Elements That Make For Long Term Job Satisfaction
As per the results gathered from a couple of job satisfaction surveys, at any given point of time, at least one-third of the employees of any organisation are on the lookout for a new job. This result clearly indicates that there is a dearth of job satisfaction within employees. Job satisfaction is important because other than boosting performance at work, it also improves the quality of life of the employees.
Let’s take a look at 10 factors which are important in determining job satisfaction according to psychologists:
- Ongoing Feedback: There is nothing worse for an employee than the fact that he is not aware of his performance at work. In case of job satisfaction, no feedback is equivalent to non-performance. Although receiving negative feedback can be painful, yet it tells the employee about his areas of improvement. On the other hand, if an employee receives positive feedback, it can make a lot of difference and contributes towards job satisfaction.
- Equitable Pay: For any employee, irrespective of the type of job that he or she does, an important factor for job satisfaction is being paid fairly for the job. If there is a huge difference between the expected earnings and the actual earnings, there is bound to be less job satisfaction. However, what matters here is the perception. For instance, if you perceive that other individuals employed for a similar job are getting paid similar to what you draw, you are more likely to be satisfied with you job. But on the contrary, you will have less job satisfaction if you think they are drawing more than you. It is all about seeing the glass as half full or half empty.
- Control: Greater job satisfaction is seen when people are given certain tasks to do, but with a free hand as to how they should accomplish them. If people perceive more control in carrying out their job, they derive more satisfaction out of a job. On the contrary, if people are not given some control, they tend to retake it by cutting corners, finding ways to undermine the system, or not doing it wholeheartedly. Psychologists have arrived at the decision that people, who are engaged in jobs with minimal control at every level, find their jobs quite stressful and less satisfying.
- Little Hassles: Job satisfaction is surprisingly associated with everyday hassles which we tend to ignore. We are so much occupied in solving the bigger issues at the workplace, that we tend to undermine the day to day hassles that employees tend to face. While initially, these mundane issues may not seem like much, but eventually these become issues which finally go out of our control and thereby hit job satisfaction really hard. Take for example the case of doctors. If you ask them what the worst part of their jobs is, you will be surprised by the answer! It is not performing difficult and tedious procedures, or telling people that they have only a couple of months to live, but they would come up with a one-word answer such as “administration”! Hence, managers should strive to find out what are the prevailing day to day hassles amongst the employees and address them. It is by far one of the easiest means of boosting employee satisfaction.
- Achievement: It has been observed that people are more satisfied with their job, if they feel they have been able to achieve something. The sense of achievement is more obvious in some jobs as compared to others.
- Complexity and Variety: If the jobs offer more variety and complexity, it has been observed that people find such jobs more satisfying. One of the reasons for people to like complex jobs is that it pushes them to their optimum limits. Easy jobs are more likely to create boredom. To be satisfied, people do not mind being challenged a little, and they prefer variety in the tasks that they need to carry out. It may sound easy when putting across in this manner, but it is a fact that many jobs offer neither complexity nor variety thereby leading to no job satisfaction amongst employees.
- Organisational Support: Employees are always keen to know if their organisation cares for them instead of the efforts that they are investing a day in and out. Employees figure it out through things like how they are treated by their managers, the benefits that they are getting, and similar subtle messages. If employees perceive organisational support, they experience great job satisfaction.
- Work-Life Balance: It has also been observed by psychologists that low job satisfaction is not every time the manager’s or the organisation’s fault. Sometimes, it boils down to your home-life as well. If you are mentally disturbed at work, it carries forward to your workplace as well. However, some research results suggest the reverse i.e. the trouble at the workplace is more likely to carry forward into the family space. Either way, you must find ways to distance yourself from work while you are at home to remain stress-free.
- Honeymoons and Hangovers: It is a common trend that people experience honeymoon period in their new jobs when their satisfaction level shoots up. But eventually, it begins to wear off after six months or so. The so-called honeymoon period is seen to be stronger in a new job when people were seen to be dissatisfied with their former job. So hangovers from the previous job tend to create more intense honeymoon in the next job.
- Easily Pleased: The satisfaction level of one individual differs from the other. Some people are more easily satisfied or even dissatisfied than others, irrespective of how good or bad the job is. It is usually observed that people are more satisfied with their jobs as they grow older. This is because that with age and experience people tends to find the right work for them.
Using these pointers explained above, if you are a manager, you need to look at improving employee satisfaction at your workplace by first focusing on the little hassles that people encounter on a day to day basis at work and address them. Although it may not look like much, employees will certainly appreciate it. It the real sense of the term, it doesn’t take a lot of extra effort to keep employees happy. Employees wish to feel respected and trusted, work in a safe environment, with good remuneration, and appropriately opportunities to advance in career. When any company finds ways to focus on these important factors, it can certainly satisfy its employees and help to build a stronger, more stable and profitable future.