What is job satisfaction?
At its simplest, job satisfaction is the feeling of fulfillment or contentment that an individual gets from their job. It is an important element of employee engagement and can contribute toward employee well-being and productivity.
Job satisfaction is highly individual. What might inspire and excite one person might be boring to another employee. For this reason, careful people management and good organizational behavior are important factors in ensuring job satisfaction.
Employee satisfaction VS employee engagement
Employee job satisfaction and engagement are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same. Employee engagement is a wider concept that includes work-life satisfaction but also encompasses an employee's motivation, commitment, and loyalty to their organization.
What is the link between employee experience and job satisfaction?
The employee experience is an individual's journey while an organization employs them. It includes everything from the onboarding process to day-to-day interactions and finally to offboarding.
Determining job satisfaction is just one part of the employee experience, but it is significant. A positive employee experience can lead to a satisfied workforce, while a negative experience can decrease this satisfaction.
Why is job satisfaction important?
Because of the way job satisfaction contributes toward employee engagement, it can benefit an organization with:
Employees who are more satisfied with their jobs can produce more and do so more effectively. This does not just lead to a higher output but will also contribute to better quality products and an improved customer experience.
Higher employee retention
Employees who are satisfied with their jobs are less likely to leave for other employers. What is more, it can be easier to attract high-quality talent due to your improved employee brand.
Stronger employee loyalty
Employees with higher job satisfaction will be less likely to leave your organization for a role elsewhere, but they will be more likely to support your company.
This includes keeping confidential information secret, referring contacts as potential new employees, and sharing positive reviews on platforms such as Glassdoor.
A productive workforce with high retention and good engagement is great for business. Organizations that have employees who love their jobs will see an improvement in their profits due to the improved output and lower costs associated with these employees.
What are the consequences of low job satisfaction?
The flipside of all the benefits that increase employee satisfaction is that low professional life satisfaction can have negative consequences for organizations, including:
High staff turnover
As we mentioned, one of the key benefits of satisfied employees is that they are less likely to leave. When job satisfaction is low, and there is no opportunity for career development, this can lead to a high staff turnover, which can be costly for businesses.
It should come as no surprise that employees who are unhappy in their jobs are also less productive. This not only has an impact on the output of the business but can also lead to mistakes being made, impacting the quality of products and services.
Difficulty attracting talent
When job satisfaction is low, it can be difficult to attract high-quality talent. This is because potential employees will research an organization and its job descriptive index before applying for a role and may be put off by negative reviews.
Poor employee morale
Low job satisfaction can lead to poor employee morale, which can have a knock-on effect on other employees. When morale is low, it can be difficult to motivate employees and get them engaged with their work.
What are the factors that determine job satisfaction?
There are a number of different factors that can contribute to the satisfaction of employees. Many of these will be specific to the individual and their own preferences. However, there are some general elements that can often lead to increased job satisfaction, such as:
Giving employees the freedom to make decisions and carry out their roles without micro human resource management can lead to a feeling of empowerment. This can help employees feel more invested in their work.
Opportunities for growth :
Offering opportunities for employees to progress in their careers can inspire a sense of loyalty and motivation. It can also show that you are willing to invest in your workforce, which can lead to increased satisfaction.
Work-life balance :
Allowing employees to have a healthy work-life balance can lead to improved focus and concentration when they are in the workplace. It can also help to prevent burnout, which is a major cause of job dissatisfaction.
Compensation and benefits :
Offering a competitive salary and benefits package can be a major factor in employee satisfaction. This is especially true for roles where there is a lot of competition for talent.
The physical work environment :
The physical work environment can have a big impact on job satisfaction. Factors such as natural light, temperature, and noise level can all contribute to how comfortable and motivated employees feel.
These are just some of the factors that job satisfaction links to. It is important to remember that what works for one employee might not work for another. For this reason, it is important to get to know your team and what makes them tick. This will help you to create a working environment that leads to greater satisfaction and engagement.
How can you improve an employee’s job satisfaction?
Improving human service staff satisfaction is not as simple as paying an employee more or giving them a fancy new workstation. That is because job satisfaction is a function of many elements. The SHRM analyzed the key contributors through a job satisfaction survey. The top five contributors were as follows:
1. Respectful treatment of all workers at all levels :
Company culture is a large part of this, as is the connection between employees. Although building a strong company culture is an ongoing task, it can become a competitive advantage in keeping employees happy and motivated.
2. Overall pay/compensation :
Fair pay for a job well-done is incredibly important to employees. By ensuring you are paying competitively and fairly – considering the gender pay gap, for instance – you will drive improved job performance.
3. Overall benefits :
As with pay, employees derive satisfaction from receiving benefits that show appreciation for the job they do.
4. Job security :
If employees know their job is safe, they are more likely to take pleasure in it. This reinforces the strong link between employee well-being and their own job satisfaction. Employees who are concerned that their job is at risk will suffer from reduced well-being, which can, in turn, affect their performance.
5. Opportunities to use skills and abilities / Trust between employees and senior management :
These two factors were of equal importance. Employees want a chance to use their talents, perhaps because they know this will contribute toward them doing a better job. The importance of trust reinforces the relevance of strong organizational culture – employees want to work somewhere that they can feel proud about.