American University in Kyrgyzstan
Research and Reflection Paper
Do people really like their jobs? Definitely, everyone knows from the news about dissatisfied workers going on strike or even acting violently toward their supervisors, directors, but overall people are quite satisfied with their jobs. According to the surveys percentage of satisfied people averages in the US is about 85 percent. The feelings, reflecting attitudes toward one’s job, are known as job satisfaction.
Settings, related to the personnel job satisfaction and devotion to the company, are presenting special interest for the theory of organizational behavior and practice of human resource management.
A discussion of the job satisfaction problem concentrates attention on the employees’ attitude toward their job, and a discussion of organization devotion –on the attitude toward the organization in the whole.
What is job satisfaction once more?
Lock gives a following detail definition of job satisfaction : “ pleasant, positive emotional condition coming from your job evaluation or job experience.”1 Job satisfaction is a result of the very employees perception of the fact for how much their job provides important, from their viewpoint, things.
There are three most important parameters of job satisfaction. First, job satisfaction represents emotional reaction for the situation lay at the office. It’s impossible to see it, it can be only experienced. Second, job satisfaction is defined often by that extent how much results of work correspond to expectations. For instance, if organization employees see they work much more, than other department employees, but receive less for that, more probably, they will have negative attitude toward their job, supervisor and colleagues.
They will experience dissatisfaction feeling. From another hand, if they see, they get favorable attitude and materially rewarded, their attitude toward the job will be positive. They will experience satisfaction feeling from their job. Third, through job satisfaction some another settings are expressed. Smit, Hendall and Hulin suppose that there is five parameters of job, most exactly characterizing it from the viewpoint of those affective reactions, which job causes by people. These parameters are enumerated below:
1. Job itself. The extent, in which job gives people interesting assignments, opportunities to perceive new, experience responsibility feeling for the job laid upon.
2. Payment. The sum of money reward, which is paid for the job, and that in which way the given sum corresponds to reward, receiving by other organization member.
3. Promotion possibilities. Career promotion opportunities.
4. Management. T he capacity of a head to provide as technical, as moral support.
5. Colleagues. The extent of technical knowledge of colleagues and the level of social support.2
Factors influencing on Job Satisfaction
Let’s mark several factors, influencing on Job Satisfaction. For example, last research show that if after college graduation students are immediately employed according their specialization, then on the basis of both events coincidence it’s probable to predict a following job satisfaction.3 There are the main factors influencing on Job Satisfaction below:
Job itself. The main source of satisfaction is, of course, job itself. Thus, for instance, research, dedicated to job characteristics and carried out in correlation with working place projecting, testify that the very content of work and autonomy by its implementation represent two most important motivation factors correlated with labor. As research indicated, other main components of job satisfaction are interesting and difficult job without time for tedium and job giving a man one certain status.4
Payment . The system of money rewards is considered as a significant but multicomplex and multisided job satisfaction factor. Money not only gives people an opportunity to satisfy their primary needs, but also fosters satisfaction of higher levels needs. Employees more often perceive their salary’s level as a reflection of that how management estimates their contribution to the company’s activity. Additional indulgences are also important, but their role is less meaningful. One of the reasons is that employee more often have no the slightest idea about the amount of received as indulgences. Moreover, many are prone to underestimate these indulgences; insofar they do not see their practical value.5 Nonetheless, recent research indicated that if employees have an opportunity to choose themselves to some extent independently indulgences from the whole package rendered by the company that is named a flexible indulgences system, then they receive greater satisfaction from indulgences receivables and the job in the whole.6
Job promotion. Promotion opportunities make different influence on job satisfaction. That comes because of that promotions can be implemented in various forms and be accompanied with diverse rewards. For instance, people receiving promotion for the length of service, although experience satisfaction from job but not in such an extent as employees, which receive promotion for the results achieved. Aside from, job promotion with salary increase of 10% usually does not give that pleasure as position promotion with a supplement of 20%. These differences can explain, why promotions on the level of high management bring larger contenting than advancements on the lower levels of organization.
Guidance . Guidance also represents moderately important factor by the analysis of job satisfaction. In some other places the importance of leadership skills could be analyzed. Here it’s sufficient to restrict yourself with a comment of that there are two main leadership parameters influencing on job satisfaction. First is an orientation of the chief on the employee that is measured by the degree of getting interest of the management in his colleagues’ favorability. As a rule, this interest exerts in that if chiefs verify the activity of their subordinate, give advices regarding his work, support, and also treats him not only officially, formally, but also informally. In the US employer are usually discontented with their principals just on the given parameter. For instance, recently navigated questioning showed that less than half of respondents receive regular feedback and support in their problems solving from the side of principals.7
Another parameter is involving or influence; this is illustrated by the managers’ activity that let their colleagues participate in decision making that has direct relation to their work. In the majority of cases this approach draws to the job satisfaction feeling boost. In particular, deep metaanalysis brought to the conclusion that employees’ involving into the process of decision-making really positively affects on job satisfaction. The whole climate of involving created by a principal makes larger impact on job satisfaction than participation in the making of decision of limited range.8
Working groups. Direct affect on job satisfaction makes the very nature of work groups. Benevolent, ready to come to help colleagues are personally a certain source of job satisfaction feeling for any individual. Working group serves for a single office worker is a source of support, comfort, advice and enjoyment from the very job. A “good” working group fosters a gaining of a greater joy and pleasure from job. On another hand, when the opposite situation is observed, i.e. when it is hard to get along with the people, the given factor imposes negative impact on job satisfaction.
Working conditions. One more factor imposing moderate impact on job satisfaction is working conditions. If conditions are good (e.g. offices are neat and cosy, clean and engaging), staff could easier manage their job. If bad working conditions were available (e.g. it is hot or noisy in the office), it would be more difficult for employees to implement their work. Otherwise, working conditions affect job satisfaction similar to working group’s influence. If all were favorably around, there would not be problems with job satisfaction.
A majority of people does not pay any special attention, if only these are not excessively bad. Moreover, availability of numerous claims on working conditions often testifies an availability of other problems. For example, a manager may claim on that evening before his office has been badly cleaned, however anger indeed is the result of his morning meeting with chiefs during that he had been reproved for bad implementation. Nonetheless, for the last years working conditions obtain once again great importance in terms of work force diversification. For instance, several organizations included an opportunity to choose a flexible work schedule in employers’ working conditions that illustrates a fragment “Diversification management in action: Flexible approach –key to success”.
The consequences of Job Satisfaction
Job satisfaction is presented desirable as from a viewpoint of a single employer as society in total.
Never the less, pragmatically, from personnel effective management side and organization in the whole, it is important to determine, in which detailed way job satisfaction corresponds to the results of industrial activity. Otherwise, if employers are content with the job, it is asked, whether it means that they would work better, and also whether organization productivity will increase in the whole. On other hand, by the low satisfaction one may ask, if there would be problems with productivity and low efficiency. During many years this question interests as researches, engaged in the given sphere, as managers-practicians. There are no simple answers for these questions.9 Observing the results of job satisfaction, it is necessary to break analysis apart onto some specific sub chapters. The most important of them could be considered below.
Job satisfaction and labor productivity . So, one can say that employees satisfied with their labor are of high productivity than those who are discontented with the job? An absence of direct correlation between satisfaction and labor results during many years embarrasses researches. Indeed, it is natural to suppose a direct dependence between satisfaction and labor results, however the data given show that there is no close correlation between them. In particular, implemented metaanalysis of scientific literature on the given question shows that only in 17 cases out of 100 between these two parameters it is succeeded in the direct correlation identification. Not always satisfaction experiencing employees are characterized with utmost productivity. There are different altering factors influencing on this dependence. The most important form such factors, apparently, is material encouragement for employers. If people receive material spur that they consider as adequate their satisfaction increases, and altogether, as a rule, and labor productivity. Further, recently certificates were gotten that even if job satisfaction does not lead to the productivity growth of separate employers, it can forward positive budges on the level of the whole organization.10 At last, alive discussions are still kept arising if job satisfaction leads to the productivity growth or not or, on the contrary, the growth of productivity – to job satisfaction.
Job satisfaction and personnel turnover. Does a high degree of employees’ labor satisfaction lead to low stuff turnover? In difference from labor productivity in correlation between labor satisfaction and personnel turnover it can be noticed some laws-guidance. High degree of satisfaction cannot itself hold turnover at the low level, however, undoubtedly, can improve situation significantly. On one hand, in case of low labor satisfaction it is likely to have a high staff turnover. One group of researchers revealed that for women of age from 18 to 25 years old a degree of their labor satisfaction helps foretell if they would change their jobs. On other hand, by the process of augmenting their length of service (duration of working in the given company) a likelihood of their move to another job place decreases. Service length for men is a serious factor as well, neutralizing later discontent feeling with their job.11
There are also other factors, such as devotion to organization, which plays important role in the correspondence defining between job (labor) satisfaction and personnel turnover. Some people just cannot imagine themselves at any other place, which is why they stay working at the same work place regardless of contentment degree. Another factor is a common economy state. When economical situation is stable and unemployment rate is low, personnel turnover as a rule magnifies, insofar people start seeking for them new better places in other organizations. Even if they are content with their available job, many still desire leave in that case if in another place there would be better opportunities, scopes, or chances granted. When an opposite situation is observed, i.e. by the lack of job places, employees can stay at their job, even if it does not suffice them. Summarizing above-mentioned, one must note that labor, or job satisfaction plays important role in the defining of personnel turnover. Although full absence of this staff turnover not always fruitful for organization, none the less, maintaining at the low level, as a rule, imposes favorable impact on organization due to costs decrease on training and costs linked to the utilization of unqualified employees at the work places.
Job (Labor) satisfaction. Researches enough convincing show converse proportional dependence between labor satisfactions and absents. If satisfaction degree is high, a number of absents is insignificant, if it is low – their number increases. Never the less, like other cases, there are some averaging factors, such as people realization of the importance of their work. For example, research carried out among governmental institutions employees showed that people considering their job important more rarely afforded absents than those that thought otherwise. Aside from, one should remember that if high labor contentment not compulsory brings to absent number decrease, then low satisfaction would lead to their number boost with a high likelihood.12
Other consequences of job (labor) satisfaction. In addition to above-mentioned there are other consequences caused by high contentment with their job. The results of researches show that employees experiencing job satisfaction feeling with their job possess better physical and moral health, master faster necessary skills, more rarely suffer from industrial traumatism and come with claims. Another positive factor disclosed in one recent research is that employees satisfied with their labor more often demonstrate examples of pro-social, “civilized” behavior and deeds, for instance more frequent assist their colleagues and clients and in common exert inclination to co-operation.13
In the very whole overview researches occupied in a sphere of organization behavior equally with managers-practicians consider that labor contentment is very important for organization. Some critics notice that this statement still a conjecture, insofar, positive affect of labor contentment still little researched. On other hand, negative impact of labor contentment on organization is unquestionably acknowledged fact. That is why even if consider job satisfaction as a minimal claim, it represents a certain value for the whole health and efficacy of organization and, therefore, deserves study and utilizing in sphere of organizational behavior.
1 Terence R. Mitchell and James R. Larson, Jr. People in Organization , 3d ed., McGraw-Hill, New York, 1987, p.146
2 P. C. Smith, L. M. Kendall, and C. L. Hulin, The Measure of Satisfaction in Work and Retirement , Rand Mc Nally, Chicago, 1969.
3 Mary Ann M. Fricko and Terry A. Beehr, “A Longitudinal Investigation of Interest Congruence and Gender Concentration as Predictors of Job satisfaction”, Personnel Psychology , September 1992, pp. 99-118.
4 Jane Ciabattari, “The Biggest Mistake Top Managers Make”, Working Woman , October 1986, p.48
5 Brenda Major and Ellen Konar, “An Investgation of Sex Differences in pay Expectations and Their Possible Causes”, Academy of Management Journal , December 1984, pp.777-792.
6 Alison E. Barber, Randall B. Dunham, and Roger A. Formisano, “The Impact of Felxible Benefits on Employee Satisfaction: A Field Study”, Personnel Psychology , September 1992, pp.55-76.
7 “Labor Letter”, The Wall Street Journal, Dec.22, 1987, p.1.
8 Katharine I. Miller and Peter R. Monge, “Participation, satisfaction, and Productivity: A Meta-Analytic Review”, Academy of Management Journal , December 1986, p.748.
9 Look, e.g.: Barry M. Staw and Sigal G. Barsade, “Affect and Managerial Performance: A Test of the Sadder-but-Wiser vs. Happier-and-Smarter Hypotheses”, Administrative Science Quarterly, June 1993, pp. 304-331.
10 Cheri Ostroff, “The Relationship Between Job Performance and Job Satisfaction”, in E. A. Locke (ed.), Generalizing from Laboratoryto Field Settings, Lexington Books, Lexington, Mass., 1986.
11 Herbert Parnes, Gilbert Nestel, and Paul Andrisiani, The Pre-Retirement Years: A Longitudinal Study of the Labor Market Experience of Men, vol.3, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1973, p.37.
12 C. W. Clegg, “Psychology of Employee Lateness, Absenteeism, and Turnover: A Methodological Critique and an Empirical Study: Journal of Applied Psychology , February 1983, pp.88-101.
13 D. W. Organ, Organizational Citizenship Behavior: The Good Soldier Syndrome , Lexington Books, Lexington, Mass., 1987