07/27/2016 Molly Moseley

50 percent of workers dislike their jobs and it’s time for change

shutterstock_296302628The good news is in: 50 percent of people feel satisfied with their jobs, the highest level in a decade. The bad news: that means the other half of the workforce feels dissatisfied.

These new findings from the research group The Conference Board show that changes in the job market are having a positive impact. Lower unemployment rates, increased job security and solid wage growth are helping people enjoy their work more.

But is this really something we should celebrate? There must be a way we can surpass the 50-percent mark.

Employers are taking notice and many are adopting proactive practices to increase employee retention. Because it’s a candidate’s market, employers in many industries are fighting for the best employees. Once you get them, however, the fight isn’t over; your next objective is to retain them.

It’s simply bad business when good employees leave. From the astronomical costs to replace staff to the decrease in production and morale, losing employees hurts in myriad ways. To increase retention, companies ought to take action and show employees they mean business.

Live your company values

If the organization doesn’t have core values, it’s time to set them in stone. And if it does, be sure to truly live by them. Authenticity gains employee trust and loyalty, but if it’s just lip service the truth will quickly emerge.

Make cultural fit a top priority

Even though the talent market is competitive, hire selectively so you get the right fit for the company’s unique culture. A glowing record won’t be much good if a new employee has a different attitude or working style from his colleagues.

Promote collaboration and open-door policies 

Whether it’s the interns or the C-suite, employees want to feel like their voice matters. Promote collaboration and open-door policies to keep teams connected. Prioritize transparency over hierarchy to build trust and job satisfaction.

Offer competitive benefits beyond salary

Salary is a primary driver of job satisfaction, but it isn’t the only factor. Make sure to offer competitive benefits, and if you can, go above and beyond. The modern worker wants work-life balance, as well as nontraditional perks like telecommuting, flex time and unlimited PTO (yes that is happening).

Help employees grow

Employees feel good when they are advancing their careers. Try offering onsite job training, education reimbursement and mentorship programs. Additionally, help employees develop career plans and have bi-annual meetings about vision and their next steps. This also empowers employees to take responsibility for their own future and subsequent happiness, so it’s not all on the employer.

Collect feedback and take it seriously

Some companies conduct anonymous surveys and create plans to correct employee grievances. A less formal method is to bring up improvements during one-on-one meetings with employees, notice trends and take action to address issues. Finally, when an employee does leave, conduct an exit interview. The feedback gathered at that time provides clues into which issues employers should address to increase satisfaction among current employees.