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Four Ways To Boost Job Satisfaction Without Giving Employees A Raise

Posted by Insightlink on 07/10/17

Employee satisfaction has been declining steadily over the past few decades. In 1987, 61.1 percent of employees reported job satisfaction. By 2016, this had dropped to 45 percent. Compensation is the top or second-rated driver of employee satisfaction for employees of all age groups, Society for Human Resource Management research shows. Giving your employees a raise is obviously going to make them happier with their job, but it’s not always feasible for budgetary reasons. Fortunately, there are also non-financial incentives you can give employees that will help improve their satisfaction and engagement. Here are four ways you can boost your workers’ job satisfaction besides giving them a raise. 

Giving Workers Opportunities to Use Their Talent  

A Gallup poll found that when employees were asked what factors they weighted most heavily when considering whether or not to stick with a job, the top answer cited by 6 out of 10 workers was the ability to do what they did best. Workers with talent like to face challenges that use their abilities. When they don’t feel challenged, they get bored and they feel like their skills aren’t being appreciated. Make sure you’re making the best use of the talent you have on staff. Take an inventory of your workers’ skills, and update it periodically to see if there are better ways you could be deploying your employees’ resources. 

Automation can help you make use of your workers’ skills more efficiently by making better use of their time. For instance, an automated 1-800 number phone answering menu can cut down the amount of time your staff spends handling frequent customer service questions, giving your workers more time to focus on tasks that use their skills. Likewise, providing workers with the latest automated tools can streamline repetitive tasks and empower them with more time to devote to tasks that require human creativity and ingenuity.  

Offering Better Work-Life Balance Options  

Gallup’s poll also found that over half of workers valued work-life balance highly when deciding whether to stay with an employer. Overworked employees who feel their work life is diminishing their personal life are more likely to experience dissatisfaction. This is especially true of employees who have responsibilities at home raising young children, as well as younger workers who have an active social life.  

To boost job satisfaction for workers who seek a better work-life balance, one step you can take is offering remote work. Allowing flexible hours is another way to provide employees with better work-life balance. You can also offer gym facilities or memberships to appeal to workers who want to balance their work with health and exercise.  

Providing Opportunities to Advance  

Another Gallup poll found that nearly 9 out of 10 Millennials felt that career development was an important part of a job. Approximately the same percentage reported that they changed employers the last time they changed positions. Employees value opportunities for professional development and career advancement. Providing opportunities for workers to improve their skill set and advance within your organization is one of the most effective ways to keep them around.  

One way you can provide workers with opportunities to advance is by offering continuing education programs such as seminars or certification training. Another way to help employees advance is by providing on-the-job mentoring programs where employees can learn from more experienced workers. This will also promote job satisfaction by improving teamwork.  

Instilling a Sense of Purpose  

Job seekers increasingly prefer jobs that offer a sense of purpose and a chance to make a difference. Recruiters are finding that these benefits are becoming more important to many workers than salary or perks.  

Being able to offer your employees a sense of purpose depends partly on your company’s mission statement. If your company has clearly-articulated, purpose-driven values, it’s easier to communicate these values to your employees and to attract workers who share these values. It’s also important to acknowledge workers for what they contribute to your company. Employee recognition programs can help let your workers know that you value their contributions. It doesn’t cost anything to say “thank you.” 

At Insightlink, employee research and job satisfaction  is our expertise and we can show you how a well-designed survey tool can give you the stories you need to hear about what your employees are thinking and experiencing. Please check our website for more information or call Lynn Gore our Client Communications Specialist at 866-822-8095 ext. 705 or email us at



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Insightlink Communications are experts in employee survey design, data collection and analysis. Since 2001 we've helped companies of all sizes measure and improve their employee satisfaction and engagement.

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