Since the beginning of the pandemic, a lot has changed in people’s professional and personal lives. With increased restrictions put in place by the government and health agencies, workers have been greatly impacted, and most of them now work from home. After months of being confined at home, unable to see family and friends as much as before, employees report feeling stressed, anxious and uncertain about their future. We are forced to continually adapt to changing rules and restrictions that added to already stressful work-related tasks. Companies are finding new ways to make sure their employees are healthy and happy during those difficult times.
Employee satisfaction is the term to define how employees feel happy and the extent to which they fulfill their needs and desires at work, how they like different facets of it. There are many employee satisfaction measures, but researchers identified 6 main categories: engagement, respect, praise and recognition, fair compensation, motivation, and life satisfaction. Happiness is a more specific subcategory of satisfaction and a hot topic in modern management because it is closely associated with motivation, engagement, and ultimately productivity.
Companies make sure their employees are happy first at the company-level. Human resources policies and work environments have a considerable impact on employees’ happiness. A work environment that promotes a good work-life balance, good relationships with colleagues and supervisors, and strong job security is a significant factor. This is especially true during pandemic times where social relationships are limited, job security is less certain, and work-life balance is challenged by work from home and kids more often around. The company’s values and financial stability also play a significant role in employee satisfaction, especially when people see businesses having tremendous difficulties keeping afloat due to the current economic state. Thus, companies adapt their rules by encouraging more work from home, more flexible work schedules, and allowing people to take more time off for personal care. Companies also started communicating mental healthcare information to their employees and created special support groups and phone lines.
The other impact on happiness comes from leaders and direct managers. At this lower level, the effect on employee happiness is significant. Factors include career development opportunities and learning, job content and exciting tasks, and work appreciation. The latter is the top factor for satisfaction, and indeed employees need to feel valued. Leaders make sure their employees get feedback, recognition, and rewards for their work. With more remote work, leaders plan more meetings, keep in touch frequently with their employees, and try to make their work feel more relevant by making tasks less redundant, more comfortable, or reducing workloads to allow for better efficiency. It has been a challenge for managers to keep their employees motivated during the pandemic and direct support and communication are crucial. Leaders now tend to offer more individual and managerial support, the personal side of management becoming more central than ever. Leaders, for example, are more lenient with personal time off, personal appointments, or family-related necessities.
At Vantree, our team-based model allows our employees to work with each other daily, fostering better communication and relationships between them. The human connection we conduct our business projects with has been a significant help during the pandemic. Good relationships with colleagues are a crucial component of happiness, and we believe our partner-for-life approach with our customers also contributes to motivation and satisfaction in daily tasks. Employees feel more relevant, appreciated, and valued for their work. Vantree also keeps organizing online corporate events that bring everyone together and foster engagement and where our values are shared and embraced. Our leaders also regularly communicate Vantree’s successes, which enhances motivation, job security, and personal satisfaction.
For more information about Vantree and our team, please go to our About Us page.