Determinants of Job Satisfaction

PSYCH-105 Industrial Psychology

Chapter 6: Job Satisfaction

Unit 1

Unit 2

Unit 3

Unit 4


Determinants of Job Satisfaction

Organizational Factors

1. Salary and Wages (Rewards)

Salary and Wages (Rewards) form the first set of organizational factors as sources of job satisfaction when these are perceived as fair and equitable compared to others and relative to employee’s own efforts and contribution.

2. Promotional Opportunities

Promotional Opportunities are second important source of job satisfaction. A promotion indicates the worth of an employee. It hence is morale boasting activity. Promotional opportunities affect job-satisfaction considerably. The desire for promotion is generally strong among employees as it involves change in job content, pay, responsibility, independence, status and like. An average employee in a typical government organization can hope to get two or three promotions in his entire service, though chances of promotions are better in private sector. It is no surprise that the employees take promotion as the ultimate achievement in his career and when it is realized, he/she feels extremely satisfied.

3. Job Security

Steady employment of job security is a determinant of job satisfaction, although its importance varies in terms of marital status and number of dependents. Explicitly, job security is a great source of satisfaction for individuals with several dependents than for single individuals.

4. Working Conditions

Working Conditions that are compatible with an employee’s physical comfort and that facilitate doing a good job contribute to job-satisfaction. Temperature, humidity, ventilation, lighting and noise, hours of work, cleanliness of the work place, and adequate tools and equipments are the features which affect job-satisfaction. Good working conditions are highly desirable because they lead to greater physical comfort and health. A clean and orderly work situation, controlled heat, humidity, air, light along with adequate tools for their operations and a welcome work schedule all can contribute to job satisfaction.

5. Good Leadership Practices

Good Leadership Practices include leader / supervisor’s behaviour and concern towards employee. The employee-centered supervisory style (friendly, respectful, careful) enhances job satisfaction. On the other hand production centered leader may cause low job satisfaction.

6. Recognition

People knowing and recognizing one for his work or any special job done is immensely important.

7. Advancement / Responsibility

Getting more important and responsible work from the management will create more job satisfaction. It is a sign of maturity.

8. Clear Directions and Objectives

Expectations from the employee must be clearly conveyed and confusions avoided

9. Feedback and Support

Employee must be given feedback about his work from time to time and proper support must be provided if he lacks in some area.

10. Work / Nature of Job

The nature of work determines job satisfaction. Usually, varied work causes more job satisfaction than repetitive work. Obviously, the factory workers are found to be less satisfied than professionals. However, the relationship between job satisfaction and nature of work is confused by the involvement of other factors such as skill, pay and status. Most employees crave intellectual challenges on jobs. They tend to prefer being given opportunities to use their skills and abilities and being offered a variety of tasks, freedom, and feedback on how well they are doing. These characteristics make jobs mentally challenging. Jobs that have too little challenge create boredom. But too much challenge creates frustration and a feeling of failure. Under conditions of moderate challenge, employees experience pleasure and satisfaction. It is for the management to design jobs in such a manner that each worker gets the job of his own choice.

11. Co-Workers / Work Group

A worker’s happiness also depends on the cooperative and supportive group in which he is a member. The work group does serve as source of satisfaction to individual employees. It does so primarily by providing group members with opportunities for interaction with each other. It is well –known that for many employees work fills the need for social interaction. The work group is even stronger source of satisfaction when members have similar attitudes and values. Having people around with similar attitudes causes less friction on a day-to-day basis. Co-workers with similar attitudes and values can also provide some confirmation of a person’s self-concept: “We are ok and you are ok”.

Personal Factors

1. Intelligence and Education

The relationship between job satisfaction and intelligence is a function of nature of work. Intelligent individuals in less challenging and repetitive work are found to be dissatisfied. Education has dubious relationship with job satisfaction. Individuals with high education are likely to be satisfied with their depending upon advancement policies and opportunities in relation to education in the company.

2. Gender

It may well be that women, despite having strong psychological attachment to work have lower expectations and therefore employ different social comparison processes to men when evaluating the jobs. There is some evidence that job-characteristics have a different impact on men and woman. For example, autonomy seems to be more important for men’s job satisfaction than women’s, whereas supportive supervision has more impact on women’s job satisfaction than men’s.

3. Marital Status

Married workers are also more satisfied with their jobs especially if married couple is working in the same organization.

4. Duration of Job

It is indicated that job satisfaction is relatively high at the start and end of the job duration and low in the middle period of the job.

5. Age

Whilst for many years no relationship between age and job-satisfaction was consistently identified. There now seems to be a growing amount of evidence that there is a relationship. Perhaps one would expect the relationship to be linear, i.e. older employees reporting higher levels of job-satisfaction than younger employees. But the relationship appears to be more complex than this. Recent evidence suggests the relationship is U-shaped. Very young employees report higher levels of satisfaction than those in their late 20s. Job satisfaction seems to rise again, with older employees reporting higher levels of job satisfaction.

6. Family Members Dependent on Employee

Job dissatisfaction increases with the increasing number of dependents. Presumably, increased financial stress leads to greater dissatisfaction in jobs.

7. Interest

If the nature of the job is of interest to the employee, his satisfaction will increase. 

8. Personality Traits

People having the same traits are required by the job, will be more satisfied. E.g. an introvert person will find it difficult to be in a sales or marketing job. It has been shown that neurotic tendency causes job dissatisfaction in jobs of “greater” strain and that there is highly positive relationship between general satisfaction and job satisfaction. Explicitly, job dissatisfaction is likely to occur because of personality characteristics, which cause dissatisfaction outside the work situation. Indeed, the personality maladjustment in general, is a significant source of job dissatisfaction.

Influence on Behaviour

  1.  Employee starts working productively and actively. Hence it increases production.
  2. They discuss and react fast for any problems in the work place.
  3. The workers start giving suggestions to the superiors.
  4. It reduces absenteeism and accidents as well as wastage of time and resources.
  5. Work is performed so joyfully that the employee’s cooperation to fellow workers will be commendable.
  6. An Unprecedented enthusiasm can be observed in satisfied employee.

Author – Dr. Niyati Garg

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