Everything you need to know about job satisfaction. Job satisfaction refers to a person’s feeling of satisfaction on the job, which acts as a motivation to work. It is not the self-satisfaction, happiness or self-contentment but the satisfaction on the job.

Job satisfaction relates to the total relationship between an individual and the employer for which he is paid.

Satisfaction means the simple feeling of attainment of any goal or objective. Job dissatisfaction brings an absence of motivation at work.

Lofquist and Davis (1991), defined job satisfaction as “an individual’s positive affective reaction of the target environment as a result of the individual’s appraisal of the extent to which his or her needs are fulfilled by the environment”.


Learn about:- 1. Introduction to Job Satisfaction 2. Meaning of Job Satisfaction 3. Definition 4. History 5. Importance 6. Factors 7. Variables 8. Measurement 9. Effects 10. Increased/Enhanced Job Satisfaction 11. Relationship 12. Theories.

Job Satisfaction: Meaning, Definition, Importance, Factors, Effects and Theories


  1. Introduction to Job Satisfaction
  2. Meaning of Job Satisfaction
  3. Definition of Job Satisfaction
  4. History of Job Satisfaction
  5. Importance of Job Satisfaction
  6. Factors of Job Satisfaction
  7. Variables of Job Satisfaction
  8. Measurement of Job Satisfaction
  9. Effects of Job Satisfaction
  10. Increased/Enhanced Job Satisfaction
  11. Relationship between Job Satisfaction and Productivity
  12. Theories of Job Satisfaction

Job Satisfaction – Introduction

Siegal and Lance (1987) stated that ‘job satisfaction is an emotional response defining the degree to which people like their job.’

Work is a central part of almost everyone’s life. Adults devote almost all of their waking time to work as career development makes up almost 70% of all human developmental tasks. Hence it is important that the employees feel a sense of satisfaction with their job or else it might lead to frustration, anger and in some cases even depression.


Perceived satisfaction on the job is reflected by the needs of sense of fulfilment and expectation for the job to be interesting, challenging and personally satisfying. Job satisfaction is also an achievement indicator in career developmental tasks.

There are numerous studies on job satisfaction, and the results are often valued for both humanistic and financial benefits. When employees are satisfied, they tend to care more about the quality of their work, they are more committed to the organization, they have higher retention rates, and they are generally more productive.

The present times are very competitive and hence there is a lot of pressure for each organization to be the best for this reason, organizations now demand for the better job outcomes. In fact, modern times have been called as the “age of anxiety and stress”.

This pressure to perform at their best at all times creates a lot of stress to the employees, known as job stress. Job stress can reduce productivity, increase mistakes and accidents at work, encourage absenteeism, lower morale, increase conflict with others and cause physical and emotional problems. High levels of work stress are associated with low levels of job satisfaction. A low level of job satisfaction ultimately leads to poor life satisfaction.

Job Satisfaction – Meaning

Job satisfaction refers to a person’s feeling of satisfaction on the job, which acts as a motivation to work. It is not the self-satisfaction, happiness or self-contentment but the satisfaction on the job.


Job satisfaction relates to the total relationship between an individual and the employer for which he is paid. Satisfaction means the simple feeling of attainment of any goal or objective. Job dissatisfaction brings an absence of motivation at work.

Research workers differently describe the factors contributing to job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction. Hoppock describes job satisfaction as, “any combination of psychological, physiological and environmental circumstances that cause and person truthfully to say I am satisfied with my job.”

Job satisfaction is defined as the, “pleasurable emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job as achieving or facilitating the achievement of one’s job values.” In contrast job dissatisfaction is defined as “the unpleasurable emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job as frustrating or blocking the attainment of one’s job values or as entailing disvalues.” However, both satisfaction and dissatisfaction were seen as, “a function of the perceived relationship between what one perceives it as offering or entailing.”

Job Satisfaction – Definition by Eminent Authors

Hoppock offered one of the earliest definitions of job satisfaction when he described the construct as being any number of psychological, physiological, and environmental circumstances which leads a person to express satisfaction with their job. Smith et al. (1969) defined job satisfaction as the feeling an individual has about his or her job. Locke (1969) suggested that job satisfaction was a positive or pleasurable reaction resulting from the appraisal of one’s job, job achievement, or job experiences.


Vroom (1982) defined job satisfaction as workers’ emotional orientation toward their current job roles. Similarly, Schultz (1982) stated that job satisfaction is essentially the psychological disposition of people toward their work.

Finally, Lofquist and Davis (1991), defined job satisfaction as “an individual’s positive affective reaction of the target environment as a result of the individual’s appraisal of the extent to which his or her needs are fulfilled by the environment”.

The definition of job satisfaction has visibly evolved through the decades, but most versions share the belief that job satisfaction is a work-related positive affective reaction.


There seems to be less consistency when talking about the causes of job satisfaction. Wexley and Yukl (1984) stated that job satisfaction is influenced by many factors, including personal traits and characteristics of the job. To better understand these employee and job characteristics and their relationship to job satisfaction, various theories have emerged.

Early traditional theories suggested that a single bipolar continuum, with satisfaction on one end and dissatisfaction on the other, could be used to conceptualize job satisfaction. Later revisions of the theory included a two-continuum model that placed job satisfaction on the first scale, and job dissatisfaction on the second.

These later theories focused more on the presence or absence of certain intrinsic and extrinsic job factors that could determine one’s satisfaction level. Intrinsic factors are based on personal perceptions and internal feelings, and include factors such as recognition, advancement, and responsibility. These factors have been strongly linked to job satisfaction according to O’Driscoll and Randall (1999).

Extrinsic factors are external job related variables that would include salary, supervision, and working conditions. These extrinsic factors have also been found to have a significant influence on job satisfaction levels according to Martin and Schinke (1998).

Job SatisfactionHistory

One of the biggest preludes to the study of job satisfaction was the Hawthorne studies. These studies (1924-1933), primarily credited to Elton Mayo of the Harvard Business School, sought to find the effects of various conditions (most notably illumination) on workers’ productivity. These studies ultimately showed that novel changes in work conditions temporarily increase productivity (called the Hawthorne Effect).


It was later found that this increase resulted, not from the new conditions, but from the knowledge of being observed. This finding provided strong evidence that people work for purposes other than pay, which paved the way for researchers to investigate other factors in job satisfaction.

Scientific management (as known as Taylorism) also had a significant impact on the study of job satisfaction. Frederick Winslow Taylor’s 1911 book, Principles of Scientific Management, argued that there was a single best way to perform any given work task. It contributed to a change in industrial production philosophies, causing a shift from skilled labor and piecework towards the more modern approach of assembly lines and hourly wages.

The initial use of scientific management by industries greatly increased productivity because workers were forced to work at a faster pace. However, workers became exhausted and dissatisfied, thus leaving researchers with new questions to answer regarding job satisfaction. It should also be noted that the work of W.L. Bryan, Walter Dill Scott and Hugo Munsterberg set the tone for Taylor’s work.


Some argue that Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, a motivation theory, laid the foundation for job satisfaction theory. This theory explains that people seek to satisfy five specific needs in life-physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, self-esteem needs and self-actualization. This model served as a good basis from which early researchers could develop job satisfaction theories.

Job satisfaction can also be seen within the broader context of the range of issues which affect an individual’s experience of work, or their quality of working life. Job satisfaction can be understood in terms of its relationships with other key factors, such as general well- being, stress at work, control at work, home-work interface and working conditions.

Job Satisfaction – Importance

Job satisfaction is a frequently studied subject in work and organizational literature. This is mainly due to the fact that many experts believe that job satisfaction trends can affect labour market behaviour and influence work productivity, work effort, employee absenteeism and staff turnover. Moreover, job satisfaction is considered a strong predictor of overall individual well-being, as well as a good predictor of intentions or decisions of employees to leave a job.

Job satisfaction is also important in everyday life. Organizations have significant effects on the people who work for them and some of those effects are reflected in how people feel about their work. This makes job satisfaction an issue of substantial importance for both employers and employees.

As many studies suggest, employers benefit from satisfied employees as they are more likely to profit from lower staff turnover and higher productivity if their employees experience a high level of job satisfaction. However, employees should also ‘be happy in their work, given the amount of time they have to devote to it throughout their working lives’.

Job Satisfaction – 3 Main Factors: Personal Factors, Factors Inherent in the Job and Factors Controlled by the Management

Job satisfaction refers to a general attitude which an employee retains on account of many specific attitudes in the following areas:  


There are different factors on which job satisfaction depends.

Important among them are discussed hereunder:

(i) Personal Factors:

They include workers’ sex, education, age, marital status and their personal characteristics, family background, socio-economic background and the like.

(ii) Factors Inherent in the Job:

These factors have recently been studied and found to be important in the selection of employees. Instead of being guided by their co-workers and supervisors, the skilled workers would rather like to be guided by their own inclination to choose jobs in consideration of ‘what they have to do’. These factors include- the work itself, conditions, influence of internal and external environment on the job which are uncontrolled by the management, etc.

(iii) Factors Controlled by the Management:

The nature of supervision, job security, kind of work group, and wage rate, promotional opportunities, and transfer policy, duration of work and sense of responsibilities are factors controlled by management. All these factors greatly influence the workers. These factors motivate the workers and provide a sense of job satisfaction.

Though performance and job satisfaction are influenced by different set of factors, these two can be related if management links rewards to performance. It is viewed that job satisfaction is a consequence of performance rather than a cause of it.


Satisfaction strongly influences the productive efficiency of an organisation whereas absenteeism, employee turnover, alcoholism, irresponsibility, non- commitment are the result of job dissatisfaction. However, job satisfaction or dissatisfaction forms opinions about the job and the organisation which result in boosting up employee morale.

Job Satisfaction – Variables

Several studies have been carried out in the past of determine the correlates of high and low job satisfaction. These studies have related job satisfaction to two types of variables- organizational and personal.

Findings with regard to some of these variables are given below:

I. Organizational Variables:

(1) Occupational Level:

The higher the level of the job, the greater the satisfaction of the individual. This is because higher level jobs carry greater prestige and self-control. This relationship between occupational level and job satisfaction stems from social reference group theory in that our society values some jobs more than others.

Hence, people in valued jobs will like them more than those who are in non-valued jobs. The relationship may also stem from the need fulfilment theory. People in higher level jobs find most of their needs satisfied than when they are in lower level ones.


(2) Job Content:

Greater the variation in job content and the less the repetitiveness with which the tasks must be performed, the greater the satisfaction of the individuals involved. Since job content in terms of variety and nature of tasks called for is a function of occupational level, the theoretical arguments given above apply here also.

(3) Considerate Leadership:

People like to be treated with consideration. Hence considerate leadership results in higher job satisfaction than inconsiderate leadership.

(4) Pay and Promotional Opportunities:

All other things being equal these two variables are posi­tively related to job satisfaction.


(5) Interaction in the Work Group:

Here the question is- when is interaction in the work group a source of job satisfaction and when it is not?

Interaction is most satisfying when:

(i) It results in the cognition that other person’s attitudes are similar to one’s own, since this permits the ready calculability of the other’s behaviour and constitutes a validation of one’s self;

(ii) It results in being accepted by others; and

(iii) It facilitates the achievement of goals.

II. Personal Variables:


For some people, it appears most jobs will be dissatisfying, irrespective of the organizational conditions involved, whereas for others, most jobs will be satisfying. Personal variables like age, educational level, sex, etc., are responsible for this difference.

(1) Age:

Most of the evidence on the relation between age and job satisfaction, holding such factors as occupational level constant, seems to indicate that there is generally a positive relationship between the two variables up to the preretirement years and then there is a sharp decrease in satisfaction.

An individual aspires for better and more prestigious jobs in later years of his life. Finding his channels for advancement blocked his satisfaction declines.

(2) Educational Level:

With occupational level held constant there is a negative relationship between the educational level and job satisfaction. The higher the education, the higher the reference group which the individual looks to for guidance to evaluate his job rewards.

(3) Sex:

There is as yet no consistent evidence as to whether women are more satisfied with their jobs than men, holding such factors as job and occupational level constant. One might predict this to be the case, considering the generally lower occupational aspiration of women.

Many other correlates of job satisfaction have been found by several other studies. Thus, Stagner, Flebbe and Wood in their study of 715 male unionised rail-road workers done in 1952 have found general working conditions, union management relations, general quality of supervision and grievance handling procedure as correlates of job satisfaction.

Gadel in his study of 301 female typists and clerks, done in 1953, found ease of commuting to work co-workers, working hours and company prestige as correlates. Ross and Zander in their study of skilled women workers in a large company, done in 1957, found recognition autonomy, doing important work and fair evaluation of work done, as important correlates.

Durganand Sinha in his study of office and manual workers done in 1958 has found job status, type of work, supervisory behaviour and work group as correlates.

Job satisfaction tends to correlate with a number of other variables in the organization.

Relations with some variables are given below:

i. Job-Satisfaction and Turnover:

Job-satisfaction consistently correlates with turnover. It might have been seen that employees having low job-satisfaction leave their employer as early as possible. So, low job satisfaction increases the turnover and high job satisfaction decreases it. Thus it has a negative correlation with labour turnover.

ii. Job-Satisfaction and Absenteeism:

Absenteeism has the same relationship with the job satisfaction as has the turnover. Both are negatively correlated. Employees who have low job satisfaction tend to remain absent off and on from their job.

iii. Job-Satisfaction and Community Condition:

Job- satisfaction is influenced by community conditions. It is generally advocated that poor community conditions pull down job satisfaction and better community conditions push it up. But this is not always true. What usually happens is that employees compare their community conditions with their job conditions. If job conditions are better than that of community conditions, job satisfaction is higher.

Most usually, workers compare job’s ‘way of life’ with the community way of living and they are more sat­isfied when these two values come reasonably close to­gether. If job’s way of life is better than the community way of life, job satisfaction is higher and if job’s way of life is worse than the community way of living, job satis­faction will be lower.

Job SatisfactionMeasurement

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, co-workers, supervision and the work itself. The scale is simple, participants answer either yes, no, or cannot 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.

Superior-Subordinate Communication:

Superior-subordinate communication is an important influence on job satisfaction in the workplace. The way in which subordinate’s perceive a supervisor’s behavior can positively or negatively influence job satisfaction. Communication behavior such as facial expression, eye contact, vocal expression and body movement is crucial to the superior-subordinate relationship.

Nonverbal messages play a central role in interpersonal interactions with respect to impression formation, deception, attraction, social influence and emotional expression. Nonverbal immediacy from the supervisor helps to increase interpersonal involvement with their subordinates impacting job satisfaction.

The manner in which supervisors communicate their subordinates may be more important than the verbal content. Individuals who dislike and think negatively about their supervisor are less willing to communicate or have motivation to work where as individuals who like and think positively of their supervisor are more likely to communicate and are satisfied with their job and work environment.

The relationship of a subordinate with their supervisor is a very important aspect in the workplace. Therefore, a supervisor who uses nonverbal immediacy, friendliness and open communication lines is more willing to receive positive feedback and high job satisfaction from a subordinate where as a supervisor who is antisocial, unfriendly and unwilling to communicate will naturally receive negative feedback and very low job satisfaction from their subordinate’s in the workplace.

Job-satisfaction and emotion mood and emotions while working are the raw materials which cumulate to form the affective element of job satisfaction. Moods tend to be longer lasting but often weaker states of uncertain origin, while emotions are often more intense, short-lived and have a clear object or cause.

There is some evidence in the literature that state moods are related to overall job satisfaction. Positive and negative emotions were also found to be significantly related to overall job satisfaction.

Frequency of experiencing net positive emotion will be a better predictor of overall job satisfaction than will intensity of positive emotion when it is experienced.

Emotion regulation and emotion labor are also re­lated to job satisfaction. Emotion work (or emotion man­agement) refers to various efforts to manage emotional states and displays. Emotion regulation includes all of the conscious and unconscious efforts to increase, maintain, or decrease one or more components of an emotion.

Al­though early studies of the consequences of emotional labor emphasized its harmful effects on workers, studies of workers in a variety of occupations suggest that the consequences of emotional labor are not uniformly nega­tive. It was found that suppression of unpleasant emo­tions decreases job satisfaction and the amplification of pleasant emotions increases job satisfaction.

The under­standing of how emotion regulation relates to job satis­faction concerns two models:

1. Emotional Dissonance:

Emotional dissonance is a state of discrepancy between public displays of emotions and internal experiences of emotions that often follows the process of emotion regulation. Emotional dissonance is associated with high emotional exhaustion, low organizational commitment and low job satisfaction.

2. Social Interaction Model:

Taking the social in­teraction perspective, workers’ emotion regula­tion might beget responses from others during interpersonal encounters that subsequently im­pact their own job satisfaction. For example- The accumulation of favorable responses to displays of pleasant emotions might positively affect job satisfaction performance of emotional labor that produces desired outcomes could increase job satisfaction.

Job Satisfaction – 3 Major Effects: On Productivity, On Absenteeism and Turnover

i. Satisfaction and Productivity:

Based on research carried out in Hawthorne studies, further research to prove that “happy workers are productive” was carried out, which has been proved negative. Based on the conclusion of Hawthorne studies, managers began their efforts to make their employees happier by improving work conditions, providing Laissez-faire type of leadership, expanding various facilities to the workers, but it has been found that there is no direct relationship between happiness and productivity.

Robins concluded that productive workers are likely to be happy workers. Further research on the subject suggests that organization having happy workers might have increased productivity. On individual level it may not be true due to complexity of environment, work processes, various systems and sub systems having impact on the individual employee.

But it can be said from organizational point of view that organization that are able to evolve such policies that make employees happy bound to have improved productivity. V.H. Vroom. Productivity is considered as reward for hard work which is due to high level of satisfaction.

However globalisation, speed of machines and knowledge explosion, impact of media on workers, social awareness and high expectations of employees to meet social obligations are important factors to ensure high satisfaction level of employees. While evolving industrial practices, above factors should be considered favourably and employee growth achieved so that organizations grow automatically.

ii. Satisfaction and Absenteeism:

There is an inverse relationship between satisfaction and absenteeism. When workers are more satisfied the absenteeism is low. When satisfaction level is low absenteeism tends to be high. There are certain moderating variables like sick leave and degree to which people feel that their jobs are important.

Where there is a provision for sick leave, employees would take the benefit and absent themselves. As far as the importance of work is concerned, it has been observed that people attend to their work when it is important to accomplish. Employees having high satisfaction would not necessarily result in to low absenteeism but those having low satisfaction level would definitely have high absenteeism.

iii. Satisfaction and Turnover:

It has been found that employees who are not satisfied with their jobs will have high turnover. Employees who are satisfied will not have high turnover. Satisfaction is also negatively related to turnover but the co-relation is stronger than what we found in absenteeism. Employee performance is a moderating factor of the satisfaction—Turnover relationship.

In recent times a phenomenon amongst the software engineers whose performance is high, their turnover has been noticed as high because of competition for personal growth. Organization lures the competent person for their organizational growth. Organization cares for such high performers and their retention. Poor performers do not leave the organization for fear of lack of job opportunity outside.

Dissatisfied workers may express their satisfaction as given in figure below:

The responses are based on two dimensions i.e. constructive/destructive and activity/passivity.


Individual starts searching a new job and resign from the current job.


Employees tries to improve working conditions. In the process suggestion to management are submitted, increased union activates and communication is important.


Workers behave passively in situation like external criticism. They wait for things to improve on their own.


Deliberately and consciously allow conditions to worsen by long absenteeism, lack of interest for quality control, targets, quota, etc. They put in reduced efforts and display lack of interest

Job Satisfaction – How to Increase Job Satisfaction?

In case the employers want to create job satisfaction for their employees, they should keep the following things into consideration:

1. Grievance-Handling Procedure:

It is desirable that the complaints of the workers are heard patiently and the problems solved as far as possible. Factories in which the workers’ demands/ grievances are not handled properly suffer because the workers lose confidence in the manage­ment and become frustrated.

2. Satisfactory Future:

Every worker is definitely concerned about his/her future prospects. If the factory rules clearly lay down the conditions for promotion and advancement, and if the worker gets the expected promotion and improvement in pay scales at the right time, then he/ she feels more satisfied with his/her job and becomes confident of his/her future.

If on the other hand, the worker feels that even good work will not be rewarded, then he/she becomes frustrated and slack in his/her work.

3. Testing the Worker’s Ability and Progress:

Every worker, whether in a factory or in an office, desires that he/she should be paid according to his/her ability. If he/she has undergone some new training or has increased his/her ability to work in some way, then he/she should be com­pensated for his/her better ability through a rise in salary.

Organisations in which the manage­ment keeps an eye on the ability and progress of its workers normally provide a high degree of job satisfaction to their workers. It is necessary that the management should give the workers some opportunity of progressing higher and higher.

If, on the other hand, the organisation does not pay any attention to the abilities and increased efficiency of its staff, it suffers in the long run because the workers also lose interest in their jobs and do not often try to improve their level of efficiency. This happens because they feel that an increase in qualifications or efficiency is not related to progress or promotion.

4. Respect for Creative Suggestions:

Generally speaking, a worker working under a particular set of conditions is best qualified to say how and where improvements can be made. If workers are encouraged to suggest ways and means of improving productivity and the conditions of work, they often come with very valuable ideas.

This helps in increasing job satisfaction because when the worker is praised for giving a good practical idea, he/she tends to pay more attention to his/her work in order to win more praise. If suggestions are neglected, then the worker feels dissatisfied and over a period of time his/her creativity is killed.

5. Cordial Analysis or Evaluation of Work Performance:

In every organisation, the manager or the supervisor has to offer critical comments of the work performed by the worker because he/ she must point out the worker’s mistakes and try to eliminate them. If this criticism is offered in a cordial and friendly way, more as a suggestion than criticism, then his/her job satisfaction is also thereby maintained. But if the worker is humiliated or bitterly criticised for his/her mistakes, then he/she loses his/her peace of mind.

6. Increase in Wages:

Rules governing increases in salary should be clear and explicit and should be acted upon impartially and regularly. If the worker gets the anticipated increase in salary at the right time, then he/she feels satisfied with his/her job. If this does not happen, then dissatisfaction is the result. Increase in salary is, in fact, the most important factor in job satisfaction.

7. Praise for Good Performance:

If workers are not praised for exceptional performance in their work, then they lose interest in it and as a result, the organisation suffers. Generally, the worker prefers to work well and remain occupied than merely to pass the time allotted to him/her.

If he/she is also encouraged in his/her work by an occasional word of praise and respect, then he/she is further motivated to maintain a high level of efficiency and in fact to improve it. If he/she is not praised for his/her work, then his/her enthusiasm and zeal imme­diately fall.

8. Promotion According to Ability:

In every organisation, some people get retired after com­pletion of their service period, leaving scope for promotion for the junior employees. If promotion is based upon the ability of the worker, then the worker’s mental satisfaction is maintained. If, on the other hand, promotion depends upon other factors such as casteism and personal favour, then the workers interest in his/her work declines.

9. Proper Quantum of Work:

If job satisfaction is to be maintained, it is essential that the expected quantity of work does not exceed the individual’s ability to complete it. If he/she has to work more than he/she comfortably can for a long time, then he/she is bound to become disgusted, depressed and tired.

10. Equal Wages for Equal Work:

Labour unions in almost every industry are demanding that there should be equal pay for equal work. In any factory or office, a worker must be paid as much as other workers are being paid in his/her or other organisations for similar work. The worker feels satisfied if this equality is maintained. If it is not, then the worker loses his/her satisfaction.

11. Freedom to Seek Help in Solving Problems:

Very often the worker is faced by problems in his/her work that he/she cannot solve alone. In such a case, he/she should be free to seek help and guidance from other workers or his/her superiors. If it is so, then the worker gets more job satisfaction.

12. Absence of Unnecessary Intervention and Criticism:

No individual wants to sacrifice his/ her self-respect. If the worker is unnecessarily shown disrespect or abused, then he/she quickly becomes dissatisfied. Hence, he/she should be protected from useless interruptions and criticism.

13. Satisfactory Hours of Work:

The hours of work in any factory or office should be convenient and so arranged as to offer the least possible inconvenience to the largest number of employ­ees. If this is not looked into, the workers become dissatisfied.

14. Availability of Leaves and Rest:

In every industrial organisation, the workers should be given the proper amount of rest and holidays on festivals and other occasions of social celebrations. Nowadays, workers are allowed to avail themselves of around 10 casual leaves and 30 earned leaves every year in addition to the weekly holiday.

Holidays given on festivals and on occa­sions of general celebration are in addition to this. Female workers are allowed fairly long leaves during pregnancy. It is generally seen that workers feel satisfied if the management in any organisation follows a liberal policy towards leaves to workers.

It is evident from this description of factors influencing job satisfaction that it necessitates the creation of certain conditions of work. Different factors may be important in different situations. An increase in wages is a common factor which is important everywhere.

Promotion is another factor which plays an important role in maintaining or destroying job satisfaction. Apart from this, other factors may be more or less important, depending upon the situation.

For example, an organisation in which the workers educational degrees have great importance should also see to it that the worker is promoted when he/she adds to his/her qualifications. Finally, it can be said that job satisfaction depends on all those factors which influence morale.

Job Satisfaction and Productivity Relationship

For a number of years both social scientists and managers believed that high job satisfaction led to high performance. Not only did this belief fit into the value system of the human relations movement but there also appeared to be some research data to support this point.

In the Western Electric studies, the evidence from the Relay Assembly Test Room showed a dynamitic tendency for increased employee productivity to be associated with an increase in job satisfaction.

But many later studies have now established that the above belief is not correct. According to Victor Vroom, job satisfaction rather than causing performance is caused by it. He points out that good performance leads to various kinds of intrinsic and extrinsic rewards which in turn lead to satisfaction. This is shown in the Fig. 16.1.

As shown in the above figure performance may lead to two types of rewards intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic rewards are subject to fewer disturbing influences and thus are likely to be more directly related to good performance. This connection is indicated in the figure by a semi-wavy line.

Extrinsic rewards are subject to a number of disturbing influences and thus are imperfectly related to good performance. This is indicated in the figure by a wavy line.

The rewards do not directly lead to satisfaction but moderated by the individual’s perception of what he considers to be a fair level reward. Job satisfaction is closely affected by the amount of rewards an individual derives from his job as well as what he, considers to be a fair level of rewards. Job performance is closely affected by the basis of attainment of rewards.

Job satisfaction describes how content an individual is with his or her job. The happier people are within their job, the more satisfied they are said to be. Job satisfaction is not the same as motivation, although it is clearly linked. Job design aims to enhance job satisfaction and performance methods include job rotation, job enlargement and job enrichment.

Other influences on satisfaction include the management style and culture, employee involvement, empowerment and autonomous work groups. Job satisfaction is a very important attribute which is frequently measured by organizations. The most common way of measurement is the use of rating scales where employees report their reactions to their jobs.

Questions relate to rate of pay, work responsibilities, variety of tasks, promotional opportunities the work itself and co-workers. Some questioners ask yes or no questions while others ask to rate satisfaction on 1 -5 scale (where 1 represents “not at all satisfied” and 5 represents “extremely satisfied”).

Job Satisfaction – Top 3 Theories: Content, Process and Situational Theories

There are numerous theories attempting to explain job satisfaction, but three conceptual frameworks seem to be more prominent.

The first is content theory, which suggests that job satisfaction occurs when one’s need for growth and self-actualization are met by the individual’s job. The second conceptual framework is often referred to as process theory, which attempts to explain job satisfaction by looking at how well the job meets one’s expectations and values. The third conceptual group includes situational theories, which proposes that job satisfaction is a product of how well an individual’s personal characteristics interact or mesh with the organizational characteristics.

1. Content Theories:

The earliest content theory was Abraham Maslow’s “hierarchy of needs”. Maslow’s (1954) traditionalist views of job satisfaction were based on his five-tier model of human needs. At the lowest tier, basic life sustaining needs such as water, food, and shelter were identified. The next level consisted of physical and financial security, while the third tier included needs of social acceptance, belonging, and love.

The fourth tier incorporated self-esteem needs and recognition by one’s peers and at the top of the pyramid was reserved for self-actualization needs such as personal autonomy and self-direction. According to Maslow, the needs of an individual exist in a logical order and that the basic lower level needs must be satisfied before those at higher levels. Then, once the basic needs are fulfilled, they no longer serve as motivators for the individual.

The more a job allows for growth and acquisition of higher level needs, the more likely the individual is to report satisfaction with his or her job. Furthermore, the success of motivating people depends on recognizing the needs that are unsatisfied and helping the individual to meet those needs.

Building on the theories of Maslow, Frederick Hertzberg (1974) suggested that the work itself could serve as a principal source of job satisfaction. His approach led to the two- continuum model of job satisfaction where job satisfaction was placed on one continuum and job dissatisfaction was placed on a second. Hertzberg’s theory recognized that work characteristics generated by dissatisfaction were quite different from those created by satisfaction.

He identified the factors that contribute to each dimension as “motivators” and “hygiene”. The motivators are intrinsic factors that influence satisfaction based on fulfillment of higher level needs such as achievement, recognition, and opportunity for growth. The hygiene factors are extrinsic variables that such as work conditions, pay, and interpersonal relationships that must be met to prevent dissatisfaction. When hygiene factors are poor, work will be dissatisfying.

However, simply removing the poor hygiene does not equate to satisfaction. Similarly, when people are satisfied with their job, motivators are present, but removing the motivators does not automatically lead to dissatisfaction. Essentially, job satisfaction depends on the extrinsic characteristics of the job, in relation to the job’s ability to fulfill ones higher level needs of self-actualization. Hence the two continuum model of Hertzberg’s Motivator-Hygiene theory.

2. Process Theories:

Process theories attempt to explain job satisfaction by looking at expectancies and values. This theory of job satisfaction suggests that workers’ select their behaviours in order to meet their needs. Within this framework, Adams’ (1963) and Vroom (1982) have become the most prominent theorists. J. Stacy Adams’ suggested that people perceive their job as a series of inputs and outcomes.

Inputs are factors such as experience, ability, and effort, while outcomes include things like salary, recognition, and opportunity. The theory is based on the premise that job satisfaction is a direct result of individuals’ perceptions of how fairly they are treated in comparison to others. This “equity theory” proposes that people seek social equity in the rewards they expect for performance. In other words, people feel satisfied at work when the input or contribution to a job and the resulting outcome are commensurate to that of their co-workers.

According to Milkovich and Newman (1990), this social equity is not limited to others within the same workplace, and the equity comparisons often reach into other organizations that are viewed as similar places of employment.

Vroom’s (1964) theory of job satisfaction was similar in that it looked at the interaction between personal and workplace variables; however, he also incorporated the element of workers’ expectations into his theory. The essence of this theory is that if workers put forth more effort and perform better at work, then they will be compensated accordingly. Discrepancies that occur between expected compensation and actual outcome lead to dissatisfaction.

If employees receive less than they expect or otherwise feel as if they have been treated unfairly, then dissatisfaction may occur. Conversely, overcompensation may also lead to dissatisfaction and the employee may experience feelings of guilt. The compensation does not have to be monetary, but pay is typically the most visible and most easily modified element of outcome. Salary also has significance beyond monetary value and the potential to acquire material items, and Gruenberg (1979) notes that it is also an indication of personal achievement, organizational status, and recognition.

Vroom’s theory also goes one step further to incorporate an individual’s personal decision making within the work-place. Vroom (1982) explained that employees would choose to do or not do job tasks based on their perceived ability to carry out the task and earn fair compensation. To illustrate and clarify his ideas, Vroom generated a three- variable equation for scientifically determining job satisfaction.

Expectancy is the first variable, and this is the individual’s perception of how well he or she can carry out the given task. Instrumentality is the second variable of the equation, and this refers to the individual’s confidence that he or she will be compensated fairly for performing the task. Valence is the third variable, which considers the value of the expected reward to the employee.

In Vroom’s formula each variable is given a probability value, and when all three factors are high, workers will be more satisfied and have more motivation. If any of the factors are low, work performance and employee motivation will decline.

3. Situational Theories:

The situational occurrences theory emerged in 1992, when Quarstein, McAfee, and Glassman stated that job satisfaction is determined by two factors: situational characteristics and situational occurrences. Situational characteristics are things such as pay, supervision, working conditions, promotional opportunities, and company policies that typically are considered by the employee before accepting the job.

The situational occurrences are things that occur after taking a job that may be tangible or intangible, positive or negative. Positive occurrences might include extra vacation time, while negative occurrences might entail faulty equipment or strained co-worker relationships. Within this theoretical framework, job satisfaction is a product of both situational factors and situational occurrences.