Meaningful Work is the Antidote to Unhappy Employees
A couple of weeks ago, we talked about how toxic work culture is driving the big resignation, in our joint article with Culture X that appeared in the MIT Sloan Review. Today, we want to know which aspects of work contribute the most to employee satisfaction and what companies that do well have in common.
Using employee review scores, we look at which topic ratings impact overall company ratings the most. Below shows the effect other topics have on overall satisfaction, holding constant time and company, only identifying from the variation of scores within a company. Even without changing anything else about a company, a doubling of the culture and value score, improves overall ratings by 25%.
We are unsurprised that culture and values play such an important role in happy employees - that is exactly aligned with our research on the drivers of attrition! But these scores help to quantify exactly how these sentiments co-move, while holding all other things constant.
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So what do changes in employee satisfaction look like in real life? Below are the companies with the largest changes in employee sentiment, both positive and negative:
What do IDEX, Natera and Moderna have in common, and how have they managed to increase employee satisfaction by over 40%? Well, they were all involved in providing solutions to the pandemic, from testing capabilities to the vaccine. Even DoorDash arguably provided a useful service to people during the pandemic.
Industries with major involvement in providing solutions during the pandemic, from R&D and Pharmaceuticals, to Pharmacies and Supermarkets have seen some of the largest increases in happy employees. It looks like doing important, meaningful work is really good for employee happiness. And that is another way to think about a company's culture and values!
- These are the two main ingredients to happy employees: meaningful work and economic success. It’s not that hard..
- When looking at what aspects of employee sentiment drive overall satisfaction, we find that culture and values, followed by career prospects have the largest impact.
- The companies with the largest increases in employee sentiments were involved in providing important solutions for the pandemic, providing employees with a greater sense of fulfilment.