What Is Job Satisfaction?
Job satisfaction is the level of contentment a person feels regarding his or her job. This feeling is mainly based on an individual's perception of satisfaction. Job satisfaction can be influenced by a person's ability to complete required tasks, the level of communication in an organization, and the way management treats employees.
Job satisfaction falls into two levels: affective job satisfaction and cognitive job satisfaction. Affective job satisfaction is a person's emotional feeling about the job as a whole. Cognitive job satisfaction is how satisfied employees feel concerning some aspect of their job, such as pay, hours, or benefits.
Measuring Job Satisfaction
Many organizations face challenges in accurately measuring job satisfaction, as the definition of satisfaction can differ among various people within an organization. However, most organizations realize that workers' level of job satisfaction can impact their job performance, and thus determining metrics is crucial to creating strong efficiency.
Despite widespread belief to the contrary, studies have shown that high-performing employees do not feel satisfied with their job simply as a result of to high-level titles or increased pay. This lack of correlation is an significant concern for organizations, since studies also reveal that the implementation of positive HR practices results in financial gain for the organizations. The cost of employees is quite high, and creating satisfaction relevant to the return on this investment is paramount. Simply put: positive work environments and increased shareholder value are directly related.
Some factors of job satisfaction may rank as more important than others, depending on each worker's needs and personal and professional goals. To create a benchmark for measuring and ultimately creating job satisfaction, managers in an organization can employ proven test methods such as the Job Descriptive Index (JDI) or the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ). These assessments help management define job satisfaction objectively.
Typically, five factors can be used to measure and influence job satisfaction:
1. Pay or total compensation
2. The work itself (i.e., job specifics such as projects, responsibilities)
3. Promotion opportunities (i.e., expanded responsibilities, more prestigious title)
4. Relationship with supervisor
5. Interaction and work relationship with coworkers
Management and Communication
In addition to these five factors, one of the most important aspects of an individual's work in a modern organization concerns communication demands that the employee encounters on the job. Demands can be characterized as a communication load: "the rate and complexity of communication inputs an individual must process in a particular time frame." If an individual receives too many messages simultaneously, does not receive enough input on the job, or is unsuccessful in processing these inputs, the individual is more likely to become dissatisfied, aggravated, and unhappy with work, leading to a low level of job satisfaction.
Superior–subordinate communication, or the relationship between supervisors and their direct report(s), is another important influence on job satisfaction in the workplace. The way in which subordinates perceive a supervisor's behavior can positively or negatively influence job satisfaction. Communication behavior—such as facial expression, eye contact, vocal expression, and body movement—is crucial to the superior–subordinate relationship.