JOB SATISFACTION – What really creates it

The level of satisfaction may differ for everyone, as job success factors differ person to person as well, and a person may be satisfied with one aspect of their job but unhappy with another. However one thing is certain, that when an employee is spending the bulk of their waking hours at their workplace they need much more than a salary to satisfy them. They need the opportunity to be able to use their skills and talents, work which challenges them, incentives and bonuses, recognition for work well done and a respectful and friendly work environment which encourages them to put in their best efforts.

In a report from Gallup, based on a survey carried out in 2018, the percentage of “engaged” workers in the U.S. — those who are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace — is now 34%, tying its highest level since Gallup began reporting the national figure in 2000. In March 2016, Gallup also reported that 34% of U.S. employees were engaged, along with 16.5% who were “actively disengaged” — a ratio of two engaged workers for every actively disengaged one.

The percentage who are “actively disengaged” — workers who have miserable work experiences — is now at its lowest level (13%), making the current ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees 2.6-to-1 — the highest ever in Gallup tracking. These findings are based on a random sample of 30,628 full- and part-time U.S. employees working for an employer from January to June 2018. Disengagement not only affects the quality of life of the worker, but also costs the company billions of dollars every year.

The remaining 53% of workers are in the “not engaged” category. They may be generally satisfied but are not cognitively and emotionally connected to their work and workplace; they will usually show up to work and do the minimum required but will quickly leave their company for a slightly better offer.

Keeping in mind the time and resources companies spend in the recruitment and on boarding processes it is in their best interest to have motivated and satisfied employees working for them .

Some key factors which contribute to satisfaction attained on the job are :

1.     JOB ENGAGEMENT- Are the daily activities of your job absorbing enough to keep you involved and give your best each day ? Are you involved and committed to contribute to the goals of your team, department and organization ? Are you also motivated to play a role and contribute to the success of the organization ? It is these elements which contribute to job satisfaction and engagement. The greater these factors are the greater will be your own sense of satisfaction and well being. People are more engaged in a job situation that gives them the freedom to use their natural talents and skills.

2.     COMPANY CULTURE –  Employees tend to be happy and more satisfied with their company when they can find common ground with their peers and supervisors. Apart from that, when employees can connect with their co-workers and also develop personal relationships with them, they tend to be happier at the workplace. Job satisfaction also has a direct co-relation with the level of interaction an employee has with their supervisor and how well they get along. During the hiring process, managers look to identify prospective employees with similar backgrounds and personalities as their current team members, so that they can fit into the prevailing company culture and be satisfied in their jobs.

3.     CHALLENGING AND INTERESTING WORK – The level of job satisfaction is high when an employee finds their work interesting. Having autonomy at the job allows an employee to build their own challenges and define ways to surmount challenges and obstacles. These lead them to have a more satisfying and happy work experience. If the job is diverse in nature and also poses challenges to be resolved, the work remains interesting and employees satisfied.  Successful management styles also look for varied options to increase interest in the jobs under them and keep their teams motivated to perform.

4.     RECOGNITION AND REWARDS  –  Research shows us that the link between compensation, motivation and job satisfaction is very complex. The motivational impact of salary in itself does not have a lasting effect and in itself is not sufficient to continue to motivate an employee. In fact the link between salary and job satisfaction is very ineffective. It is rewards and incentives that play a more active role in overcoming poor attitudes to work. When an employee receives recognition or promotion for a job well done, the level of satisfaction increases and they are more motivated to put in extra efforts. They feel satisfied that they have been recognized and their colleagues are also aware of their achievements.

5.     WORK ENVIRONMENT –  A stress-free work environment that encourages employees to interact , be appreciated and not in the fear of losing their jobs promotes a higher level of job satisfaction. Employees work harder, when they like their jobs and the place where they are working. Job demands maybe tough but if employees are given the opportunity to have some fun as well, the level of job satisfaction will be maintained. Further, a boss who appreciates and encourages his team members and praises them for a job well done, will have a motivated and satisfied team to work with.

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs

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