The 7 factors that created this positive increase in their job satisfaction, even during the economy’s poorest times.
- Consistent Values
In some organizations, employees observe that core values appear to be abandoned when the economy is poor. Leadership values seemed to apply in good times, but to dwindle or even disappear during stress. This organization, however, held tightly to its core values as the economy turned. Employees began to more fully appreciate those values as well when they saw what was happening in other companies during difficult times.
- Long-Term Focus
This company clearly saw the recession as a temporary problem and maintained its focus on the long-term objectives. The recession had a significant impact on the long-term objectives, but it created new opportunities as well. Employees don’t mind going through difficult times when they believe there is a brighter future
- Local Leadership
The company recognized that the major source of satisfaction or dissatisfaction came from what happened in each workgroup. Every manager and supervisor received a clear assessment of the satisfaction of their employees and was challenged to find opportunities to improve.
- Continuous Communication
People tend to communicate less during bad times when in actuality, they need to communicate even more. This company increased its efforts to communicate and share important information. If there was no good news to share, they would share the reality of their current situation.
- Share Resources and Work Together
Groups made significant improvements in their ability to share resources and work together. This reduced costs and increased efficiency.
- Opportunities for Development
Because the pace of work was slower, people had the opportunity to learn new skills and develop new capabilities. This organization took advantage of the slower time by challenging employees with “stretch” job assignments. They also increased formal training.
- Speed and Agility
With less budget, everyone saw the need to move quickly and take advantage of opportunities in the marketplace. The speed of decision was emphasized. Clearly, it is a fallacy to assume that bad times equate to lower job satisfaction. As our research illustrates, it is simply not true. The organization we described made significant gains in satisfaction and commitment during one of the worst financial times in history by doing the right things and doing them well. These improvements helped the company create substantial financial momentum during the challenging economy as, well.