Employee satisfaction plays a large role in productivity among small businesses. There are steps that you, the small business owner, can take to help make sure your employees are performing at their most efficient level.
A research group at MIT has demonstrated ways to increase employees’ productivity and job satisfaction through a new form of behavioral analytics. Sociometric Solutions rolled out their new technology earlier in 2014, which uses employee identification tags with Bluetooth connection, motion detectors and speedometers to monitor energy level, and microphones to detect speech rate and volume as a means to measure stress level. Proposed solutions to the employee productivity problem involve allowing certain employees to take breaks together to let off steam, put in place larger lunch tables to allow more employees to socialize while on break, and a reduction in email traffic to employees.
Rob Matheson, contributor to the MIT News Office, noted that the group found employees who ate lunch with a greater amount of people were 36 percent more productive upon returning to work and that “close-knit groups of workers who spoke frequently with one another were more satisfied and got more work done more efficiently.” If your employees are satisfied at your company, chances are they will produce a more effective business flow. Listening to their input about potential problems they may be facing, their thoughts on how their colleagues are performing, and how comfortable they feel in their job may play a larger impact on their job satisfaction than you would expect.
Involving Your Employees’ Feedback to Increase Workplace Satisfaction
Allowing your employees to issue constructive criticism to each other can boost workplace morale by delegating some of the responsibilities and empowering employees to make a difference. Matt Straz, founder and CEO of Namely and Entrepreneur contributor, provides some tips on how employees can constructively give each other feedback and how it can affect workflow:
- §Give compliments when issuing feedback. Negative feedback can me misconstrued as insulting and lose effectiveness, especially if there is no solution to the problem proposed.
- §Providing suggestions on how problems can be solved help employees move in the direction you would like them to: forward.
- §Initiating a solution, such as an employee swap day where workers actually change roles to see how the other side works on a day to day basis, can allow your employees to better empathize with each other.
- §Validate your employees’ opinions in order to handle problems in a more constructive manner.
- §Explain why and how you are giving the criticism you are to prevent confusion in the workplace.
Don’t Stop at Employee Feedback: The Importance of Customer Involvement
Although your employees are on the front lines with your customers, regularly involving customer feedback and criticism helps make sure you are delivering the best product or service to the customer. Syed Balkhi, owner of WPBeginner, a WordPress solution, detailed in The Washington Post article the mistakes he and his business partner made when they first rolled out their product – technology that allowed companies to turn abandoned users into subscribers.
He noted, “Don’t aim for perfection straight away. Launch small (perhaps before you feel quite ready) and build from there.” Balkhi said he and his partner tried to do too much too fast, rather than designing a product they could test in the real-world and elicit customer feedback. There is a lot of truth in the statement: “The customer is always right.” Remember that happy customers can often lead to happy, satisfied employees. Creating a feedback loop that accounts for both employee and customer criticism can increase your likelihood of success.
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