5 Factors Influencing Employee Satisfaction & Wellbeing

By Carly MacLennan
Illustration of Carl the yeti stading next to a wheel with faces ranging from angry and sad to happy.

Are your employees happy in the workplace? Not like ‘kinda satisfied’ happy; like actually happy, happy. If you can give a definitive ‘yes,’ yay! You’re doing something right.

But if you’re not sure or if you’re starting to see problems — like high employee turnover or lower engagement — there might be something amiss.

There’s nothing more upsetting than an employee who hates their job, especially if you don’t know why. But don’t throw up your hands in defeat just yet – it’s not necessarily a lost cause. In fact, there are lots of different factors that can influence employee happiness and satisfaction in the workplace. Understanding where you need to grow (and what factors you should be promoting) makes you and your organization even stronger.

We’ll get into that in a minute, but first let’s take a look at how employee satisfaction can be measured.

How to measure employee satisfaction

Before we talk about employee satisfaction, you need to have a metric to measure it in the first place. Employers have a few primary options:

  • Regular pulse surveys that ask about employee wellbeing and happiness.
  • Asking for regular reports from managers and supervisory figures.
  • Digital eNPS (employee net promoter score) trackers.

Ready to factor eNPS employee satisfaction as a percentage? It’s easy!

image with text - Employee Satisfaction = (Happy Employees - Unhappy Employees)/Total Number Of Employees x 100

Employee Satisfaction = (Happy Employees - Unhappy Employees)/Total Number Of Employees x 100

Let’s look at an example. Out of 100 employees, 85 state that they are very happy, while 15 state quite the opposite. 85 minus 15 is 70, which divided and multiplied by 100 gives us a score of 70%. Not bad, right?

Measuring employee engagement and satisfaction can be simple, straightforward, and oh-so accessible. Just the way we like it!

Now, let’s explore five of the biggest factors in employee happiness — and then take a look at what you should (and can) be doing to enhance it.

5 factors influencing employee job satisfaction

There are lots of factors that influence satisfaction at work, from personal traits to stress at home. Not everything is under your control — but these five factors certainly are. Let’s get acquainted with them, shall we?

1. Strong sense of responsibility

Employees don’t want to work for a soulless automaton. Sorry, but it’s true! Today’s workforce needs to know that you care; about them, about the job, and about the world you share. Is corporate social responsibility a source of employee satisfaction? Absolutely!

2. Great corporate culture

image with text - Almost 50% of employees choose their employer based on company culture!

Employees want to work for real people, plain and simple. They want to see real people in their teams and departments, too. But how much does a business's corporate culture affect employee satisfaction? Survey says it’s a lot. Almost 50% of employees choose their employer based on company culture! While your yearly department potluck is a decent start, you might want to start thinking about other ways to make people feel special.

3. Back off the stress

Stress is a big part of work; there will always be deadlines to hit, managers to impress, and big projects coming down the pipeline. But if you don’t help employees find a way to de-stress every once in a while, it could be reflected in your turnover rates. High workplace stress leads to lower productivity, less engagement, and more unhealthy employees overall.

4. Encourage development

Nobody wants to have the same skill level after 20 years of work – or at the very least, no-one wants to be working for the same pay. Support employee development by offering regular raises, learning experiences, and courses for professional development. Research shows that a greater emphasis on development is important to 94% of employees, who would stay longer with their company as a result.

5. Make recognition a priority

image with text - A lack of recognition is the number one reason why people leave their employers.

Recognition is a big deal, especially in the workplace. A whopping 85% of employees want to know they’ve done a good job in their role. And if they don’t? A lack of recognition is the number one reason why people leave their employers. If you’re helplessly watching employees hemorrhage from your business, a lack of recognition may well be an underlying issue.

Let’s slow down for just a sec — information overload, right? We know there’s a lot to take in all at once. So where to start?

We’re no miracle workers, but we do have a pretty good sense of intuition. If you’re genuinely interested in making your business a happier and healthier place to work, we suggest starting with recognition.

What drives employee satisfaction?

The truth is, you can’t stop every employee from leaving your business. Turnover is just another part of corporate life! But there is a way to cut back on unwanted churn pretty quickly — and it comes highly recommended.

Hi. We’re Motivosity. We love long walks on the beach, starry nights, and engaging employees with the power of recognition. We might not be perfect, but we’ve got a whole lot to recommend us. We’re one of G2’s highest-rated employee engagement platforms, and we’re not planning on stopping any time soon!

Reach out to the team for a free demo of our recognition, leadership, and listening software. And oh yeah – it’s 100% free!