Job Satisfaction – Ensuring Satisfaction and Job Enrichment

     Job satisfaction is an employee’s thoughts and emotions towards their job and how they evaluate their job. This can be a judgment of their job overall, or of specific judgments such as pay, promotions, work tasks, co-workers and supervisors. It is important for organizations to care about their employees’ job satisfaction. It will promote employees organizational commitment when they feel that they are satisfied with their jobs. It will prevent turnover and retirement intentions. It also prevents work withdrawal (behaviours done in order to avoid performing ones work tasks – i.e., absenteeism, tardiness, missing meetings, frequent/long coffee-breaks). As well, job satisfaction has an affect on job performance.

Which came first the chicken or the egg?:
Job Performance and Job Satisfaction

     It has been found that there exists a positive relationship between employee satisfaction and performance. But which is it? Are happy workers productive, or are productive workers happier? It has not been clearly defined which causes which, but there are some factors in an individual that affects how they feel about their job regardless of productivity. In order to explore this relationship we must first consider what the causes of job satisfaction are.

     Genetic disposition is one factor that causes job satisfaction. Some people are just genetically programmed to be satisfied or dissatisfied with their lives. In twin studies of twins reared apart (i.e., they have the same genetic characteristics but different experiences – therefore eliminating experience from the equation) it was found that 30% of variability in satisfaction was accounted for by genetics. One way for companies to deal with this may be to hire applicants with good “job satisfaction” genes.

     Affective disposition is how much of certain emotions people tend to experience on an average basis. For example, some people tend to feel negatively a lot of the time – for example they feel stress, agitation and pessimism. This is a cause of job (dis)satisfaction.

     Life satisfaction has an effect as well. Generally, people that are happy with their lives outside of work will be happy with their work. Therefore, organizations can help with life satisfaction by allowing flexible work hours, work-family contact and on-site day-cares.

Job Enrichment:
     Job enrichment is one part of job satisfaction. Job enrichment is the process of making a job more motivational and satisfying to an employee by adding variety, responsibility and managerial decision making. Some characteristics of an enriched job experience include:

* Direct feedback * Client relationships * New learning opportunities * Control over scheduling * Unique experiences * Control over resources * Direct communication with authority * Personal accountability

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