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Seven Ways to Increase Job Satisfaction in 2014

Will your employee job retention be better or worse in 2014? An unscientific poll conducted last month by the Austin Business Journal found that most Austinites (56 percent) will be looking for new jobs in the new year. For area employers, ABJ Editor Colin Pope warns, “That should worry the heck out of you.”

We’ve reported several times about the surging job markets throughout Texas, from the new medical district in Austin to the booming energy industry in and around Beaumont. And while everyone benefits when the job market is good, the scenario of new employers entering the state can present a retention challenge for current employers.

Thus enters the happiness factor. Experts tout happiness as a key element in employee retention. But what can help generate more happiness: Ping pong tables? Office masseuse? We compiled seven ways that could help keep current employees happy in the coming months, with a little help from some of Austin’s Best Places to Work.

  1. Don’t trump fairness for fun. During any given month, SpareFoot is holding hermit crab races while the folks at Aquila Commercial may be skeet shooting. These companies provide a variety fun ways for employees to unwind, which is important. The New York Times recently warned that “fungineering” is most affective when managers create autonomous conditions for different personality types “from the excitable to the naturally downbeat” can enjoy.
  2. Give back. Area employers like Realty Austin make giving back a very important part of its corporate culture. The realty giant keeps its work relevant and focused on the affordable housing needs of low income families in the Austin area.
  3. Consider rewriting the playbook. Mass Relevance puts the following attributes at the center of its core culture: agilispeed, awesomeness, freesponsibility, teamswork and transopency. Most of those terms aren’t real words, you say? That’s correct. Execs invented them to better define its culture in a way that has never been described before.
  4. Encourage (and graciously accept) feedback. We previously wrote about Bigcommerce’s culture of empowering employees through an impressive job referral program. The ecommerce powerhouse also gives its employees a voice when it comes to company benefits and perks. BC Voice is a “suggestion box” of sorts allowing employees to submit their bright ideas.
  5. Get healthy. Remember when the hottest companies in Austin had beer on tap? Now many are serving up juice bars. Larger employers like Rackspace and Yodle have gyms and fitness classes on site to serve employees. While that may not be possible at your organization, it’s becoming increasingly important to find other scalable ways to support employee health.
  6. Re-evaluate your employee evaluations. Earlier this week, we wrote about ways in which you can put performance reviews back into action in a more effective way. Companies like SuccessFactors are offering digital solutions to help make that possible.
  7. Provide mentors. Texas CEO Magazine recently reported that internal mentors can help retain employees while giving them a path toward growth. “Women in leadership positions, in particular, often long for a mentor at the top,” the article states.

Do you think employee retention will be a challenge in 2014? Leave a comment here to add your thoughts to our discussion.

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