Blog – Employee Satisfaction, How Much Does It Matter?

Have you ever thought to obtain a tangible measure of your organisation’s culture? We all have a sense of it, but how well can we pinpoint exactly what’s going on and more importantly what’s driving it.

This level of insight is of course interesting, but more importantly gives us the ability to create the outcomes we desire for our people and our business, it gives us levers for change.

Over 40 years of Human Synergistics research shows strong correlation between an organisation’s cultural styles and individual, work group and organisational outcomes such as satisfaction, role clarity, customer service, trust, adaptability and effectiveness.

Let’s look at employee satisfaction. How much does it really matter to organisations? Low job satisfaction has a concerning impact on the individual, our society and the economy so it therefore must matter to organisations. How wonderful it would be if people looked forward to a Monday morning. What would the discussion around work-life balance look like if people actually loved doing their work and it therefore was part of life rather than separate to it?

Human Synergistics research on more than 2000 organisations across Australia shows that job satisfaction scores are nearly 10 percentage points below the international average. With workplace cultures predominantly characterised by the need to; find fault, criticise indirectly, avoid blame, compete against others to be noticed, stick to the rules and just do what you’re told, it is little wonder. Culture is, most simplistically, what one needs to do to get along or sometimes just to survive. If we can nurture workplace cultures that inspire people to think and behave constructively we will see a 21% increase in an individual’s satisfaction with work, a 26% increase in satisfaction with personal wellbeing, a 21% increase in the quality of work related relationships and a 39% increase on one’s ability to manage stress*. Such measures undoubtedly have a flow on effect to an organisation’s level of effectiveness, reputation, productivity and profitability.

So what are these levers for creating cultural change? They include the organisation’s mission and philosophy, as well as its structures, systems, technology and leadership skills/qualities. When these things are in alignment with organisational values, the desired culture is more likely to prevail. These are the factors that shape and reinforce the organisation’s operating culture and its effectiveness.

*Call us for a copy of ‘Why Culture and Leadership Matter’ where you will find more detail on this research.


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