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Job satisfaction – getting the balance right to keep people ‘on song’

The latest results from the Leadership Employment and Direction (L.E.A.D.) Survey show a mixed bag of results on the job satisfaction front. This tells an interesting story of what’s really going on in the workplace currently. At an overall level:

  • 62% of non-managerial employees are satisfied with their current job (up from 53% in 2012)
  • 49% of middle managers and supervisors are satisfied with their current job (well down from 60% in 2012)
  • 77% of business leaders and senior managers are satisfied with their current job (steady from 78% in 2012)

These proportions love their job or gain a great deal of personal satisfaction from their work. With Leaders steady, Managers down and Employees up in satisfaction terms, it would seem the managers are the meat in the sandwich yet again. Interestingly, employees are deriving increasingly greater satisfaction, a sign that those who have a job are keen to enjoy it – and keep it.

Job satisfaction has a lot to do with the workplace environment and conditions experienced by the individual – the resources, the roles and responsibilities, the management and leadership and the people they work with. Getting the mix right is therefore critical and core responsibility lies with the leaders of the organisation. Creating the right environment for performance is a fundamental feature of modern management and an aspect sadly lacking in many organisations.
Job satisfaction – getting the balance right to keep people ‘on song’ | LMA

Q. Here are some attitude statements about work.  For each statement, please click one answer to indicate how strongly you agree or disagree with the statement.

Through the history of the L.E.A.D. Survey, around four in five people in organisations have indicated that they would like to develop and advance their career with their current organisation. Yet consistently only around two-thirds believe this is possible – suggesting their organisation does not value or support their on-going development in the interests of retaining them.

Reflecting the earlier results relating to reassurance, leaders and managers need to be creating the vision and the environment that attracts and retains people, especially in light of the cost of staff turnover and the dislocation it brings to the organisation. Latest results on the offers Leaders and Managers are prepared to make to keep and attract people highlight the importance of nurturing the talent once you have it:
Job satisfaction – getting the balance right to keep people ‘on song’ | LMA



So what should leaders and managers do?

  • Take the time to appreciate and understand each individual in the team – the more you can know about them, the more you can work to create the environment that attracts and retains the right people for the organisation – and the more likely they are to perform.
  • Look for avenues to improve job satisfaction through flexible workplace practices. Demonstrate a willingness to adjust the work environment to suit individual needs and explore ways to celebrate the achievements of the team as they perform under these conditions.
  • Identify the pathways and stepping stones that will enable individuals to develop, grow and progress with the organisation rather than needing to leave and join another organisation in order to develop. Tuning in to their aspirations and exploring ways to keep them progressing will significantly reduce the cost of turnover and the disruption it causes.

“Regular one-on-one discussions with each team member about their aspirations and goals, the work they do, what they enjoy and where they’d like to take their career may be the difference between keeping them or fare-welling them as they go in search of an organisation that can satisfy their needs. Holding them and developing them will save tens of thousands of dollars and enhance the organisation’s productivity and sustainability.”
Grant Sexton, Executive Chairman, LMA