Job satisfaction is a business term that refers to a person’s contentment with his or her job. Numerous factors can contribute to an employee’s satisfaction or dissatisfaction in the workplace. Such factors can include the work environment, employee relations, and salary. Although an individual’s perception of his or own job contentment is usually subjective, there are methods that employers can use to quantify responses to employee surveys and other similar measurement tools. They can then implement measures to help foster job satisfaction among workers. Ultimately, though, it may be up to individual employees to ensure their own contentment.
Over time, different theories have evolved regarding the perceived connections between job satisfaction and other variables such as workplace productivity. According to some human resources professionals, for instance, employee satisfaction typically leads to increased motivation, which then results in improved performance. Some studies have shown, however, that this is not necessarily the case; they have concluded that job satisfaction and productivity might both be associated with another variable such as an employee’s personality, but that satisfaction alone does not necessarily cause higher productivity.
Even if workplace satisfaction does not directly result in higher productivity, it can still be valuable because it often leads to lower rates of employee turnover. When satisfied with their jobs, workers do not tend to feel like they are easily replaceable. In turn, they are apt to be more loyal to their employers and remain in their positions.
Managers might wonder, then, which factors actually contribute to higher workplace productivity. Employee morale is usually a consideration. The difference between job satisfaction and morale may seem minute. Yet, the former focuses more on the individual worker’s personality and its compatibility with his or her occupation. The latter, morale, assumes more of a collective feeling among co-workers. Some examples might include a sense of teamwork, purpose, recognition for achievements, and a positive workplace environment. Generally, co-worker relations are cordial and not strained or hostile.
Human resource management professionals often measure employees’ job satisfaction by assessing workplace attitudes. This can take place informally through conversations between workers and their supervisors or with human resources representatives. Many organizations administer formal surveys and then use the results to amend workplace policies and procedures as necessary. Some businesses work with outside consulting firms to analyze the results of their employee satisfaction surveys. They might then hold workshops or training sessions to help their employees determine the professional roles that suit them.
Individuals hoping to boost their own job contentment should first do a realistic self-assessment. For example, career experts suggest honestly evaluating one’s personality and skills, noting whether they are compatible with one’s job duties. If they are incongruent, one might consider changing some activities. If change is not possible, then it may be necessary to adjust one’s attitude toward the job. For instance, when someone thinks of an occupation as a calling rather than simply a job, they might be more motivated to perform well, thus increasing his or her job satisfaction.