An employee’s workplace environment plays a key role in job satisfaction and motivation. People are more productive when they work in an environment that allows for personal and professional growth. While money can be a motivator for many, the environment can play a larger role in performance. If you dread coming to work each day, you’re likely not going to exceed expectations or make the best decisions. Employees that are dissatisfied will often become disengaged and less productive.
I have been providing technical support for the past 13 years and have always enjoyed assisting customers with issues. The job responsibilities have been similar (answering technical questions, triaging issues and testing updates) at the places that I have worked but the environments have been very different. Some have been more relaxed while others were very stringent. I’ve found that the key factors that affect the environment are communication, growth opportunities and culture.
Communication is the most important factor for employee satisfaction. Ask yourself, are the lines of communication open between employees and management? Employees want to be able to communicate their needs and frustrations. Managers that spend time communicating with their staff and providing feedback are more likely to increase employee satisfaction and production. Bad communication can leave an employee feeling disconnected to management and his or her co-workers. Also, without communication, the possibility for employee growth dwindles. Employees want to know and hear how they are doing and feel as though they are appreciated in his or her position. No employee wants to feel neglected which is why management should communicate with employees in order to help them grow in their position. When employees feel informed and involved, they are much more likely to be satisfied in their positions.
This brings me to the next key factor, growth opportunities. Personal and professional growth also plays a role in the work environment. These opportunities may come from learning new skills or being promoted to different positions. Failure to do so may result in an employee feeling frustrated. Opportunities should be available to employees to help them reach his or her full potential. That said, ask yourself, are you given the time and resources to enable you to perform to the best of your ability? Larger companies may offer more opportunities for advancement while smaller companies may allow you more responsibility and decision making. Regardless of size, your company should be able to outline a career path so you know what your future could look like and what opportunities may be available if you are successful.
Company culture is the personality of the company and consists of the company’s policies, values, ethics and goals. Having a good cultural fit for employees can have many positive outcomes. When an employee fits in well culturally, they are more likely to have:
- high job satisfaction
- identify more with their company
- loyalty to their organization
- a higher level of commitment
- superior job performance
A company’s culture can be reflected in its dress code, hours, benefits, and treatment of employees and customers and employee interaction. Every company will have its own style and culture, which is something everyone should consider when looking for employment. You want to pick the culture that best suites you. Some companies have a family friendly atmosphere while others are very business oriented. How employees interact with each other tells you a lot about the environment. Are coworkers friendly with one another? Is the tone positive or negative? A positive work environment is not only important for your mental and physical being but makes you take pride in your work.
In order to find the right fit you need to recognize what is most important to you. I have been working at Sherpa Software since February of this year and I feel that I have found the right fit for me. Sherpa has a family friendly atmosphere and values input from its employees and customers. There is a team culture here where everyone knows how the teams fit into the goals of the company. Team lunches and company events are frequently planned and everyone looks forward to participating. We work together to make the customer experience our number one priority. Finding a solution that meets the customer’s needs and providing exceptional training and support for new and existingt clients is our goal.
So, no matter what the type of job function you have, make sure you find a company with strong communication, growth opportunities, and culture so that you are sure to succeed!