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The one thing you need to increase job satisfaction

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Singaporeans are a tough bunch to please. When we’re not complaining about being unhappy or being ’emotionless’, we’re busy demanding high salaries or better flexible working arrangements.

But if there is one area leaders have to focus on at the moment, I’m willing to put my money on job satisfaction.

Over the past month, reports have trickling in about the low satisfaction among local employees.

Randstad found Singaporean employees are the fifth lowest when it comes to job satisfaction, with staff blaming a lack of career development opportunities and the belief that they are underpaid.

So what can bosses do to help boost satisfaction levels? I think it comes down to one thing, and that is simply giving a damn about your staff.

Cash may still be king for a majority of employees both locally and globally, but workers do place a lot of value on relationships they share with their managers, direct reports and bosses.

This isn’t to say employees need TLC 24/7 – we are all running a business after all – but a positive working environment where managers make an effort to take an interest in their people’s well being helps. After all, in order to motivate staff, you need to know what motivates them.

Giving a damn about your staff also includes giving credit where and when it’s due. Don’t wait for performance appraisals or even weekly catch ups to recognise your team’s good work. A short genuine note or a quick word in the morning could do wonders when it comes to satisfaction and engagement.

Employees are also increasingly conscious about the impact they’re making in the office and in society as an extension of their job. Take the time to help them staff, regardless of how senior or junior, realise how their day-to-day work plays a role in developing and shaping the organisation and the work it does.

Like many things in life, work can be hard but it shouldn’t have to be difficult.

Building an office culture where employees feel welcomed, cared for, appreciated and valued could be the secret weapon to turning the notch up on satisfaction, and in turn productivity.

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Sabrina Zolkifi
Deputy editor
Human Resources Magazine Singapore

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