Some recent studies have shown that employees are overall satisfied with their jobs and their companies. This was surprising to me for a few reasons. 1. I constantly have conversations with people who are unhappy with their jobs. 2. Several companies I follow have consistent vacancies in the same positions. Those two things alone would lead me to believe that people aren’t satisfied or performing well despite the statistics that say 89% of US employees being somewhat to very satisfied with their current role*. Factors that are taken into account here are career development, relationships with management, work environment, compensation and benefits, and engagement behaviors.
I think that at the most basic level there are two types of people–those that want to move up and people who are fine where they are. One is not better than the other, but each camp of people will have different metrics for their satisfaction.
Up and Up
Those who want to move up the chain usually take more initiative and ask for more responsibility. They do their work well but always want a bit ‘more’. When asked to do one thing, they will do that one thing and also provide 2-3 other options. Rather than being crippled by stress, these types of people actually thrive in a stressful environment or situation. Oftentimes, the up-and-ups get inundated with projects and find themselves in holes that are very hard to climb out of without support.
Those who are fine where they are, usually settle into their position rather seamlessly. They do exactly what they are told without a lot of extra questions or thoughts. Managers can have confidence that what you asked will be completed exactly as stated. You won’t see these people volunteer to take on more responsibilities since they are busy enough doing what they were hired to do. These positions might be stressful, but those in this camp usually have good poker faces.
So how do you keep both camps engaged without having to cater to both specifically? Well, studies suggest that team outings can really boost job satisfaction among workers. These out-of-the-office experiences build friendships, establishes trust with those in management positions, shows organizations financial security, and allows opportunities to show off an otherwise hidden skill set (think video games, mini golf, trivia knowledge, jalepeño eating, etc).
Fabrica does this quarterly with things like Top Golf, arcades, escape rooms, and lunch. Once a year we also participate and encourage our employees to attend Salt Lake Design Week events. This annual event brings together creative agencies, architecture firms, software companies, and fine artists. It’s a great way for our team to engage with other industries and people, and it helps them get recharged in their current role. These outings often spark ideas that lead to improving our own agency!
Keeping Fabrica’s employees satisfied, engaged, and energized is important for our success as an agency and for each employee’s success in life. If you need to go hit a few balls, escape a few rooms, attend a conference, or grab a bite to eat–do it. Do it for me, do it for your company, do it for your employees. Keep the fun meter as high as you can for as long as you can.
*stats found at Society of Human Resource Management