In this series of blog posts, I have been reviewing the latest BlessingWhite employee engagement survey results. In this post, I want to delve into what the report had to say about employee job satisfaction and what it means for us.

The 2010 survey asked respondents to identify the single most important factor that would improve their job satisfaction. Globally, career development opportunities and training were the factors employees most often identified as lacking in their job. As the report points out, depressingly I might add, only half of the respondents (52%) felt that they had career opportunities in their organization. Clearly, here is an area in which employers need to focus their attention if they wish to improve engagement levels in their organization.

What struck me again about the BlessingWhite results is the variety of factors that employees considered dampeners to their level of satisfaction. Each employee points to a different factor that if attended to would increase their satisfaction with their job. The results vary from region to region; however, I think it instructive to simplify the results to the following formula.

• Two in ten employees will benefit from more career development opportunities and training.
• Two in ten employees will benefit from more opportunities to do what they do best.
• One in ten employees will benefit from more flexible job conditions.
• One in ten employees will benefit from more challenging work.
• One in ten employees will benefit from more clarity about work preferences and career goals.
• One in ten employees will benefit from better cooperation amongst coworkers.
• One in ten employees will benefit from more clarity around their role within the organization.
• One in ten employees will benefit from a better relationship with their manager.

What is the significance of this finding? It means that for every group of 10 of your direct reports, almost every individual will have a different key reason for performing sub-optimally. I have been consistently emphasizing the point that when it comes to motivating employees one size does not fit all. Each of your employees is different.

As a manager, the above points can act as your shortlist of factors to which you need to attend. As you engage each employee in a conversation, look out for each of the above factors that get mentioned. Put systems and processes in place to fix any shortcomings and communicate openly and often. By working towards having satisfied workers, you are setting the conditions for giving them a reason to stay with your organization and to deliver peak performance.

What are you doing to motivate your employees? Which of the above factors are you working on the most? How are you engaging your managers in lifting the bar on employee job satisfaction? Stay tuned for my next post on the BlessingWhite report as I look at the other key dimension of employee engagement; contribution to the job.


Employee Engagement Report 2011 – Summary

Employee Engagement Report 2011 – Beyond the Numbers: A Practical Approach for Individuals, Managers, and Executives