Job satisfaction

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A World War II poster from the United States shows a woman who is satisfied with her job.

Job satisfaction or employee satisfaction has been defined in different ways. It may be as simple as the feeling of satisfaction with a job. If a person likes their job, they feel job satisfaction.[1] When an employee performs their work well, they feel a sense of job satisfaction.[1] If a worker has good relationships with their boss and their coworkers, they feel job satisfaction.[1] Psychologists who study the behavior of industries and organizations also look at job satisfaction in different ways.

History[change | change source]

Assessments of job satisfaction became commonplace in the 1930s.[2] In 1934, R.S. Uhrbrock was one of the first psychologists to use new techniques to assess factory worker attitudes.[3] In 1935, R. Hoppock published a study of 500 teachers on how satisfied they were with their jobs. This study found that job satisfaction is affected by the work, the coworkers, and the managers.[4] Before the 1930s, not many job satisfaction studies were published.[5]

Factors[change | change source]

Environmental factors[change | change source]

Many factors influence job satisfaction. Some factors are environmental. They are particular to a situation. They come from the work and the workplace.

In 1976, Edwin A. Locke wrote about the factors that lead to satisfaction or dissatisfaction at work.[6] Although this list was written in the 20th century, many factors are the same in the 21st century also.[7][8]

  • Work is challenging. The employee is able to do the work. Tasks are at or slightly above his abilities, not below.[8]
  • Work is not overly physically demanding. Tiring work is frustrating.[7]
  • Work is interesting, not boring.[7]
  • Work is rewarding. Employees receive awards, praise, and encouragement.[8]
  • Workers have common objectives. Managers and employees work together toward shared goals.[7]
  • The organization supports its employees. There are policies and processes that help employees achieve their goals.[7]
  • There are pay supplements, non-monetary rewards, or bonuses that are not money, for example, travel and other perks.

A person can feel satisfied with their job if they get a good evaluation of their work.[9][10][11] Company policies, for example, about how employees are supervised, can influence job satisfaction.[12] Pay is another factor in job satisfaction.[12] Achievement or recognition can also make a person feel job satisfaction.[13] Opportunities for promotions to jobs with higher rank can increase job satisfaction.[13]

One of the most important aspects of work in a modern organization is communication.[14] A communication load is the amount and the speed and the complexity of communication that a person has to process.[15] People can experience communication overload. This is when they get too much information in too short a period of time. Or, when they get information that is too complex to process in a short period of time. People can also experience communication underload. This is when they do not get enough information. Both communication overload and communication underload can affect the level of job satisfaction.[15][14] If a person receives too much communication or not enough communication on the job, they are more likely to become dissatisfied and unhappy with their work. This can lead to a low level of job satisfaction.[15][14]

A 2013 study surveyed 2.5 million employees in the United States. According to the study, the most important factors for job satisfaction are:

If a job has all of these factors, people feel more satisfied and loyal to the company.[16]

Personal factors[change | change source]

Some factors in job satisfaction are personal or individual. Each person is affected in their own unique way.

Moods and emotions at work are related to job satisfaction.[17] Positive and negative emotions are related to overall job satisfaction.[18]

Genetics play a role in job satisfaction. One scientific experiment studied twins who were raised apart. Researchers measured the influence of genetics on the twins' job satisfaction. The study found that 70% of job satisfaction comes from the environment and 30% comes from genetic factors.[19]

Some research shows a connection between personality and job satisfaction.[20] Employees who do not feel alienated, or left out, have more job satisfaction. Employees who feel in control of their situation also have more job satisfaction. They show more involvement in their job and more commitment to the company.[21]

Psychological well-being (PWB) is how well a person's mind functions overall. It involves every part of a person's life: work, family, community, etc.[22] PWB in the workplace plays an important role in determining job satisfaction and has attracted much research attention in recent years.[23] These studies focused on the effects of PWB on job satisfaction and job performance.[24] Research published in 2000 showed a strong connection between PWB and job satisfaction.[22] A second study by the same authors in 2007 had similar results.[25] These studies showed that PWB predicts job performance better than job satisfaction does.[22][25]

Measuring[change | change source]

Researchers have various ways to measure job satisfaction.[26][27] The Job Descriptive Index measures job satisfaction in 5 ways: pay, promotions, coworkers, bosses, and the work itself. The survey is simple. People answer yes, no, or ‘?’.[28] There are other job satisfaction surveys, for example, the Job Satisfaction Survey and the Faces Scale.[1] The Job Satisfaction Survey asks 36 questions about 9 factors in job satisfaction. The Faces Scale asks only one question. People answer by choosing a face.

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Spector, P.E. (1997). Job satisfaction: Application, assessment, causes and consequences. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. 
  2. Latham, G. P., & Budworth, M. H. (2007). The study of work motivation in the 20th century. In L. L. Koppes (Ed.) Historical perspectives in industrial and organizational psychology (pp. 353-381). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  3. Uhrbrock, R. S. (1934). "Attitudes of 4430 employees". The Journal of Social Psychology 5: 365–377. doi:10.1080/00224545.1934.9921604.
  4. Hoppock, R. (1935). Job satisfaction. Oxford, England: Harper.
  5. Kornhauser, A. W. (1930). "Industrial psychology in England, Germany and the United States". Personnel Journal 8: 421–434.
  6. Locke, Edwin A. (1976). Nature and Causes of job satisfaction, Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Rand McNally. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Landy, F. J. in Conte, J. M. (2007). Work in the 21st Century: An Introduction to Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Oxford: Blackwell.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Mihalič, R. (2008). Povečajmo zadovoljstvo in pripadnost zaposlenih: Praktični nasveti, metodologija, interni akt in model upodabljanja za upravljanje in merjenje zadovoljstva in pripadnosti zaposlenih, z ukrepi za večje zadovoljstvo pri delu in pripadnost organizaciji. Škofja Loka: Založba Mihalič in Partner.
  9. Locke, 1976 cited in Brief, A. P., & Weiss, H. M. (2001). Organizational behavior: affect in the workplace. Annual Review of Psychology, 53, 279-307, p. 282
  10. Cranny, Smith & Stone, 1992 cited in Weiss, H. M. (2002). Deconstructing job satisfaction: separating evaluations, beliefs and affective experiences. Human Resource Management Review, 12, 173-194, p.174
  11. Brief, 1998 cited in Weiss, H. M. (2002). Deconstructing job satisfaction: separating evaluations, beliefs and affective experiences. Human Resource Management Review, 12, 173-194, p. 174
  12. 12.0 12.1 J. R. Hackman, G. R. Oldham, HackmanOldham1976 (1976). "Motivation through design of work". Organizational behaviour and human performance 16 (2): 250–279. doi:10.1016/0030-5073(76)90016-7.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Aristovnik, A.; Jaklič, K. (2013). "Job satisfaction of older workers as a factor of promoting labour market participation in the EU : the case of Slovenia". Rev. soc. polit.. 20 (2): 123–148. http://www.rsp.hr/ojs2/index.php/rsp/article/viewFile/1126/1227.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Krayer, K.J.; Westbrook, L. (1986). "The relationship between communication load and job satisfaction". World Communication 15: 85–99.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Farace, R. V., Monge, P. R., & Russell, H. M. (1977). Communicating and organizing. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
  16. Vetluzhsky, Elena (2013). The remuneration system. How to develop goals and KPI. Alpina. ISBN 978-5-9614-4385-1. 
  17. "How Emotion and Mood Influence Behavior". Boundless Management. Retrieved 20 May 2016. 
  18. Fisher D. (2000). Mood and emotions while working: missing pieces of job satisfaction? Journal of Organizational Behavior 21, 185±202
  19. Arvey, R. D.; Bouchard, T. J.; Segal, N. L.; Abraham, L. M. (1989). "Job satisfaction: Environmental and genetic components". Journal Of Applied Psychology 74 (2): 187–192. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.74.2.187. http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/apl/74/2/187/.
  20. Judge, T. A.; Heller, D.; Mount, M. K. (2002). "Five-factor model of personality and job satisfaction: A meta-analysis". Journal of Applied Psychology 87 (3): 530–541. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.87.3.530.
  21. Bruk-Lee, V.; Khoury, H. A.; Nixon, A. E.; Goh, A.; Spector, P. E. (2009). "Replicating and extending past personality/job satisfaction meta-analyses". Human Performance 22 (2): 156–189. doi:10.1080/08959280902743709.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Wright, T. A.; Cropanzano, R. (2000). "Psychological well-being and job satisfaction as predictors of job performance". Journal of Occupational Health Psychology 5 (1): 84–94. doi:10.1037/1076-8998.5.1.84.
  23. Baptiste, N. R. (2008). "Tightening the link between employee wellbeing at work and performance: A new dimension for HRM". Management Decision 46 (2): 284–309. doi:10.1108/00251740810854168.
  24. Robertson, I. T.; Birch, A. J.; Cooper, C. L. (2012). "Job and work attitudes, engagement and employee performance: Where does psychological well-being fit in?". Leadership & Organization Development Journal 33 (3): 224–232. doi:10.1108/01437731211216443.
  25. 25.0 25.1 Wright, T. A.; Cropanzano, R.; Bonett, D. G. (2007). "The moderating role of employee positive well being on the relation between job satisfaction and job performance". Journal of Occupational Health Psychology 12 (2): 93–104. doi:10.1037/1076-8998.12.2.93.
  26. Thompson, E.R.; Phua F.T.T. (2012). "A Brief Index of Affective Job Satisfaction". Group & Organization Management 37 (3): 275–307. doi:10.1177/1059601111434201. http://gom.sagepub.com/content/37/3/275.
  27. Moorman, R.H. (1993). "The influence of cognitive and affective based job satisfaction measures on the relationship between satisfaction and organizational citizenship behavior". Human Relations 6: 759–776. doi:10.1177/001872679304600604.
  28. Smith, P.C., Kendall, L.M., & Hulin, C.L. (1969) The measurement of satisfaction in work and retirement. Chicago: Rand McNally.