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A happy workforce is a productive one

Q: I am trying to get our strategy on staff satisfaction right. How can I effectively measure the wellbeing of my employees including those that work from home?

A: Employee satisfaction and wellbeing in the workplace should be a priority for any organisation seeking to increase performance productivity. The growth of your company, more often than not, rests in the hands of your employees. In light of this, developing a method to help measure, analyse and evaluate current levels of employee satisfaction and wellbeing could be the most significant factor in the future growth of your organisation.

Employers who doubt the need to prioritise this issue will inevitably fall into a situation whereby employees become unmotivated to maintain high levels of commitment at work, which in turn may lead to an increased staff turnover due to employees searching for greener pastures. There are clear and effective steps that can be taken to improve employee satisfaction, requiring minimal time commitments, yet will prove invaluable in enhancing morale and confidence within the workforce.

Measuring employee satisfaction and wellbeing should begin with administration of an annual survey, both physically and online, taking into account employees who work from home or on the road. The anonymous nature of the survey will encourage employees to share their honest accounts of what they believe will add value to the organisation. Employees posted outside the workplace should also receive regular contact from their employer to ensure feelings of isolation are minimised and wellbeing can be assessed more accurately.

The key to utilising the feedback effectively is to take all responses seriously. Do not treat them with flippant disregard; use them to formulate an action plan. This may include establishing an employee wellbeing programme, creating methods to reward employee contributions or encouraging staff to communicate with their management team.

Alongside employee surveys, adding a suggestion box monitored on a monthly basis is a great way for employees to share their opinions throughout the working week. Another benefit of a suggestion box is that the responses will reflect current issues and changes within the workplace. Obviously, you may receive the odd vague idea on how to improve the working environment, such as more vending machine options, but the mere presence of the suggestion box demonstrates to employees that you value and respect them.

From gathering a team consensus, as the employer you can decide whether it is necessary to include one-to-one discussions, where individual employees can seek advice or discuss issues with a line manager whether it involves reducing stress at work, current career goals or receiving extra training.

David Price is managing director of Health Assured