Job Satisfaction : Concept and Its Consequences in Business Organization

Job satisfaction is a positive attitude towards one's job. Job satisfaction will be defined as the amount of overall positive affect (or feelings) that individuals have towards their job. It is important to mention that an individual may hold different attitudes towards various aspects of the job. For example, a university professor may like his job responsibilities but be dissatisfied with the opportunities for promotion characteristics if individual also influence the job satisfaction. Individuals with high positive affectionate are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs. Reverse is true for individuals with high negative affectionate, there are three important dimensions to job satisfaction. There are; 

First, job satisfaction being an emotional response to a job, cannot be seen. As such it can only be inferred. 

Second, job satisfaction is often determined by how satisfactorily outcomes meet or exceed one's expectation. 

Third, job satisfaction represents an employee's attitude towards five specific dimensions of the jobs: pay the work itself, promotion opportunities, supervision and coworkers. 

Job satisfaction is one of the most important factors which have drawn attention of managers in the organization as well as academicians. Various studies have been conducted to find out the factors which determine job satisfaction and the way it influences productivity in the organization. Though there is no conclusive evidence that job satisfaction affects productivity directly, but productivity depends on so many variables. So it is still a prime concern for managers. Job satisfaction is the mental feeling of favorableness which an individual has about his job.

Some of the definitions about job satisfaction given by different experts are as follows:

“Job satisfaction is a result of employee’s perception of how well their job provides those things that are viewed as important.” – Fred Luthans

“Job satisfaction is an emotional response to job situation.” – Richard M. Hodgetts

“Job satisfaction is an individual’s general attitude towards his or her job.” – Stephen P. Robbins

From the above definitions, it can be concluded that job satisfaction is the amount of pleasure or contentment associated with a job. If you like your job intensely, you will experience high job satisfaction. If you dislike your job intensely, you will experience job dissatisfaction.

The requirement of job satisfaction is observed whenever actual job condition does not match with expectation about the job. The requirement of job satisfaction is clearly shown in the figure.
Ideas of Job Satisfaction

Consequences/ Importance of Job Satisfaction

No one can deny the importance of job satisfaction in our lives. The fact that we spend a huge amount of our working hours at work means job satisfaction will also play a huge role in our lives. While you look for the dream career or job that will make you happy, whatever job you are doing now must significantly contribute to your happiness. That is the crucial importance of job satisfaction.

Job satisfaction increases the performance level of any worker working in an organization. Some of the important points of job satisfaction are as follows:
Consequences / Importance of Job Satisfaction

1. Improve Physical and Mental Health

The degree of job satisfaction affects an individual’s physical and mental health. Since job satisfaction is a type of mental feeling, its favorableness or unfavorableness affects the individual psychologically which ultimately affects his physical health. For example, Lawler has pointed out that drug abuse, alcoholism and mental and physical health result from psychologically harmful jobs. Further, since a job is an important part of life. Job satisfaction influences general life satisfaction. The result is that there is spillover effect which occurs in both directions between job and life satisfaction.

2. Increase in Productivity

There are two views about the relationship between job satisfaction and productivity:

  • A happy worker is a productive worker.
  • A happy worker is not necessarily a productive worker.

The first view establishes a direct cause-effect relationship between job satisfaction and productivity; when job satisfaction increases, productivity increases; when job satisfaction decreases, productivity decreases. The basis behind this is that a happy worker will put more efforts for job performance. However, this may not be true in all cases. For example, a worker having low expectations from his jobs may feel satisfied but he may not put his efforts more vigorously because of his low expectations from the job. Therefore, this view does not explain fully the complex relationship between job satisfaction and productivity.

Another view, that is a satisfied worker is not necessarily a productive worker explains the relationship between job satisfaction and productivity. Various research studies also support this view. This relationship may be explained in terms of the operation of two factors: effect of job performance on satisfaction and organizational expectations from individuals for job performance.

3. Decrease Absenteeism

Absenteeism refers to the frequency of absence of a job holder from the workplace either unexcused absence due to some avoidable reasons or long absence due to some unavoidable reasons. It is the former type of absence which is a matter of concern. This absence is due to lack of satisfaction from the job which produces a ‘lack of will to work’ and alienate a worker from work as far as possible. Thus, job satisfaction is related to absenteeism.

4. Decrease Employee Turnover

Turnover of employees is the rate at which employees leave the organization within a given period of time. When an individual feels dissatisfaction in the organization, he tries to overcome this through the various ways of defense mechanism. If he is not able to do so, he opts to leave the organization. Thus, in general case, employee turnover is related to job satisfaction. However, job satisfaction is not only cause of employee turnover. The rate of turnover of computer software professionals is very high in India, however, these professionals left their organizations not simply because they are not satisfied but because of the opportunities offered from other sources particularly from foreign companies located abroad.

5. Increase Job Satisfaction

Job satisfaction plays significant role in the organization. Therefore, managers should take concrete steps to improve the level of job satisfaction. These steps may be in the form of job redesigning to make the job more interesting and challenging, improving quality of work life, linking rewards with performance, and improving overall organizational climate.

Tools for Measuring Job Satisfaction 

There are a number of ways of measuring job satisfaction. The most common ways of measuring job satisfaction are (i) Single Global Rating and (ii) Summation Score. 

1. Single Global Rating

Under single global rating, the employees are asked to respond to one question. An example of single question may be considering all dimension of job, how satisfied are you with your job? Employees need to respond by reporting a figure based on rating scale. Rating scales may be from 1 to 5 as follows: 
  • Highly dissatisfied 
  • Dissatisfied 
  • No comment 
  • Satisfied 
  • Highly satisfied 
Thus, the rating, based on above scale, to a question given by a employee is a reflection of magnitude or measurement of employees job attitude towards his/her job. 

2. Summation Score

The employees attitudes towards the various aspects of the job is considered in summation score. Nature of the work, supervision, pay, promotion, opportunities and relationship with coworkers are the important aspects of the job that are included in rating score. The scores given to each of these aspects are then added up to create and overall job satisfaction score of an individual employee. Besides, mentioned above heads, the following are the some ways of measuring job satisfaction. 
  • Interview: This is yet another method of measuring of job satisfaction. Under this method, employees are interviewed personally. The responds given by them reverse their satisfaction or dissatisfaction towards their jobs. 
  • Actions Tendencies: Under this method, information is gathered about how the employees were inclined to avoid or joined certain things relating to job satisfaction or dissatisfaction. 
  • Critical Incidence: This method is based on Herzberg's two factors theory of motivation. In this approach, employees are asked to identify the specific incidence in their job in which they were particularly satisfied or dissatisfied. These incidences further analyzed to ascertain the aspect which were closely related with to positive and negative attitude of the employees towards incidence so identified.

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