating at least 5 of 10 key engagement indicators.

Robert Gray, President of Insightlink Communications says that, according to Insightlink’s Survey of the American Workplace, we have learned that job dissatisfaction is not an innate characteristic, like height or hair color. In fact, data suggest that work environment has a much stronger influence over job engagement than personality. In the old nature vs. nurture debate, nurture–or work environment–wins.

One key aspect of work environment is the degree to which employees feel they have autonomy over their work which is the 8th key driver for achieving employee engagement.


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How Can You Tell If Your Star Employee Is Unhappy?

Keeping secrets is hard work because most of us are not very good at it; our actions often give us away despite our best efforts.


There are clues even before an employee resigns that something is not right. You may notice some detachment as the person subconsciously begins to separate themselves from their work and the people they work with. If their work has always been outstanding you may begin to see slight changes in quality. If they are typically involved with other team members they may begin to distance themselves and turn down invitations when they would have never missed out in the past. Perhaps they seem more secretive, they share less about themselves or are away from their desks more often, (which could signal they are making personal calls from another location and need privacy). Other signs include coming in later, increased dental and medical appointments to make use of company benefits, you might even notice they are dressing better and more professionally than usual.

Your doubts can also be confirmed by taking into account if the person was overlooked for promotion or if there was there a disruption in the company that might have made the person feel insecure i.e. Mergers and Acquisitions or Reduction in Force perhaps. Or did a good friend recently leave the company?


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Two Useful Calculators for Employers and Job Seekers

Cost of Living Comparisons

One of the biggest barriers to job mobililty in the last few years was a direct result of the real estate market crash in 2008. Let's say you lost your job in the big recession and after months of searching, you finally got a great job offer in your industry but that job was across the country in a new city. Fantastic, right? Except the home you bought in 2005 is now worth 30% less than when you bought it and you're underwater on your mortgage. How, under those circumstances, could you have packed up and moved across the country to take that great new job? It wasn't possible and it was a big drag on the recovery.

Thankfully the housing market today is a whole lot healthier than it was 7 years ago, so moving cross-country to take a new job isn't the impossible task it was back then. But there are still big questions that you have to consider. Even if that new job offers a higher salary, the cost of living varies substantially from city-to-city in the U.S. Living in San Francisco, for example, is a whole lot more expensive than living in Boise. Will that great new salary still allow you to maintain a comfortable lifestyle or will you be struggling to keep up? That's where the MoneyGeek Cost of Living Calculator can help.

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When Do Your Policies Cross The Line

And When is it Time to Re-Think Your Employee Handbook


Without trust you have nothing.

I don’t think that comes as a surprise to anyone. At work, trust is communicated in many ways but office policies are often the first line. When a new hire starts, company policies are the new rules, the guidelines for how everyone is supposed to behave at work. These are the rules managers are expected to enforce and make sure everyone is toeing the line.
It is one thing to have vacation day policies so that everyone is treated fairly, and those are policies most of us accept, but it is a brand new game when employers start keeping track of how often you use the washroom.

Keeping track of washroom visits is reminiscent of Big Brother but it happens in workplaces today. Perhaps some organizations don’t care what anyone thinks and would rather lose people then change their ways. They are their own worst enemies and good luck to them if that is their attitude. But there are probably some organizations that just haven’t connected the dots and who don’t realize they have high turnover and low productivity because their policies are breeding contempt in their workforce.
While we are strong advocates of employee surveys and research before you make that decision, we encourage you to evaluate your own employee handbook and make sure you are enforcing rules that are not redundant, rude or the root of serious distrust in your organization.


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Insightlink Communications are experts in employee survey design, data collection and analysis. Since 2001 we've helped companies of all sizes measure and improve their employee satisfaction and engagement.

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Favorite Links

Engaged Employees Blog

HR ToolKit Guide to Employee Surveys
Good info on how to write surveys

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Makes 360 assessment surveys easy.