I sat at the large conference table, carefully listening to each and every update provided by all of my male counterparts, I was the only female at the table. The senior member asked if anyone had any additional news or updates to add, I felt a kick under the table. My colleague and friend, KNEW I had big news to share, but KNEW I was terrified to make my announcement. I had only been with the firm a few short months, I was lead on a huge project and did not want anyone to think my pregnancy would impact our contract. I quickly returned the kick and gave him “the look” to which he put me on the spot by announcing I had some big news to share. Like something out of a movie scene all eyes turned on me. So I quickly and carefully recited my 4-second spiel that I had rehearsed a thousand times in my head. As a cancer survivor, I was told more times than I could count that my dreams of becoming a mother were unlikely, but after a visit to the doctor for what I was certain was food poisoning from a recent work trip to Korea, turned out to be a very different prognosis – pregnancy, I was in the midst of a conundrum emotionally. I felt on top of the world with this little miracle inside of me, but in a work environment that was male dominated, highly competitive and demanding I was sure there would be challenges when news got out. I waited, for what felt like a lifetime, and then my senior leadership pointed at everyone individually at the table – except me and said the following….”You all have wives and children, you all know her (pointing at me) personality and work ethic, if she even looks tired she goes home, you all step up and support her on this effort and her pregnancy, nothing is more important than her health and that baby.” He than, looked at my shocked face, and re-emphasized, “there will be more contracts, and the client will understand, your number one priority is your health and that baby, we are all here for you and are so happy for you.” I was gobsmacked! Needless to say, since that time, I have become my firm’s greatest fan and advocate. Their demonstration of valuing their people and encouraging the work life balance, continues to be unsurpassed.
Job satisfaction, the attitude we have toward our job and the various aspects of our job, determines how we respond, whether that is favorably or unfavorably, to our work environment. (Schneider, 2012) There are two widely used, yet different approaches in measuring how satisfied we are with our jobs, global and facet approaches. When we examine job satisfaction from a global approach, we consider how an individual would consider their overall job satisfaction, asking questions and basing them on a 5 point Likert scale. The facet approach, on the other hand, is a little more in depth. We examine how job satisfaction correlates with one’s feelings and attitudes based on a variety of different aspects or “facets” of the job. These various aspects are rated based on a standardized scale and collectively added to determine and overall “score”. (Schneider, 2012)
Why does any of this matter? Disengaged employees equates to loss of revenue for companies, dissatisfied employees, the physical and emotional toll of being unhappy, the feeling of fulfillment, lack of passion, and the impact these factors have on both individuals and their employers are profound. Should I stay or should I go? In relation to your employment, have you ever asked yourself that question? According to an article in the American Psychology Association Journal, these feelings are not only the norm, but also the way the majority of employees feel in the workplace here in America. “According to State of the American Workplace, a new report by Gallup Inc., only 30 percent of the U.S. workforce is engaged in their work — in other words, they’re passionate about their work and feel strongly committed to their companies. The remaining 70 percent of American workers are either “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” in their work.” (Weir, 2013)
Understanding the critical role social behavior plays within organizations is relevant to employers and employees alike. The way in which we evaluate ourselves, and our careers, whether or not we are satisfied, has direct correlations and implications with how we preform our jobs and how we live our lives.
Take a minute to examine your career, is it your passion? Is your work meaningful? Do you value your employer? Does your employer value you? How does your job satisfaction, or lack of impact you and your life?
Schneider, F. (2012). Applying Social Psychology to Organizations: Focus on Optimism. In Applied social psychology: Understanding and addressing social and practical problems (2nd ed., pp. 217-244). Los Angeles, CA: Sage.
Weir, K. (2013, December 1). More than job satisfaction. Retrieved April 27, 2015, from http://www.apa.org/monitor/2013/12/job-satisfaction.aspx