Ask people in the hospitality industry about Job Satisfaction and very few besides HR specialists can really respond with specifics. Studies in human behaviour within organisations have shown that it is indeed the satisfaction of employee needs that determine their level of happiness with the establishment. People may express their unhappiness at work by voicing their displeasure, passively waiting for the situation to improve, or worse still, by allowing conditions to deteriorate.
High staff turnover and underperforming teams are often the result of discontentment at the work place. Unfortunately the reverse is not always true, that is to say that greater employee happiness does not automatically ensure greater productivity or lower staff turnover. Attempting to strike a balance between organisational goals and employee welfare would help us in our business endeavours. Let us see how.
Generally, job satisfaction includes elements that evoke feelings of response within employees in areas such as: Nature of work, Remuneration, Relations with co-workers and Growth path. There is also that unique personality factor specific to each individual that needs to be considered. Rewards must be designed for employees that are either given by the establishment (extrinsic) or experienced by oneself (intrinsic). Many managers erroneously attempt to apply their reward formulae universally to all employees.
Basic extrinsic reward needs of employees must first be met. One must consider that people in our industry experience tough work conditions spread over long hours. Remuneration must be perceived as fair in relation to similar job profiles in the industry. Providing adequate equipment and a secure environment would encourage workers in doing a better job. People have a need for social interaction and a friendly and supportive set of co-workers and bosses help boost morale and create harmony in the work-place.
Even more important, are the rewards that are intrinsically experienced, such as self-esteem from a feeling of accomplishment. When someone does a good job, they feel good. This leads to increased alertness and focused attention – the grounds for better productivity. On the other hand, conditions such as overworked employees, lack of control in decision-making, unclear objectives, problems with bosses or co-workers, incongruous demands or limited opportunities for advancement are a breeding ground for disaster. Unhealthy work conditions lead to increased staff turnover, absenteeism, corporate stagnancy, customer complaints and thefts.
To successfully motivate an employee one must first determine what makes him or her tick. Next, convey to them realistic organisational goals they are expected to achieve. Finally link those specific rewards to their performance. Employees should also be backed up with structured devices such as organisational charts, job descriptions etc. to enable them to meet their objectives.
From time to time, an organisation may need to introduce changes to make for a more conducive work environment. It may offer the opportunity to learn new skills or develop a fresh method for feedback on performance. Also, some sort of variety in tasks to be performed would keep boredom at bay.
Take time out to clear the air of misunderstandings and tensions. Empower your employees with the spirit of concern and support. Develop opportunities for advancement through challenging work. Build trust through managerial competence and ethical behaviour. Create a workspace that is both interesting and enjoyable. Inspiring your team and providing them with tools that facilitate their progress are fundamental in channelising their efforts towards company advancement.