There’s an old saying that goes, “if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” Surprisingly enough, 49% of employees are happy with their job. Even though that number is high, there are still people out there who think otherwise.

If your employees are happy to work for you, you should be proud of yourself. If not, there are ways to evaluate and boost job satisfaction and retain your employees.

There are many reasons why your employees might be unhappy. But first, have you thought about evaluating their behavior at work? Before you consider any changes in the work environment, consider how employees feel about their work and how well they do their jobs. Their productivity may be directly related to job satisfaction. 

Employee Absenteeism 

As a business owner, you must think about how your employees feel about you, the company, and their career opportunities. Taking this into consideration will help you improve job satisfaction. Take time to analyze your workers’ behavior. Are they coming in looking tired? Are they missing deadlines? The behavior of your employees can tell you a lot about how they feel. One of the key things to observe is employee absenteeism. There’s an inverse correlation between job satisfaction and absenteeism, meaning that high satisfaction results in low absenteeism, and vice versa. 

While it’s normal that employees take breaks or call in sick from time to time, repetitive absenteeism signifies that something is wrong. Absenteeism can be observed through missed days at work or more frequent and longer breaks. Keep in mind that it doesn’t necessarily have to be work-related. Sometimes your employee might have problems at home. Still, such behavior should be taken into consideration.  

Rating Scales 

Have you ever evaluated your workers’ performance? If you doubt your employees are dissatisfied, one of the first things to check is their performance. There are ways in which you can measure the performance of every employee

These methods depend on your company and goals, but the method that can be beneficial is performance rating. Usually, this is a manager’s job, but performance rating can be a combination of ratings from multiple supervisors and peers. Simply put, the performance rating is usually a number used in qualitative assessments to analyze the quality of an employee’s work. It might show signs of a lack of job satisfaction. Think of it as grades in school. 

Usually, the performance scale goes from one to five. Number one signifies that the worker is not meeting expectations, while number five means that their performance is strong. Low performance might mean that there’s no desire to put effort into their tasks since employees don’t like their job or the company. If you’re already using some performance scales that show poor results, read on to see how to boost job satisfaction and get those numbers up. 

Reasons for Job Dissatisfaction

If you’ve noticed that your employees are not quite eager to do their jobs, and the performance scale confirms your doubts, you should think about if there’s something that you’re doing wrong. The most common reasons for an unhappy worker are poor working conditions, work overload, low payment, lack of promotion or career advancement opportunities, and lack of recognition. These directly affect you and your business since the final result is an employee who underperforms and is not motivated. 

Don’t forget another reason—bad management. Your managers play an essential role, and their job is to ensure the functionality of a department or a group of employees. If you have a manager with poor leadership skills, chances are you’ll have poor performance in the departments that the manager oversees. Remember that people want to be inspired and led toward the goal. If your manager can’t do it, it’s better to look for a new one.

Tips to Boost Job Satisfaction

If you believe that your employees are dissatisfied, there are many things you can do to help them continue working at your company and be happy to be there. The following tips can be implemented, regardless of your business niche.

Remember That Your Employees Are Humans

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that people who work for you are the pillars of your company, and you might miss the chance to treat your workers as such. How can you change this? Do your best to treat everyone equally, and pass that idea on to managers. Treating everyone equally will make every employee feel valued, and they’ll want to give their 100%. 

Providing feedback is also an important skill to master. Effective employee feedback will help your employee grow and develop within your organization. It will shape them to fit your needs better. What you should know is that many people will find unsolicited feedback stressful. Still, if the feedback is necessary, don’t do the following: 

  • Be vague about what you want to discuss
  • Criticize publicly so that other employees can see or hear you
  • Give negative feedback only and ignore the positive one
  • Ignore an empathetic approach to your employee
  • Forget to show appreciation once you see improvement
Work on Growing Your Business

Job security may not be an essential thing for job satisfaction, but it does wonders if your employees know that their jobs are steady. One way to keep your employees is to work on improving your business. Keep up with industry trends, invest in marketing, set goals, and share them with your team. Use every resource that you have available to grow, and in time you’ll see that another great thing will happen—you’ll be able to give a raise.

A generous salary is great, and raises are even better. Why? The answer is simple—your employees won’t run to your competition. Continuously upgrade your compensation strategy and evaluate pay grades, health benefits, and retirement contributions. Keep an eye on the competitors and their salaries to stay in the know. If anything happens to your business, and you have to make a temporary cut, your employees will have enough trust to stand by you. Just make sure to validate their commitment by working hard to overcome obstacles and eventually reward them for staying.

Offer Career Growth Opportunities 

Every person in your organization will probably consider pursuing a higher position within the company after some time. The need to grow is in human nature, and if you ignore it and don’t offer career advancement opportunities, chances are your employees will leave. Again, observe what types of upper-level job openings your competition has, and work on creating some in your company. With multiple career growth opportunities, your employees will feel valued, and you’ll boost their job satisfaction.

To enable professional development, you might also have to create mentoring programs and offer training so that your workers are ready when they decide to take on more challenging tasks. Let your employees earn certificates; create a clear career path for those who are top-notch by providing them with developmental plans to prepare them for promotions and new responsibilities.

Nurture Positive Work Environment 

There needs to be trust between departments and upper management. High levels of trust will keep the relationships healthier between teams and management, which will result in better job performance. If there’s no trust, you’ll notice adverse outcomes, such as the fear of management, low morale, or lack of initiative. Discuss this with your managers, and teach them how to build trust with employees. 

Another thing to consider is the relationship between colleagues. Your employees are individuals. You might be doing your best to treat everyone equally, but once you leave the office, things might quickly heat up. Enforce teamwork, and use team buildings to figure out what’s wrong. After all, team buildings are used to motivate your team, recognize strengths, and address weaknesses. With team building, your managers can also work on building trust.

Be Open to New Ideas

Being a business owner might make you feel like you need to follow all the strict rules you’ve set for your company. This is a mistake that business owners make frequently. Not being able to look beyond your business plan and consider new ideas might cost you in the long run. You don’t have to accept every idea that an employee tosses at you, but take some time to think about it. Sometimes, a fresh pair of eyes can help see something you can’t. 

Maybe the new employee mentioned that they’d like to work from home. Or your office would function better if you utilized the internet of things. If your employees feel burnout, maybe some automation software will help them be more productive. Keep up with the latest business trends in your niche, but also listen to what your employees think about change. Remember, if you won’t, your competitors will.


Running a business is not easy, but having a team of unhappy workers is a nightmare. Luckily, there are methods that you can use to measure employee performance and satisfaction. In case the results confirm low job satisfaction, there are plenty of things you can do to improve it. Figure out what aspects of the business are troublesome. Discuss things with managers and teams, and work together to fix the problem. 

Treat everyone equally, and do your best to grow your business because promising a steady job to your employees will boost job satisfaction. Offer career growth opportunities, bonuses, training, and support your employees in their professional development. Work on maintaining a positive work environment. Most importantly, listen to your workers and be open to new ideas and changes. Sometimes all you should do is keep the door open at the office.

By Hristina Nikolovska