How can we tell if we're satisfied with our day to day work?
It’s easy to have a sense of how satisfied we are. But sometimes it’s very tricky to clearly say why we are or are not satisfied at work. So I try to translate satisfaction into several specific topics.
What does impact our satisfaction?
Everything can be going great, but we may not be satisfied. And can we be satisfied and that’s not a good thing? That’s why I like to understand what makes someone satisfied at work. I don’t want people being accommodated because they like what they’re doing and some day they realise they need another challenge and leave.
Nor I want people that actually like that they’re doing leaving because of minor details. Being the best place to work needs to consider many variables.
We like to get up and come to work
This is one of the most important things. Do we wake up wanting to go to work? Already making plans for the day to come? Or do we have that always Mondays feeling? This could be a metric by itself, and it may be impacted by all the other things on this page, and more.
We are motivated
We are motivated about our work and what we need to do. Sometimes this isn’t possible. Sometimes we need to do some work that is not that glamorous. It’s part of the job. But we should have a clear picture of what’s to come and be motivated for that.
Note that we can like to go to work but not be motivated. This can happen if we have teammates that we really like and the environment is great, but there isn’t any challenge in what we do.
If we spend much time commuting it can be very frustrating. Not only the amount but how we commute. Is it by car with lots of traffic? Is it by a packed subway were there’s not much personal space? Can we take the most of our commute by reading or listening to something? Or even working?
If we have a co-located team, are we allowed to do remote when needed? Do we value that? If we’re mostly remote, are we satisfied with out social interactions or do we miss some social time? There are a pros and cons of remote, and ultimately I think it’s a personal preference.
Office space, desk and chair, amount of light
Do we have a proper desk and a comfortable chair? Do we have space to feel that we can own our spot? Do we have a perfect amount of light for us? And let’s not forget the temperature. There are always the ones that want a hight AC, and the others that dislike AC completely.
Work life balance or blending
Some people value work live balance, others value work live blending. Either way it’s important to know what’s valuable and if the relation between the company and the employee is healthy.
Feeling good in the team
If we like our team environment and our teammates. Do we have a nice vibe going on? Are we friends and share interests? Do we have each other’s backs and are there when needed? Do we feel comfortable and safe in our team?
Good relation with the manager
People leave managers. Do we have a good relationship with our manager? Is it something present and that we feel that it’s in our manager’s interest to make us grow and provide the best for us? Do we truest our manager and does our manager trust us?
Room to grow
Do we see ourselves in the company for a long time? Do we believe we can grow with the company and be better in mid term? Do we believe that the company values our contributions and sees us as a valuable asset?
Satisfaction with type of work being done
Do we usually like the type of work we do? Or do we find it boring and not pleasing? We should be motivated and committed to do good work. But that will be hard if we don’t like what we’re doing.
Alignment with the company’s culture
Are we aligned with the company’s culture? Do we share the same values or at least most of them? Do we see the company’s values on the leadership’s actions and are we okay with that?
Ownership and empowerment
Are we given important tasks and trust in executing them? Do we feel that we can work the way we like, and that it’s aligned with the company? Do we have the resources we require?
There are lots of small details that impact our satisfaction, and this list is just an example. Note that much of the items, on this list don’t change that much. So hiring should be taken with care. Ideally we’d bring people to the company/team that is already aligned with what we have.
Here’s the full list of indexes that I like to track on my 1on1s:
And you can also see how I bundle all this on my 1on1’s framework.
Author Pedro Pereira Santos
License CC BY-NC-ND 4.0