Each year, the Society for Human Resource Management(SHRM) surveys hundreds of employees across the US to assess trends in employee preferences and identify the factors that most contribute to job satisfaction and engagement. Results of this survey can help organizations target their development and improvement efforts to what matters most for employees right now. This article describes job satisfaction, why it’s important, and how to promote it in organizations today.
What is Job Satisfaction and Why Does It Matter?
Job satisfaction is the pleasurable emotional state that results from positive appraisals of one’s job and work-related experiences (Locke, 1976). In other words, it is the good feeling we have when we are satisfied with our current work situation. Given that we spend almost half of our lives at work, the importance of this construct cannot be understated.
Research shows that job satisfaction contributes to a number of outcomes that are important for both organizations and their employees. While the relationship between job satisfaction and various outcomes is complex and multi-faceted, there is no question about its value and importance for personal and organizational flourishing.
For example, individuals who are satisfied with their job report greater psychological well-being, physical health, commitment, and life satisfaction (Spector, 1997). For organizations, job satisfaction is significantly related to customer satisfaction and loyalty, productivity, performance, turnover, organizational citizenship behavior, and workplace safety (Judge et al., 2001; Harter et al., 2002). In fact, job satisfaction predicts performance equally as well as selection criteria such as conscientiousness and structured interviews (Judge et al., 2001). This suggests that it is important for organizations to not only hire the right person, but to ensure that they remain satisfied throughout their tenure.
Key Drivers of Job Satisfaction According to SHRM’s National Survey
SHRM’s 2015 Job Satisfaction and Engagement Survey identified the top ten contributors to employee job satisfaction. By focusing on these factors, you can have a positive and measurable impact on your employees’ levels of job satisfaction. The top ten factors that contribute most to job satisfaction are:
- Respectful treatment of staff at all levels in the organization
- Trust between employees and senior management
- Overall benefits (paid time off, healthcare, flex-time, family plans)
- Overall compensation (competitive pay, base rate, opportunities for variable pay, stock options)
- Job security
- Relationship with immediate supervisor
- Opportunities to apply your skills and abilities
- Ideas are respected by immediate supervisor
- Organization’s financial stability
- Performance is recognized by management
While some of these things may be outside of your control (e.g., compensation and benefits packages), these results show that supervisors and managers play a huge role in promoting job satisfaction. By developing a supportive relationship with their employees, individual leaders can have a direct influence on a majority of the factors that promote satisfaction.
The bottom line is that by developing trusting and respectful relationships with staff, managers can promote job satisfaction, contribute to the effectiveness of their organization, and boost the health and well-being of their staff. If you would like the consultants at Scontrino-Powell to help you with this, hit the button to the right (or click here) and drop us a line.
Harter, J. K., Schmidt, F. L., & Hayes, T. L. (2002). Business-unit level relationship between employee satisfaction, employee engagement, and business outcomes: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87, 268–279.
Judge, T. A., Thoresen, C. J., Bono, J. E., & Patton, G. K. (2001). The job satisfaction job performance relationship: a qualitative and quantitative review. Psychological Bulletin, 127, 376–407.
Locke, E. A. (1976). The nature and causes of job satisfaction. In M. D. Dunnette (Ed.), Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Chicago: Rand-McNally.
Society for Human Resource Management (2015). Employee job satisfaction and engagement: Optimizing organizational culture for success. Retrieved from www.shrm.org.
Spector, P. (1997). Job satisfaction: Application, assessment, causes, and consequences. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.