Does employee job satisfaction really matter?
More precisely, does job satisfaction have a significant impact on job performance and organizational commitment? The short answer is – most definitely. Sometimes we forget that people work for people, not companies. When people aren’t happy, they don’t show up consistently, they produce less and their work quality suffers.
Employee satisfaction (often referred to as morale) is an employee’s attitudinal response to his or her organization. This satisfaction level is composed of employee awareness, perception, reasoning, and judgment. As with all attitudes, the relationship between satisfaction and behavior, is complex.
A satisfied employee is a productive employee
Management plays a significant role in enhancing employees’ job satisfaction. Management owns the responsibility to continually review, reassess and/or rethink how to maintain and/or create a positive environment that is high in morale. This includes ensuring that employees have the necessary tools and resources they require to successfully accomplish their job. Once an environment is established that is empowering (and not debilitating) a solid foundation is set to maintain motivation and develop job satisfaction.
Too often managers think that by changing the extrinsic motivators (salary increases, being a prime example) that they can change behavior and boost employee satisfaction. Yes, improving someone’s salary may modify results for a time however it won’t produce long-term results or create sustainable job satisfaction.
Washington state based Tech Cocktail recently reviewed a Seattle organization, TINYpulse, that specializes in providing insights into employee happiness and retention. Published on the website is an impressive study that analyzed over 40,000 anonymous survey responses from more than 300 organizations between September 1, 2012 and November 15, 2013.
7 Vital Trends Disrupting Today’s Workplace
- Only 42% of employees know their organization’s vision, mission, and values. That’s an alarmingly low number. Too many executives are not communicating and reinforcing their company’s guiding principles and mission.
- 82% of respondents claimed that their manager clearly outlined their role and responsibility. At the day-to-day team level it seems that managers are able to effectively set expectations and accountability.
- Employee happiness is more dependent on co-workers than direct managers. Employee happiness is 23.3% more correlated to connections with co-workers than direct supervisors. There is a very strong correlation between employee happiness and their rating of co-workers with a .92 correlation coefficient compared to a .74 correlation coefficient between employee happiness and how they rate their direct supervisor.
- Team play and collaboration are the top traits employees love about their co-workers. In the recruitment and interview process, leading companies must incorporate opportunities to test and screen for these vital characteristics in candidates.
- 18% of responses included a suggestion, and organizations that don’t promote employee suggestions are at an innovation disadvantage. Businesses that don’t crowdsource innovation and suggestions from their employees are missing a huge opportunity. If you’re relying on an open door policy, then you’re not fully leveraging your most prized asset – your people.
- 36% of responses provided peer-to-peer recognition which proves that a lightweight and regular system boosts intra-organization recognition. As organizations become more decentralized, virtual, and matrixed, there’s a growing need to provide regular recognition that goes beyond the antiquated one-on-one supervisor-to-employee relationship.
- Management transparency is the top factor when determining employee happiness. This finding surprised us too, with management transparency coming in at an extremely high correlation coefficient of .93 with employee happiness. The cost of improving transparency is almost zero, but requires an ongoing dialogue between management and staff. We see an increasing number of companies using transparency as a weapon to attract and retain top talent.
Source: TINYpulse.com Engagement Survey for more detailed info, visit the website
Job Satisfaction – The Bottom Line
It appears that it is not culture or relationships with the boss, but management transparency that stands out as the most important factor in determining employee happiness. It is also clear that organizations need to pay more attention to doing a better job of sharing their vision, mission, and values to ensure employees appreciates and understand how the business’ objectives relate to their personal goals.
Employee satisfaction and overall happiness is proven to be a surefire way to motivate employees to do more for their organizations. Paying attention to their needs makes employees more productive, they try harder, and are more loyal to their employers. Ensuring long-term employee satisfaction is key to an organization’s success and reduces disruptive tendencies like frequent turnover.
“Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.”
~Anne M. Mulcahy Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Save The Children Federation and former chairperson and CEO of Xerox Corporation