What is Job Satisfaction? Job satisfaction has been defined as a pleasurable emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job,an affective reaction to one’s job and an attitude towards one’s job. Job satisfaction is an attitude but points out that researchers should clearly distinguish the objects of cognitive evaluation which are affect emotion,beliefs and behaviours. This definition suggests that we form attitudes towards our jobs by taking into account our feelings, our beliefs, and our behaviors.
In fact, job satisfaction can be seen in three ways, namely as a function of : • the actual features of the job • the opinions of other people in the workplace • the individual personality type and correlation to the respective job Models of Job Satisfaction Affect Theory Edwin A. Locke’s Range of Affect Theory (1976) is arguably the most famous job satisfaction model. The main premise of this theory is that satisfaction is determined by a discrepancy between what one wants in a job and what one has in a job.
Further, the theory states that how much one values a given facet of work (e. g. the degree of autonomy in a position) moderates how satisfied/dissatisfied one becomes when expectations are/aren’t met. When a person values a particular facet of a job, his satisfaction is more greatly impacted both positively (when expectations are met) and negatively (when expectations are not met), compared to one who doesn’t value that facet.
To illustrate, if Employee A values autonomy in the workplace and Employee B is indifferent about autonomy, then Employee A would be more satisfied in a position that offers a high degree of autonomy and less satisfied in a position with little or no autonomy compared to Employee B. This theory also states that too much of a particular facet will produce stronger feelings of dissatisfaction the more a worker values that facet. Dispositional Theory Another well-known job satisfaction theory is the Dispositional Theory.
It is a very general theory that suggests that people have innate dispositions that cause them to have tendencies toward a certain level of satisfaction, regardless of one’s job. This approach became a notable explanation of job satisfaction in light of evidence that job satisfaction tends to be stable over time and across careers and jobs. Research also indicates that identical twins have similar levels of job satisfaction. A significant model that narrowed the scope of the Dispositional Theory was the Core Self-evaluations Model, proposed by Timothy A.
Judge in 1998. Judge argued that there are four Core Self-evaluations that determine one’s disposition towards job satisfaction: self-esteem, general self-efficacy, locus of control, and neuroticism. This model states that higher levels of self-esteem (the value one places on his/her self) and general self-efficacy (the belief in one’s own competence) lead to higher work satisfaction. Having an internal locus of control (believing one has control over herhis own life, as opposed to outside forces having control) leads to higher job satisfaction.
Finally, lower levels of neuroticism lead to higher job satisfaction. Two-Factor Theory (Motivator-Hygiene Theory) Frederick Herzberg’s Two factor theory (also known as Motivator Hygiene Theory) attempts to explain satisfaction and motivation in the workplace. This theory states that satisfaction and dissatisfaction are driven by different factors – motivation and hygiene factors, respectively. An employee’s motivation to work is continually related to job satisfaction of a subordinate.
Motivation can be seen as an inner force that drives individuals to attain personal and organization goals (Hoskinson, Porter, & Wrench, p. 133). Motivating factors are those aspects of the job that make people want to perform, and provide people with satisfaction, for example achievement in work, recognition, promotion opportunities. These motivating factors are considered to be intrinsic to the job, or the work carried out. Hygiene factors include aspects of the working environment such as pay, company policies, supervisory practices, and other working conditions.
While Hertzberg’s model has stimulated much research, researchers have been unable to reliably empirically prove the model, with Hackman & Oldham suggesting that Hertzberg’s original formulation of the model may have been a methodological artifact. Furthermore, the theory does not consider individual differences, conversely predicting all employees will react in an identical manner to changes in motivating/hygiene factors. Finally, the model has been criticised in that it does not specify how motivating/hygiene factors are to be measured. Job Characteristics Model
Hackman & Oldham proposed the Job Characteristics Model, which is widely used as a framework to study how particular job characteristics impact on job outcomes, including job satisfaction. The model states that there are five core job characteristics (skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback) which impact three critical psychological states (experienced meaningfulness, experienced responsibility for outcomes, and knowledge of the actual results), in turn influencing work outcomes (job satisfaction, absenteeism, work motivation, etc. ).
The five core job characteristics can be combined to form a motivating potential score (MPS) for a job, which can be used as an index of how likely a job is to affect an employee’s attitudes and behaviors. How to measure Job Satisfaction? There are many methods for measuring job satisfaction. By far, the most common method for collecting data regarding job satisfaction is the Likert scale (named after Rensis Likert). Other less common methods of for gauging job satisfaction include: Yes/No questions, True/False questions, point systems, checklists, and forced choice answers.
This data is typically collected using an Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) system. The Job Descriptive Index (JDI), created by Smith, Kendall, & Hulin (1969), is a specific questionnaire of job satisfaction that has been widely used. It measures one’s satisfaction in five facets: pay, promotions and promotion opportunities, coworkers, supervision, and the work itself. The scale is simple, participants answer either yes, no, or can’t decide (indicated by ‘? ’) in response to whether given statements accurately describe one’s job. The Job in General Index is an overall measurement of job satisfaction.
It is an improvement to the Job Descriptive Index because the JDI focuses too much on individual facets and not enough on work satisfaction in general. Other job satisfaction questionnaires include: the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ), the Job Satisfaction Survey (JSS), and the Faces Scale. The MSQ measures job satisfaction in 20 facets and has a long form with 100 questions (five items from each facet) and a short form with 20 questions (one item from each facet). The JSS is a 36 item questionnaire that measures nine facets of job satisfaction.
Finally, the Faces Scale of job satisfaction, one of the first scales used widely, measured overall job satisfaction with just one item which participants respond to by choosing a face. Below is the list of common job satisfaction question : Common Agree/Disagree Items: I am optimistic about the future of the company. I am optimistic about my future success with the company. I am proud to work for the company. I feel more committed to a career with the company this year than I did a year ago. I feel that the company cares about its people. I feel that working for the company will lead to the kind of future I want.
I feel that people get ahead primarily on the merits of their work. Men and women are provided with equal career opportunities in the company. I am satisfied with my understanding of the direction and goals of the company. I understand of how the company’s strategy differentiates us from the competition. I am satisfied with my understanding of how my goals are linked to company goals. The company is a leader in the industry in important ways. The company is a strong competitor in key growth areas. The company’s leadership has a clear vision of the future. Company leadership has made changes that are positive for the company.
Company leadership has made changes which are positive for me. Company leadership is responding to the important external issues. Company leadership is responding to the important internal issues. Common Satisfaction Items: How satisfied are you: … with with your job? … that the leaders in your work environment are positive role models? … with your direct supervisor? … that your supervisor keeps you well informed about what’s going on in the company? … that your views and participation are valued? … that your supervisor cares and is responding to the issues of most importance to you? … ith the professionalism of the people with whom you work? … with the team spirit in your work environment? … with the morale of the people with whom you work? … with your own morale? … that your work gives you a feeling of personal accomplishment? … that you receive appropriate recognition for your contributions? … with the empowerment you have to influence the quality of your work? … with the reasonableness of your work responsibilities? … with your ability to maintain a reasonable balance between family life and work life? … that your compensation matches your responsibilities? .. with your overall job security? … with the company as a place to work? How to create job satisfaction? Identify Your Satisfaction Triggers There are three basic approaches to work: is it a job, a career, or a passion? Depending on which type of work you are in right now, the things that give you satisfaction will vary. • If you work at a JOB, the compensation aspects of the position will probably hold more appeal than anything else, and have the greatest impact on whether you stay or go. • If you work at a CAREER, you are looking for promotions and career development opportunities.
Your overall satisfaction is typically linked with your status, power, or position. • If you work at a PASSION, the work itself is the factor that determines your satisfaction, regardless of money, prestige, or control. Building Job Satisfaction Once you have identified the blend of status, power, or intrinsic enjoyment that need to be present in your work for you to feel satisfied, you then need to work on some of seven ‘ingredients’ for a satisfying job. These ingredients are: • Self-awareness • Challenge • Variety • Positive attitude • Knowing your options • Balanced lifestyle • A sense of purpose
Conclusion The centrality of work in modern economies has made and understanding of the psychology of motivation and job satisfaction a key component of business and management education syllabuses. It now suffers to some extent from being taught as if it were true rather than as a set of sophisticated and problematic speculations about the nature of human motivations. However,there is a gap between the ideal of people who are motivated and the real nature of work. Work plays a significant role in our lives. In our quest to be happy and productive, having a strong sense of job satisfaction is important.
When you are dissatisfied with your job, this tends to have an influence on your overall outlook on life. While you may not be in the career of your dreams right now, it is still your responsibility to make sure that what you are doing is satisfying to you. By knowing the key elements that go into job satisfaction, you can choose to take control and make the changes you need to feel really satisfied and motivated by what you do. Make one small change at work today that makes you feel good or different – build on that change and create a satisfying environment for yourself.