Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

How to Boost Employee Satisfaction With 1 Regular Practice

By InHerSight – Jun 20, 2020 at 9:00AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Here's how to measure it to better it.

This article originally appeared on, a website where women rate the female friendliness of their employers and get matched to companies that fit their needs.

Why does employee satisfaction matter so much?

Employee satisfaction -- sometimes called job satisfaction, or overall satisfaction at InHerSight -- is simply how happy workers are with their jobs. Happy employees are more likely to stick around, which saves you money in turnover costs. High turnover can damage morale, which can damage engagement and thus productivity. 

Essentially, low job satisfaction can begin a domino effect that damages your bottom line.

A woman and two men smiling and talking around a table

Image source: Getty Images.

But employee satisfaction is different than employee engagement

Don't get us wrong, you want both, and they are related, but how you foster satisfaction can be different than how you foster engagement. Employee satisfaction is how happy a worker is with their job and workplace; engagement is how much time and energy they're willing to expend on their work.  

So, what affects satisfaction?

According to InHerSight's data, the top four predictors of women's overall job satisfaction are:

  1. The people you work with: co-workers who are respectful, professional, unbiased, all those good things

  2. Employer responsiveness: effective channels for elevating issues and concerns, like discrimination and harassment.

  3. Equal opportunities for women and men: promotions, leadership roles, salary increases, incentive programs, etc.

  4. Salary satisfaction: salary, merit increases, cost-of-living adjustments, overall compensation.

The good news is, as an employer, you have the power to affect all of these factors in your workplace -- but keep in mind that what's most important to employees will vary by organization and industry, as will what an employer needs to improve. So before you can affect job satisfaction throughout your organization, you need to measure it.

So, how do you increase employee satisfaction?

Measure it, and measure it often.

1. Ask your employees what they want and need

The quickest way to find out is to ask. Plain and simple. 

There are many ways to do this, and it's best to use a variety of methods. Managers should be asking direct reports what they need in one-on-one conversations. Senior leadership and C-suite executives should be asking for and encouraging feedback from employees at all levels and creating a company culture where employees feel safe giving feedback.

2. Give them anonymous channels to provide feedback

Most employees won't be as honest as they'd like to be (and as honest as you need them to be) unless they can provide feedback confidentially. In addition to creating a culture where managers and leadership welcome and encourage feedback, employers should provide avenues for feedback where employees feel safe. Communicate clearly how the data collection will work and the measures you (or your data collection partner) take to protect privacy. 

3. Prepare to be surprised 

Don't be shocked if the feedback you get is not what you expected. But surprising responses can be a sign that those anonymous channels you established are getting you sincere feedback. 

4. Do something about it

Asking for feedback is no good unless you act on it. Gather your employee responses, make a plan to address it, and communicate it to your employees. 

And it's important that your team knows you hear and value their feedback. According to a Globoforce (now Workhuman) survey, companies that implement employee feedback report 14.9% lower turnover rates.

5. Measure employee satisfaction often

Don't wait another five years to measure employee satisfaction. Managers, co-workers, culture, and policies change a lot more often than that, and you'll want to understand how your staff responds.

In fact, regularly measuring employee satisfaction can help you understand the effectiveness of very specific initiatives designed to boost that satisfaction. About six to eight months after you implement a new policy or program, ask your employees to (anonymously!) rate it and give you feedback so you can know how well you're doing. 

Regularly share your progress with your teams to let them know how the programs and policies are working and the steps you are taking to improve them over time.

The Motley Fool has an ownership interest in InHerSight. Motley Fool CFO Ollen Douglass serves on the board of directors for InHerSight. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 10/03/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.