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What do we really mean by job satisfaction?

What do we really mean by job satisfaction?

There are many HR terms that are frequently used in the industry, but after two years of remote working and the dreaded ‘Great Resignation’, we’re all re-evaluating what the term ‘job satisfaction’ means. Indeed, great strides have been made to invest in wellbeing at work – from statutory flexible working to mental health first aiders.

But what is it that attracts people to an organisation, and crucially, what keeps them in their jobs? In our latest report, the top 10 HR stats to bring to the board, we examine the principles of measuring employee satisfaction, including:

Attracting the right colleagues

Employee satisfaction starts before the staff member is even hired. The right job description can seriously impact the quality of candidates applying, and the incentives need to be communicated from the offset.

This could be anything from showcasing your company culture (with real actions, not platitudes) to being fully transparent about salaries. “Competitive” may be off-putting to those taking time out to apply.

To measure the impact of recruitment processes, make an effort to study drop-out rates, average time to productivity, or effectiveness of sources – such as agencies or internal hiring.


While salary is not the only factor that will impact recruitment and retention, it is important. In 2022, 25% of all employees asked for a pay rise, impacted by the unstable economic climate. When recruiting, organisations should be benchmarking against industry averages. For retention, aim to schedule regular reviews that offer not only remuneration but other benefits.

Employee benefits

Throughout the pandemic and beyond, other influencing factors have become more important for job searches and long-term retention. Employee benefits such as flexible working or childcare need to be clear from day one — whether in recruitment or reviews.

Learning and development

Another sought-after benefit for employees is the opportunity to learn and develop. Again, make a conscious effort to promote these in job descriptions, but make sure to stick to your commitments with existing employees, too.

Investing in learning and development helps to plug the skills gap and drive down recruitment costs. Naturally, L&D comes with associated costs – so make sure you look at return on investment by measuring it against the skills gaps you’re filling.

How to measure job satisfaction

A well-rounded portfolio of competitive salaries, employee benefits and training opportunities is a recipe for retention in 2023. But how can you ensure your staff are responding to the benefits on offer?

To measure job satisfaction, you can look at two key metrics: employee satisfaction index (ESI) and employee net promoter score (eNPS).

The ESI asks three key questions:

  • How satisfied are you with where you work?
  • How well does your workplace meet your expectations?
  • How close is your current role to your ideal job?

An eNPS is similar to a net promoter score, which is used to gauge the popularity of products. With an eNPS, employees are asked to rank their satisfaction on a scale of 1-10. Those who give a score of 9 or 10 are classed as promoters, and those with a score of 6 or lower are detractors. Anybody rating 7 or 8 is classed as passive and does not enter into the equation.

The percentage of detractors is subtracted from promoters to get a final score – the higher this is, the happier the employees.

You can conduct employee engagement surveys in many ways, from anonymous to public surveys. What’s important is that you take the feedback on board and invest this back into your employees.

Keep your staff happy with insights from our latest report

Natural HR has produced a free report, the top 10 HR stats to take to the board, to help managers make the best decisions for business continuity. With insights from Natural HR’s COO and other thought leaders, it showcases the most important metrics to consider in 2023.