The nature of our jobs and work environment has become fluid and keeps shifting. For managers to know the pulse of how their team is feeling and how satisfied the employees are, the stark differences between a job and a career are worth knowing.
The two words, job, and career that are often used interchangeably in everyday life carry different meanings. A job can sometimes lead to a career, and a career can sometimes be put on hold to take a job? Interesting right?
As Steve Job used to say, “Do what you love to do. That’s the only way to do great work. Keep looking, until you find what you love. Settling for anything else isn’t a choice.”
Successful managers who keep job satisfaction and employee morale high are known to actually make employees transition from a job to a career. Let’s start with looking at each word separately.
A job defines the work an employee does right now to get paid. They may plan to do it on a full-time or part-time basis for an agreed payment. It could be a gig picked to achieve a short-term goal.
For instance, working as a cashier at a cafe to make extra cash while going to journalism college is a job, not a part of the career. As a manager, your job is to keep employees engaged and satisfied with the work they do. Building a sense of purpose and being inspired and motivated by a mission adds meaning to their day-to-day job.
On the other hand, a career is a combination of the type of work done (teaching, writing, coding, and so on) over a period of time and a string of jobs related to that. A stint as a cashier is not a part of the career, but studies are if the ultimate goal is to become an accountant. More like a means to an end.
A career fulfills the life purpose and is essentially tied to the identity and motivation of employees. Moreover, a career is built mainly from skills, experience, and interests. It stems from what one likes doing besides what they are good at doing. It is like an Ikigai.
A leader’s responsibility is to make sure that employees feel satisfied and engaged in their job and career.
How to Increase Job Satisfaction in the Workplace?
Here are 12 ways you can increase job satisfaction regardless of the differences between a job and a career.
1. Set clear expectations
A survey by Gallup revealed that only 26% of employees felt they could maintain a healthy work-life balance. As a manager ensure that your employees are not overworked, stressed, or overwhelmed. Be it a job or career, be mindful of the tasks you assign, even if you lead an ambitious team.
When employers regularly conduct employee engagement and lifecycle surveys, they get to gauge the employee’s pulse. Empuls allows organizations and HR teams to configure surveys for the employee lifecycle, including onboarding, wellness, learning, and exit. You can also set the questions, anonymity and audience to spot irregularities and areas that need attention. Data-driven tips for improvement help leaders and managers act proactively.
2. Recognize good work
Managers must take out time to make the team members feel seen and appreciated. Remember to celebrate small wins as well as bigger accomplishments and offer positive feedback.
Even with remote working, brainstorm ways to authentically recognize employees for their work. The reason being, a majority of employees don’t feel they get enough praise. There is a huge scope for leaders to make employees proud of their work.
Workplace Intranet by Xoxoday’s Empuls allows managers to give the team and individual praise. Consider specifying the task, project and impact your employee had which made you recognize and celebrate the good work.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) motivates its employees by publicly recognizing their contribution to the company on social media.
3. Focus on long-term goals
When teams and employees have visibility on the long-term goals, vision, and strategy of the organization, employees can connect with the goals. They can understand how they can contribute to achieving the vision, leading to increased employee job satisfaction.
Make your team members feel they are a part of the bigger picture. Show them that you value their inputs by inviting their feedback.
4. Have an open channel of communication
Constant communication is crucial for building relationships in a job and career. Open communication ensures that important information does not get missed. Lead by example when you are creating a culture of open and honest communication. As a manager, when you communicate your feelings, others feel safe to communicate theirs. At all times provide visibility into the information you have.
Frequently check-in with your team to stay connected both on a personal and professional level. Social Intranet feature from Empuls helps to remove the silos and keeps everyone connected. This way, leaders and managers can align employees to a shared goal, news and information.
5. Care about your employee’s well-being
Whether it is a job or a career for an employee, one way to increase employee motivation is by showing that you genuinely care about their well-being. That includes motivating them to achieve their fitness milestones and even encouraging them to disconnect when they feel burned-out.
Encourage managers to check on the team with 1-on-1’s for building a meaningful connection before jumping into work discussion. Healthy and happy employees will be efficient and satisfied.
6. Give them opportunities to learn
When employees stop learning, they will start considering a job change for stimulation. Managers must encourage employees to hone their skills by attending conferences, webinars, and events. Keep the mindset of curiosity and learning high, for interns doing a job and employees building a career.
The connect and align feature of Empuls enables you to speak with employees about their goals and objectives. When you know what they want to focus on, for upskilling, give them the information, resources, and job training.
According to Harvard Business Review, Pixar University offers to its employee's trainings and optional classes in different disciplines.
7. Share feedback frequently
Whether an employee considers their work as a job or a career, they crave feedback. This can help them be more efficient, work smarter and improve performance. When you give constructive feedback, they will value the time and effort you put in. Ensure that your feedback and inputs are phrased properly to be well-received.
Constructive and healthy feedback sessions, done monthly or quarterly are ideal.
8. Measure the engagement and employee satisfaction
The key is to host pulse surveys or eNPS frequently. Annual surveys aren’t enough anymore. Improving company culture requires an agile approach.
Whether it is a temporary job for an employee or a career, having positive relationships propel overall job satisfaction. Managers can take a step ahead and encourage employees to bond about common hobbies even outside of work. After all, strong trustworthy relationships fuel better collaboration and build team trust. When people work better together, the business also runs better. Facilitate better connections between people in your team.
11. Provide a long-term career path
Help your employees plan for their long-term success. This shows that you are committed to seeing them progress and you are willing to invest in their career growth. Help them map out their career goals to transition from a job to a career.
12. Rewards, recognition, and performance bonus
While monthly salaries are alright, great things happen when rewards and recognition are in the books. There is a direct relationship between rewards and the increase in efforts and ultimately, results. For a motivated workforce, link their performance with monetary rewards and engage them in efficiently accomplishing the tasks.
The importance of performance bonuses is highlighted by IRF that found team incentives to increase productivity by as much as 44%. Using Empuls you can automate the process of rewards and recognition to build a culture of appreciation.
Jobs are multiple dots on a career trajectory. A manager’s role is to help employees utilize their best self, ignite the urge to learn, and provide long-term work satisfaction. As a leader, helping employees map out their career aspirations is worth the job.
Whether the employment is a job or career, the best leaders and managers improve employee engagement, motivation, and overall job satisfaction. An employee engagement software such as Empuls can assist in uncovering employee insights to pull the right engagement drivers to build a highly engaged workforce.
Concluding with the golden words of Henry Ford from the last century that holds true even now, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right. It all starts with doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
At Xoxoday, we deeply understand the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and engagement drivers of people, be it an employee, supplier, contract staff, gig or consumer. We bring simplicity and continuity to a complex, everyday problem.