Job Satisfaction – fact or fiction?

  • Posted by: Alexander Daniels
  • 31 January 2018

If we were to believe everything we read regarding job satisfaction, then we could say that as many as a third of us are thinking about a change of job. It would be fair to say then, that many are not feeling satisfaction from their current role.

Job satisfaction is sought after as it increases our quality of life in addition to improving performance while at work, after all we spend a lot of our time at work and it often has a knock-on effect when it becomes dissatisfying.

Whilst it is not the case that everyone feels dissatisfaction in their job here are 7 attributes that psychologists regularly come across:

1. Perception of fair pay
Regardless of your position, you will want to be paid fairly for you to feel that your efforts are justified. What must be focused on here is, perception. If it is the case that you feel you are not being paid the same as others in a similar role then the chances of you feeling dissatisfied are significantly higher.

2. Control
The more you control the greater the satisfaction. The doesn’t mean to say that you should start managing the office to feel better at work, there are certain functions that you will have to complete regardless of whether you want to or not. When we talk about control, you should be given the freedom to decide how you do the job.
Research suggests that people with little or no control in their job, regardless of the level, will be unsatisfied and stressed at work.

3. Support
Employees want to know that their employers care about them. Not necessarily that your manager is going to cry with you when your goldfish dies but that you will be rewarded for your contribution to the organisation. This can be translated through things like additional benefits to your remuneration package such as health insurance or performance bonuses. Not only is it the case of whether or not the organisation is genuinely being supportive, but its whether they are being perceived as being supportive.

4. Achievement
People will feel greater satisfaction with their job if they have worked towards an achievement. Some jobs provide more milestones than others and it can sometimes blur the lines when it comes to understanding if you are making a contribution or not.

5. Feedback
People love to hear about themselves and a lot will need reassurance that they are doing the right thing in their job. Whilst negative feedback isn’t always pleasant to endure, it can be constructive and give you an aim towards making improvements. At the other end of the spectrum, positive feedback will add to satisfaction as sometimes no news can be bad news.

6. Minor hassles
Something that might seem inferior in comparison to having to perform a triple heart bypass, sentence someone to life in Prison or hit your sales targets : administration.
It can be somewhat surprising to hear that a lot of employees frustrations are aimed at such a vital function and this plays a fundamental part of their daily hassles.
This being potentially the easiest to combat from an employers perspective and will address issues surrounding job satisfaction.

7. Complexity and variety
Generally people are more satisfied with their jobs if they are more varied and complex. People seem to like jobs that they find challenging, maybe because it pushes them more rather than being bored because it’s too easy.

Why can’t we all be satisfied?
Organisations will often pay to keep their employees satisfied regardless of how they feel it contributes to satisfaction and when reading through this list it begs the question or ‘why can’t everyone have a satisfactory job?’. The truth is that employers need to take a look at other factors too in order to truly improve job satisfaction among their employees.