Driving Employee Job Satisfaction
Increasing employee job satisfaction has moved to the forefront of employers’ minds as they hope to gain a superior workforce, deliver better performances, and retain top performers. Many factors go into employee job satisfaction. At the core of it, employees tend to be more satisfied when their main values are met. Factors that go into determining if an employee is satisfied revolve around 5 main areas: pay, promotion, supervision, coworkers, and the work itself.
Every employee will place a different value on each of the 5 areas, but it has been shown the top three important factors when determining job satisfaction are supervision, coworkers, and the work itself. That doesn’t mean that pay and promotion are not important, because they are. However, pay and promotion do correlate with job satisfaction, but they only have periodic effects on satisfaction. Meaning, these factors contribute to employee satisfaction, but only for a set amount of time, where as say the work itself will be fulfilling or unfulfilling indefinitely.
While every employee will weight each of these categories differently, they all work together to combine into overall job satisfaction. Pay satisfaction is generally looked at by an employee based upon their field and their position. They will want to feel competitively and comparably paid like other professionals in their position and field. Promotion satisfaction is based upon the policies companies have around promotion opportunities. Some employees want to know and have access to frequent promotions; while others want to know that promotions happen based on performance and that they are fair. Being satisfied with supervision is based on interactions with workers’ bosses, leadership styles, and if they are likable. For example, if a superior is in charge of transportation employee scheduling, but never gets the schedule out on time, has constant errors, or sends employees on the wrong routes employees will waste time, become annoyed and generally unsatisfied with their superior. Superiors in charge of employee scheduling must take their role seriously and understand the impact their part has on employees’ job satisfaction. Scheduling can affect job satisfaction on the levels of the work itself, and supervisor satisfaction. Coworker satisfaction also plays an important role in determining overall job satisfaction. Many questions employees’ ask themselves about their interactions with supervisors are the same questions they ask themselves about their fellow workers. Employees like to know that their coworkers are supportive, helpful, and have good attitudes. Negative coworkers can have a huge negative impact on fellow employees which can affect employee performance and job satisfaction. For example, if a coworker is always gossiping or talking poorly about the supervisors it can place a strain on other workers’ relationships and interactions with the boss. This can cause breakdowns in communication, create withdrawn employees, and ultimately lead to a decrease in trust among-st workers. Satisfaction with the work itself is one of the largest factors in determining job satisfaction, which seems like a no-brainier. For example, if employees are doing routine and repetitive tasks they can become bored quickly. Many employees like to be challenged, have opportunities to learn and grow with their work, and make good use of their primary skill sets.
In the end, if an employer’s end goal is to increase employee job satisfaction it is key to focus on the above mentioned 5 areas. When each of these areas are functioning well companies can expect to see increases in job satisfaction throughout their workforce. By having industry standard pay rates with good pay policies employees will feel taken care of and respected. When promotions can be given internally based on merit employees will see this as fair. Having great supervisors who are invested in their team, communicate effectively, and assist their workers to reach their goals employees will value their bosses. Also, working with a strong team of coworkers who have good attitudes and are dependable will add to overall job satisfaction. Last, the work itself should be challenging, engaging and make good use of employees’ skills.