3 ways to check on your team’s job satisfaction

Paul Newton
I head the FME team of management and IT professionals from a variety of backgrounds both commercial and non-profit organizations. As a team we are keen to share our expertise and knowledge with individuals at all levels of management. Each eBook, template and checklist has been written to help individuals develop the competencies they need for a successful career.

One of the biggest issues to impact your own and your team’s productivity is staff turnover. Is this an issue for your organization? Do you feel that you are constantly hiring and training new staff, only to see them leave within a year?

If you answer ‘Yes’ to either or both of these questions you need to make sure that you really understand why this is happening. Don’t be like the managers in the Kenexa 2011 survey and be blind to the reasons. The diagram below shows the top five reasons why people quit their jobs, compared to the reasons nearly half of managers gave.

team's

Whilst the managers were partially right they had misunderstood or been unaware of the causes of dissatisfaction in the individual’s who’d left. So to keep your team satisfied and productive you need to redirect these individuals’ energies from finding another position into contributing and fully participating in the ‘ team ’.

To quickly gauge your team’s level of satisfaction you can use our free ‘Team Satisfaction’ template. Regardless of the constraints you may face within your organization there are 3 ways you can actively address maintaining your ‘teams’ productivity and satisfaction minimizing the ‘churn factor’.

1. Actively identify opportunities that develop an individual’s potential? Everyone needs a purpose and to feel that they are growing professionally. Just sending members of your team on courses is not enough, they need ‘real’ chances to develop new skills and enhance their abilities.

Finding such opportunities may be difficult in same teams, but do your best to identify tasks or events that will achieve this. The best way is to take the time to know the potential of each individual in your team.

By regularly reviewing your tasks, those of the team, its structure and opportunities within other teams you will identify a variety of development opportunities. It could be something as simple as altering who performs tasks within the team, so that new skills and expertise are acquired. These new opportunities will reduce their desire to leave.

2. Look for ways to challenge your team? Your team needs to know that you trust them. Demonstrate this by asking them to perform tasks or take part in an event that challenges and expands them personally.

The best and easiest way for you to achieve this is to review your own actions and decide which can be delegated to others. Alternatively, you may prefer to reassign responsibilities within the team. Don’t shy away from this have faith and confidence in your team’s abilities

Don’t treat delegation as abandonment, its not, it is a precise defined action. You still retain the ultimate responsibility and use careful monitoring and mentoring to ensure the task is successfully performed. Make your delegation successful by following 10 simple rules.

3. Listen to what individual’s have to say.  The way you communicate with your team, the words you use, the tone and manner of your speech send subtle messages. Make sure your’s show how much you respect and value their actions and ideas.

Too often managers are looking for solutions and don’t hear what those doing the job are trying to tell them. Don’t fall into this trap actively listen to what you are being told. This will enable you to hear and acknowledge the advice you have been given so that frustrating problems can be resolved.

Your successful performance relies on theirs, you need them to be engaged and satisfied to achieve this. Winning their trust through co-operation and participation will reward you with mutual respect.

A few simple words on your way to meetings, or when you get a coffee, are an excellent way to do this. The way in which you encourage them as individuals to keep on trying or acknowledge their commitment is another.

Your actions give your team the proof that they are truly valued by you and the organisation. As a consequence they will feel more content and productive and much less likely to leave because they feel ‘under-valued’.

By investing your time and efforts diligently in these ways you will retain individuals that perform at the highest level.

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