Workplaces come in many shapes and sizes; from small local businesses to large-scale global corporations and everything in between. Regardless of the job or size of the organization, most individuals searching for a job hold their happiness high on their needs list. There is no doubt that job satisfaction can greatly affect a persons happiness, as the average American worker spends a great deal of their time working. It is important for leaders in the workplace to understand what job satisfaction is, what contributes to job satisfaction, and how it affects their workers.
Before we can move on, it is important to know and understand what exactly job satisfaction is and what it entails. Jobs satisfaction can be defined as “a persons attitude toward his or her overall job as well as toward various aspects of the job; it is a predisposition to respond to one’s work environment in a favorable or unfavorable manner.” (Schneider, Gruman, Coutts, 2012) A person spending multiple hours of their week working wants to feel good about their work and their working environment, and employers should work to make their organizations a place where job satisfaction is high.
Some factors that contribute to job satisfaction include job characteristics and social/organizational factors. (Schneider, Gruman, Coutts, 2012) Job characteristics refer to “the content and nature of job tasks themselves.” These tasks are essential to determining job satisfaction because a the work an employee is expected to complete must be personally interesting and satisfying. Work that is meaningful will make an employee more satisfied with their job. (Schneder, Gruman, Coutts, 2012) Social/organizational factors can refer a persons relationships with supervisors/coworkers and the rewards for their work (i.e. pay, promotions). When a person feels that they have equal and fair reward for their work and they maintain good social relationships with others in the workplace, they will have higher job satisfaction. (Schneider, Gruman, Coutts, 2012) Overall, a person’s tasks at work, supervisor/coworker relationships, and reward greatly influence a person’s job satisfaction, and therefore are important factors for an employer to keep in mind.
This video talks about 5 factors that influence job satisfaction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DOR3AnyLOQ
Now that we know what constitutes job satisfaction, we must understand how poor job satisfaction can affect an employee. Employee withdrawal behaviors and performance are two outcomes of poor job satisfaction. (Schneider, Gruman, Coutts, 2012) Those who dislike their jobs tend to withdraw (missing work and/or quitting). These behaviors are seen as direct results of poor job satisfaction. Obviously, with low job satisfaction, employees are likely to not perform well. If a person does not see their job as “worthwhile” they will not be invested and will not be productive. (Schneider, Gruman, Coutts, 2012) Both of these behaviors (withdrawal and poor performance) are bad for employers, as it is costly to pay for employees who are not providing adequate work for their pay. However, they may be corrected with focusing on factors that increase job satisfaction. These factors give employees motivation to work and will create satisfied employees. It is important to remember that job satisfaction can affect an employees performance- whether good or bad.
As workplaces continue to grow and become more concerned with the wellbeing of their employees, it is important to remember job satisfaction- what it is, what contributes to it, and the effects of it. Job satisfaction not only benefits the employee by providing happiness and meaning, but it benefits employers by having a productive and effective workplace.
Schneider, F. W., Gruman, J. A., & Coutts, L. M. (2012). Applied Social Psychology: Understanding and addressing social and practical problems. Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications