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Best Workplaces™ in Financial Services & Insurance - Maximizing Employee Satisfaction

 Best Workplaces™ in Financial Services & Insurance - Maximizing Employee Satisfaction

Best Workplaces Employee Engagement Employee well-being

Employee satisfaction is a broad term that encompasses a variety of factors; some are tangible and easy to describe like compensation and providing adequate resources, and others are more subjective like feeling respected and appreciated. The Best Workplaces™ in Financial Services and Insurance are getting both sides right, allowing their people to feel happy and content despite all the disruption in the world right now. And when employee satisfaction is high, overall organizational health is high as well, which means people are just better-off, their mood is better, their ability to manage stress is better and this builds a strong sense of team and togetherness that is amplified with each positive interaction.

These positive interactions are key to an overall sense of employee satisfaction and can be the source for significant improvement as organizations look to strengthen their culture and create an environment that encourages the best from everyone. After all, it’s the day-to-day interactions that often make the most difference. It’s the way your boss greets you in the morning or how you are made to feel important even when what you are doing seems routine that make the biggest impression and stand out long after the bonus is spent or the year-end awards are handed out. And this is where the Best Workplaces in Financial Services and Insurance stand out to their people. When asked key questions related to employee satisfaction factors, their people responded overwhelmingly positively as follows:

People here are treated fairly regardless of their age, race or ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.


My manager trusts people to do a good job without watching over their shoulders.


My manager is approachable, easy to talk with.


People care about each other here.


My manager genuinely seeks and responds to suggestions and ideas.


I am treated as a full member here regardless of my position.


I am given the resources and equipment to do my job.


I am able to take time off from work when I think it's necessary.


My manager shows appreciation for good work and extra effort.


As you read through these, it’s clear they are the sorts of things that resonate with people and contribute to a great work environment. They are also elements that can be improved in any workplace when leaders attend to employee satisfaction and make it a priority.

What factors are associated with employee satisfaction?

Here is our list of the key elements you can begin working on today on your quest to become a great workplace for all.


One of the top priorities for employee satisfaction is the knowledge that you and everyone around you is treated fairly and that the values of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are upheld in daily practice. This starts with a formal declaration that you commit to the principles of DEI but more so, that you reflect these principles in every nook and cranny of the organization. Every person, no matter their background or experience, deserves to be treated fairly – this is a fundamental principle that demands action over platitudes. It also cascades into all of the other factors below as treating people fairly impacts the trust they have in their employer, their workplace relationships, how respected and appreciated they feel, as well as the work-life balance they need.

Trust and Autonomy

At Great Place to Work we talk a lot about trust and our studies prove over and over again that high-trust workplaces outperform the market by a factor of three. It’s no surprise then, that trust is a key factor for employee satisfaction. And one of the key ways to demonstrate trust is to provide a workplace that promotes autonomy and independence. People genuinely want to do good work and when you allow them the freedom to meet their goals, they will typically exceed expectations. Now, perhaps more than ever, with hybrid and remote work becoming commonplace the ability to trust your people and give them autonomy to make decisions (and make mistakes that they work with you to correct) is critical. You can’t realistically oversee everything, and nor should you want to. Give your people the resources, training and support they need to do great work, and they will. 

Interpersonal Relationships

Relating well to the people at work is a critical component of employee satisfaction. It facilitates understanding between people, it is the cornerstone of effective communication and it just makes work more enjoyable. Having a manager who is approachable and welcoming makes day-to-day work communication relaxed and it makes the harder conversations less stressful. Likewise, working with colleagues who care about you and who you get along with makes work life that much more pleasant. People really do make or break the work experience so creating a culture that nurtures and supports relationship building is important. Emphasize open, honest, respectful communication and show people you care by making decisions and developing practices that put people first.


People have a universal desire to be respected both for being who they are and for what they do. Both types of respect need to be shown if you want to improve employee satisfaction. Respecting people for who they are means seeing value in their contributions and appreciating the unique experience, perspective and skill they bring to the job. Respecting what they do motivates people to bring their best to work, no matter what that work is. When you see the inherent value that everyone brings to the table you signal that the organization is successful only because every individual contributor is successful. From that viewpoint the person who prepares the order, the person who supports the technology that facilitates the order, and the executive whose strategic vision made the order process possible are all valued for their unique contributions, their ideas and their suggestions. That’s how organizations truly evolve and improve – with everyone giving their best for a common goal.


No discussion about employee satisfaction would be complete without addressing the important of balance in the workplace. One of the hot topics for a number of years, it’s on fire now as people return to work amidst the many societal stressors we are facing. Life is complicated and ‘employee’ is only one of the many roles people fulfill. People need to manage the stress they are feeling and not compound their stress by feeling pulled in too many directions. Organizations that actively find ways to alleviate stress by helping people find balance are ahead of the curve. This may mean bringing in brand new ways of working (hybrid workplaces), offering generous leave through formal programs (unlimited vacation), or simply being there for your people when they need it (of course you can take the afternoon off to watch your son’s dance recital!).


Everyone wants to feel appreciated and a genuine thank-you goes a long way toward securing employee satisfaction. Not only does it mean someone is noticing you and recognizing that you make a difference (see Respect above), it also affirms you are achieving your targets and contributing meaningfully to the organization’s success.  This external acknowledgment that you are doing a good job is often just what a person needs to push through an obstacle, get past a mistake, or take on a task that challenges them. Formal recognition is important too but make sure the element of fairness is reflected throughout. Think about what you are recognizing and why, and make sure ALL employees have an opportunity to be recognized, particularly those that may not typically be thought of as star performers (again, see Respect above).

Employee satisfaction at its core is all about treating people well and aspiring to be a people-first culture – one that truly understands that happy people work well together and that’s good for organizational success! The Best Workplaces in Financial Services and Insurance have found a winning combination and their people give them high marks in key elements related to employee satisfaction. If you want to get clear insight on employee satisfaction levels in your workplace, we ae here to help. Reach out to us about how our survey and culture management platform can help you measure your team’s effectiveness, build more trusting relationships, at work and achieve better business results.

About Great Place to Work®
Great Place to Work® makes it easy to survey your employees, uncover actionable insights and get recognized for your great company culture. Clients apply our insights, advice, and tools to fuel the vision, decisions and actions that drive business performance. 

Nancy Fonseca
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