People spend a large amount of time and energy deciding on an appropriate career path. As children, we are often asked "what do you want to be when you grow up?" Even as adults, plenty of careful consideration goes into this question. What type of job will I be good at? How much do I need to earn in order to live the lifestyle I want?
Feeling satisfied in a job is closely linked with good mental health and overall happiness. Finding the 'perfect job' – whatever that may be – is on everyone's to-do list.
But what about finding the perfect employer?
It's not just the job that counts. There's so much more to employee satisfaction than a job description. No matter how much someone loves their chosen speciality, once they join a company other factors come into play, such as who they work with, what the work environment is like and how their day is structured.
For example, several studies have shown the impact workplace bullying can have on a person's productivity and job satisfaction. Victims of harassment at work may be less likely to perform to a high standard, a problem which costs both the individual and the business. The price of workplace bullying to the Australian economy has even been recognised by the federal government, with victims now able to take their case to the Fair Work Commission thanks to a new act that came into effect on January 1.
Yet workplace bullying is just one piece of the puzzle. Studies have also found that seemingly trivial things, such as the location of someone's desk or the time of day they start work, can also influence their job satisfaction.
In short, employee happiness is not just about the job – it's about the overall working environment. To retain top talent, employers need to take a holistic approach to management and ensure staff are content with every aspect of their role, from the temperature of the office air conditioning to relationships with fellow colleagues.
Of course, it's impossible to please everyone, but by conducting some confidential employee surveys, companies will be able to gauge overall satisfaction levels and identify prevailing issues. Satisfaction questionnaires are easy to implement and can arm employers with insightful data about their employee's productivity levels, helping them to introduce positive change into the workplace.