The growing importance of ‘soft” factors in workplace satisfaction

The Boston Consulting Group 2014 survey of more than 200,000 workers worldwide found that the number one most important job element for all people is appreciation for their work. As one respondent put it: “What you do is what you are and what you are is what you do, and so you must be appreciated”.

From the many responses they received, they found that when people feel appreciated their job satisfaction skyrockets.

Appreciating those who work in your team is an important skill for any manager to have. It could become the number one focus of your working day.

When you do appreciate team members make sure that what you say is specific, observable and repeatable. Making generalised statements about someone, while it might look good on the surface, doesn’t help that person know what it is they are doing well. When you make specific mention of some action they have done they will more likely be keen to repeat that action, because it has been noticed, valued and acknowledged.

When you appreciate a team members by telling them you notice what they have done well, you increase the flow of the feel-good hormones in their system. This leads to a more positive outlook and more engagement in their work.

Managers aren’t the only ones to speak words of appreciation. Anyone in the team can appreciate the good work of another colleague and help create a positive atmosphere at work. Projects are more likely to be completed on time and the spirit of the workplace will be greatly enhanced.

For your interest here are the top 10 factors from the Boston Consulting Group:

  1. Appreciation for your work
  2. Good relationships with colleagues
  3. Good work-life balance
  4. Good relationships with superiors
  5. Company’s financial stability
  6. Learning and career development
  7. Job security
  8. Attractive fixed salary
  9. Interesting job content
  10. Company values