COMPANIES with a satisfied workforce typically have higher than average productivity, more satisfied customers, lower employee turnover and fewer accidents, says recruiting expert Hays.
In the wake of the global financial crisis, productivity and cost-effectiveness is top of mind for many employers.

Many business leaders took time to review their operating procedures and scrutinise outputs and the costs of those outputs to find areas for improvement.

But what is surprising is that many businesses either forget to carry out or have yet to implement strategies aimed at improving employee satisfaction.

The relationship between employee satisfaction and productivity has been researched for many years.

It stands to reason that if employees enjoy their work and feel they are valued, they will be more productive, which will have a huge impact on the bottom line.

There are a variety of strategies available, and depending on the workforce, business culture and values, any one of these will assist employers to get the most from their staff.

1. Implement an effective induction process

The first day, week and even month of a new staff member’s employment should provide the necessary training and understanding of the role and your business.

This may seem like a lot of work, but without it, your new employee may feel like he does not fit in and his productivity can drop while he tries to find his own way.

2. Develop talent

Over the years, Hays has surveyed many candidates and discovered that the majority feel more committed to an employer who invests in their training and development.

Without such an important factor in their career, many would look for a new job.

As the economy enters a candidate-tight market, it is even more imperative that employers invest in the training and development of their staff to aid in their retention.

3. Celebrate success

Performance-related pay has a definite impact on productivity as it is often based on achieving or exceeding set key performance indicators or targets.

Monetary rewards, however, are usually very short-lived. What is more important is that the reward makes the person feel valued.

Often, a “well done” and internal recognition for good performance can be more valuable than a monetary reward.

Any company looking at implementing a successful rewards/recognition programme should look at what its employees want. A “one size fits all” mentality will not work, as what one employee values, another will not.

4. Offer flexibility

Flexibility is an important factor in overall workplace effectiveness because it can improve employee engagement and job satisfaction as well as reduce stress.

Offering flexible working arrangements, such as location and working hours, and the types of technologies available to staff, such as video-conferencing and remote access, promotes a work-life balance and can save a large company millions of dollars in unscheduled absences.

It may take some effort to create a good orientation programme or to offer flexible working arrangements, but if such strategies help your organisation to keep its talent, wouldn’t it be worthwhile?