5 Simple Ways to Improve Employee Satisfaction


Why does employee satisfaction matter?

Key reasons employees become dissatisfied

5 Ways to keep employee satisfaction high


5 Simple Ways to Improve Employee Satisfaction

Are your employees satisfied with their jobs and working conditions?

According to research, as many as 26% of them aren’t. It’s a minority, but a pretty significant one.

Employee satisfaction refers to how content or satisfied employees are with their jobs, and it’s influenced by a wide range of factors, including remuneration, workload, employee benefits, recognition for a job well done and perception of management. 

Suffice to say, employee satisfaction matters.


Why does employee satisfaction matter?

Employee job satisfaction doesn’t just affect the wellbeing of your employees—it can have a significant impact on your business.

Recruitment costs

Dissatisfied employees waste £2,732 per person on average in recruitment costs compared with happy staff, while they’re also less likely to stay with a company they’re dissatisfied with. Contented workers stay with a company seven times longer than their unhappy counterparts.

Failing to find ways to improve employee satisfaction could also be hurting your acquisition efforts.

The use of company review sites like Glassdoor and WorkAdvisor is increasing, and more than two thirds (70%) of candidates now consult company reviews before making a career decision. What’s more, almost one third (31.3%) have turned down a job offer due to negative online reviews.


We perform better at work when we’re happy.

In fact, workers are 13% more productive when happy according to a study conducted by a telecommunications firm run by Oxford University’s Saïd Business School.

Recognition and rewards play a big part in this too. A HubSpot survey revealed that 69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were being recognised.


When employees are absent it affects everything from the organisation’s bottom line to the workload of their colleagues, so working on reducing this problem should be one of your top priorities.

A Gallup study showed that absenteeism was 41% lower in ‘highly engaged’ workplaces, while productivity was 17% higher.

Key reasons employees become dissatisfied

Employee satisfaction at work is driven by happiness, and there are a number of reasons why this can be negatively affected.

Lack of appreciation

A study of 200,000 people across the UK and several other countries by Boston Consulting Group found that a lack of appreciation was the number one job satisfaction factor.

Is your organisation rewarding hard work, great achievements or consistently high performance? If not, your best people are unlikely to continue delivering the same results.

The company doesn’t prioritise wellbeing

The Covid-19 pandemic has been putting pressure on the mental and financial wellbeing of people all over the world for the last two years. As a result, employers and employees alike recognise the importance of prioritising wellbeing in the workplace.

Your people want to know that you care about their emotional, physical and financial wellbeing, so you need to consider policies, procedures and solutions that support employees across these three areas.

Lack of flexibility

Flexibility at work is a benefit that’s increasingly sought-after in the job market. Over 80% of employees would stay in a job longer and demonstrate loyalty if their employer offered them more flexible working arrangements.

Remote working is also something job hunters are looking for, with 37% willing to quit their job and move to a company that offers it.

Not being listened to

Employees want to feel as though their ideas and concerns are being listened to, and your workforce is twice as likely to be actively disengaged if they feel as though they’re being ignored by management.

Not receiving feedback

Why should an employee go above and beyond at work if they’re not receiving positive feedback for doing so—or getting away with doing the bare minimum?

If your employees aren’t being given regular feedback on their work, attitude and performance, 40% of them are likely to be actively disengaged.

5 Ways to keep employee satisfaction high

As we’ve discussed, keeping employee satisfaction high is essential for businesses that want to reap the benefits of an engaged, productive workforce. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to improve employee satisfaction that you can implement in your organisation.

Reward success

If you want your employees to deliver results, you’re going to need to recognise it when they do.

Positive feedback and a simple thank you can go a long way, but your rewards strategy needs to go further than words alone.

Consider implementing an employee recognition and rewards programme that includes:

  • Financial rewards, including eVouchers and prepaid recognition cards that allow the recipient to spend their money on the things they want.
  • Celebration packages that acknowledge great work, a milestone or consistent performance.

Implement flexible working policies

As mentioned above, your employees want flexibility more than ever before, whether that’s in the form of flexi-time or the option of working from home.

If you’re still working to the rigid 9-to-5 structure, you’ve got to ask yourselves why. Is it that you don’t trust people to work contracted hours, or be unproductive when they’re not in the office? Your workforce will pick up on this, and this lack of trust feeds directly into dissatisfaction at work.

Support physical wellbeing

The link between health and happiness is clear, while research shows time and time again that we’re more productive when we’re happy—but how can your organisation support the physical wellbeing of its employees?

Offering discounted gym memberships as part of a broader employee benefits platform is one way of making it easier (at least financially) to enjoy a healthier lifestyle, but what else are you doing to encourage it?

‘Walking meetings’ are a great way of sneaking in some extra exercise into our day, while you could also offer free fruit and other healthy options to discourage your staff from snacking on sugary foods. Studies have shown that healthy food is directly linked to improvements in our mental health.

Training and career progression

Knowing we’ve got a clear direction and path for progression is essential for job satisfaction, as well as an increased expectation for future satisfaction.

With this in mind, make sure managers are keeping on top of their team’s development and that personal development plans (PDPs) are regularly reviewed and updated.

Support financial wellbeing

Worrying about money is one of the biggest causes of stress in the UK, and although this might not be directly the result of someone’s job, employees still want to know that their employer cares about their financial wellbeing.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can directly support the financial wellbeing of your staff, increasing their happiness, job satisfaction and engagement.

Financial rewards for outstanding performance are all well and good, but if a member of your team is struggling with stress about their finances they’re unlikely to be performing at their best.

Think about how you can provide universal benefits that will help their money go further, whether that’s salary sacrifice schemes, an employee discounts platform or access to free, confidential mental health support.

If you want to find out more about how to increase employee satisfaction, and how Sodexo Engage can help, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our expert team today.

We’ve been working with organisations across all industries since the 1960s to increase employee engagement and satisfaction through benefits, rewards and other solutions that are tailored to their specific challenges. 

We don’t believe in one-size-fits-all solutions, and as such we’ll work with you to identify exactly what your workforce needs to ensure they’re motivated, happy and performing at their best.