Employee satisfaction is a measure of how happy workers are with their job and working environment. Keeping morale high among workers can be of tremendous benefit to any company, as happy workers will be more likely to produce more, take fewer days off, and stay loyal to the company. There are many factors in improving or maintaining high employee satisfaction, which wise employers would do well to implement.
The backbone of employee satisfaction is respect for workers and the job they perform. In every interaction with management, employees should be treated with courtesy and interest. An easy avenue for employees to discuss problems with upper management should be maintained and carefully monitored. Even if management cannot meet all the demands of employees, showing workers that they are being heard and putting honest dedication into compromising will often help to improve morale.
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Raises and bonuses can seriously affect employee satisfaction, and should be given when possible. Yet money cannot solve all morale issues, and if a company with widespread problems for workers cannot improve their overall environment, a bonus may be quickly forgotten as the daily stress of an unpleasant job continues to mount.
The aim of this study is to identify the causes of satisfaction and dissatisfaction of employees in an organization. This study took into consideration the work already done on the subject and tries to find out if the same concepts can be applied on Pakistani work environment. As each society is culturally different from other and research in one culture may or may not correctly predict perceptions on some other geographical location.
Today’s changing job environment and added requirements of employers for competitiveness has made doing job in organization a challenging task. Since satisfied employees are motivated ones, which are indeed an asset, satisfaction is key to organization’s success. Each individual is the representative of the organization and reputation is essential for business. Therefore, employee satisfaction is a very critical area in which management has to look into. This study focuses of various aspects of employee satisfaction and tries to find out perception about satisfaction from select sample size. Although a number of studies have been conducted on the subject but each society is different in its culture, values and outlook. Therefore, it is essential to find out what factors effect employee satisfaction most in Pakistan.
- H1: Employees get satisfied when they are supported by their superiors.
- H2: Satisfied employees are motivated employees.
- H3: Employees get satisfied when their work is recognized.
- H4: Employees get satisfied when they are happy with pay and promotion policy of the company.
- H5: Employees get satisfied when their skills and abilities are given importance and are utilized.
- H6: Employees get satisfied when they are consulted in decision making.
- H7: Employees get satisfied when they foresee career growth in the organization.
- H8: Employees get satisfied when their innovations, ideas get noticed and get due importance.
- H9: Employees get satisfied when they have opportunities for training and development.
- H10: Employees are satisfied when the workload is not too much / too less.
The sample of 25 is taken from population of three companies. The sample is selected across ranks from higher management to lower ranks. A questionnaire was used as a means and method for research. It consisted of 20 questions. The results are presented in graphical form for analysis and drawing conclusions. Analysis is done using pie charts, bar graphs to display collective responses and to identify causes of employee satisfaction and the dependencies of various factors on employee satisfaction.
This study focuses on how employees feel about their job, relationships with colleagues and superiors, advancement opportunities, and overall satisfaction. This study has taken three organizations into account having population of 5 from each organization. Since the sample is relatively small, the results incurred may have some chances of bias. i.e. the results emanating from this study cannot be confidently extrapolated to the population of all organizations, as circumstances in other environment may differ from the sample that was selected. The limitations also include small sample size, unmatched gender ratio.
Moreover, since the population is taken from different segments of organizational hierarchy, the perception of satisfaction may differ from top to bottom and the factors influencing most for one segment may not coincide with that of other segment. It is possible that the data captured through questionnaire may not capture the complexities of perceptions of Employees about their workplace conditions.
Satisfaction of employees is associated with their motivation to work. A number of thinkers and social scientists tried to explain human behavior and attitude in working environment. This study tends to find out causes of satisfaction (dissatisfaction) of employees in their work environment.
In the field of management the key to understanding the process of motivation lies in the meaning of, and relationship among, needs, drives, and incentives Ebrahimi, and Watchel (1995).
Elton Mayo (Howthrone Experiments 1927-1932) concluded through experimenting with industrial workers that Work is a group activity. The need for recognition, sense of belonging is more important in determining a worker’s morale and productivity than the physical conditions in which he works. The worker’s attitudes and effectiveness are conditioned by social demands from both inside and outside the factory. Informal groups within the factory exercise strong social controls over the work habits and attitudes of an individual worker. Group collaboration does not occur by accident; it must be planned for and developed.
Elton Mayo’s work gives an insight into reasons for job satisfaction (Dissatisfaction), which includes sense of belonging, recognition, social demands and peer pressure. Abraham H. Maslow - Hierarchy of Needs (1943) based motivation on human needs fulfillment. He identified five needs and declared that human needs are in hierarchical form, which looks like a pyramid with five layers of hierarchy.
Physiological Needs are biological or survival needs which include: Housing, shelter, food, water, air to breathe, clothing, rest, sleep etc. Safety and Security Needs are about a human’s desire to live in safe, secure, stable, not hostile and peaceful environment. These would include: physical safety, health and safety, job security, etc. Love and Affiliation Needs which could be described as belongingness needs which is people’s desire to be affiliated to something or person(s), the desire to have a sense of belonging to others. This would include: Friendship, affection, social activities, family union, receiving and giving love, feelings of belonging, human contact. Ego and Self Esteem Needs are human needs which include: Desire to achieve, properly founded self-respect, confidence, reputation,
independence and freedom, prestige, recognition, respect from others, attention, appreciation etc. Self-Actualization Needs which represent the highest level of self fulfillment. These describe the desire to develop and demonstrate one’s creativity, abilities, capabilities and a desire to be a specialist in an area(s) of knowledge. Jobs where these needs are particularly important may include the following: carpentry, accountancy, medicine, housing, photography, banking and engineering.
Maslow explained that people would seek to satisfy the Physiological (basic) needs first. That there is an automatic mechanism for needs. Once the physiological needs are satisfied, the Safety and Security needs automatically presents themselves to be satisfied and once the safety and security needs are satisfied, then the next layer of needs (love and affiliation) present themselves to be satisfied and so it goes up to Self-Actualization Needs.
Although his approach does not explain the satisfaction of employees, but there are some similarities in it with Elton Mayo’s work for instance; Recognition, sense of belonging and social status. Clayton Alderfer presented ERG theory was published in 1972. He derived his theory from Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs theory. He believed that Maslow’s theory can be condensed to three layers instead of five. These layers are Existence, Relatedness and Growth needs (ERG).
Existence Needs comprise of Maslow’s physiological and security needs plus fringe benefits like money. Relatedness Needs includes those of Maslow’s Love and Affiliation needs plus part of the Ego and Self-Esteem needs that deals with interpersonal relationships at the work place. Growth Needs includes Maslow’s Self-Actualization Needs and the remaining of the Ego and Self Esteem needs. This area includes the need for personal development and creativity. Alderfer accepted the basic concept of the Hierarchy of Needs Theory, where the bottom needs are satisfied first before the ones on top. However, he believed that instead of a hierarchy as Maslow described it, it was actually a continuum i.e. the process goes up and down the table.
Alderfer goes on to explain that if an attempt to satisfy a higher need is frustrated, the individual concern would regress downwards to needs that he had already satisfied. In Maslow’s theory it was said that a satisfied need is no longer a motivator. Secondly, Alderfer believes that one or more needs could be demanded at the same time, unlike Maslow’s theory which says that they are met one after the other. Thirdly, Alderfer explained that there are some needs which are purely situational which would become unimportant when there is a change in the work environment. The conclusion to be drawn from Alderfer’s modified theory is that managers should try to focus their staff’s attention to satisfying lower needs if the staff’s attempts to satisfying higher needs are frustrated.
Frederick Herzberg (1959) gave the concept of motivators and hygiene factors. Motivators are those factors which create satisfaction while hygiene factors are those which create dissatisfaction. He described motivators as Achievement, Recognition, Responsibility, Promotion and Advancement and Prospect for growth On the other hand, the hygiene factors that were identified were: Company Policy and Administration, Supervision, Relationship with Supervision, Work Conditions, Salaries, Relationship with Peers, Personal Life and Job Security Others that may be included as hygiene factors are: Proper Lighting and Ventilation at Work, Health and Safety Facilities, Noise Levels etc.
Herzberg believed that the motivators can create job satisfaction but the hygiene factors cannot. Rather, the hygiene factors if taken care of can only play a preventative role i.e. preventing existing satisfaction from declining though they themselves cannot improve satisfaction. For the motivators to yield positive results, the hygiene factors should be taken care of first. This clearly shows that consideration of both factors is important. Thus, no amount of effort in applying the motivators would work if staff has not been paid salary - which is hygiene factor.
Not only the management’s commitment towards employee satisfaction is required but also the management should understand the expectancy of employees in order to get them going. This was explained by Victor Vroom (1964). Vroom’s concept is based on the assumption that an individual’s behavior or level of motivation is determined not necessarily by reality but is determined by the perception that individual holds on the future i.e. the expectation at the end of the road.
Expectancy describes the level of an individual’s perception that a particular effort would result in a particular desired outcome. Social treatment can also be a motivator. John Adams (1963) explained that a person’s level of motivation will be influenced by the perception on how fairly he has been treated or will be treated compared to his peers at work. He would be demotivated if he feels that he is having a bad deal compared to others.
According to Kovack (1977), job satisfaction is a component of organizational commitment. Spector (1996 p. 2) states that job satisfaction “can be considered as a global feeling about the job or as a related constellation of attitudes about various aspects or facets of the job.”
Research (Strumpfer, Danana, Gouws & Viviers, 1998) indicates an encouraging but complex correlation between positive or negative dispositions and the various components of job satisfaction. When satisfaction is measured at a broader level, research has shown those organizations with more satisfied workers are more effective than those with less satisfied workers (Robbins, 1998).
Buitendach and de Witte (2005) proffer the view that job satisfaction relates to an individual’s perceptions and evaluations of a job, and this perception is in turn influenced by their circumstances, including needs, values and
expectations. Individuals therefore evaluate their jobs on the basis of factors which they regard as being important to them (Sempane, Rieger & Roodt, 2002).
According to Neuman, Reichel and Saad (1988), job satisfaction can be expressed as willingness and preparedness to stay in the profession irrespective of the discomfort and the desire to leave for a better job.
Rice and Schneider (1994) state that in Australia, the level of participation in decision-making and autonomy are contributory factors in their levels of job satisfaction. Anderman, Belzer and Smith (1991) posit the view that culture that emphasises accomplishment, recognition, and affiliation is related to satisfaction and commitment and that management’s actions create distinct working environments within organiztions that are highly predictive of satisfaction and commitment.
According to Shan (1998), job satisfaction is a predictor of retention, a determinant of commitment, and in turn a contributor to Organizational effectiveness. Kim and Loadman (1994) list predictors of job satisfaction, namely: interaction with colleagues, professional challenges, and professional autonomy, working conditions, salary and opportunity for advancement.
Locke (cited in Sempane et al., 2002, p. 23) defines job satisfaction "a pleasurable or a positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one's job or job experience." Job satisfaction can be viewed as an employee’s observation of how well their work presents those things which are important to them. Simply put, “job satisfaction is an attitude people have about their jobs” (Chelladurai, 1999, p. 230). Balzer,. (1997, p. 10) define job satisfaction as “… the feelings a worker has about his or her job or job experiences in relation to previous experiences, current expectations, or available alternatives.”
Beers (1964 in Visser, Breed & van Breda, 1997, p. 19) defines job satisfaction as “…the attitude of workers toward the company, their jobs,
their fellow workers and other psychological objects in the work environment.” Isen and Baron (1991, p. 35) surmise: “As an attitude, job satisfaction involves several basic components: specific beliefs about one’s job, behaviour tendencies (intentions) with respect to it, and feelings about it.”
Elaborating on this, Camp (1994) defines job satisfaction with reference to the needs and values of individuals and the extent to which these needs and values are satisfied in the workplace. In conjunction with this, Robbins (1998, p. 25) surmises that job satisfaction is based on “the difference between the amount of rewards workers receive and the amount they believe they should receive.”
Wisniewski and Gargiolu (1997) demonstrated that job satisfaction in Poland was associated with freedom to do what they wanted, encouragement received from those in authority, participation in decision and policy making, adequate supply of resources, good salary, cooperation from peers, superiors and participation in management.
Job design is one of the tools for job satisfaction. The individual’s job in the organization should be designed in a way that it causes neither an overload or under load. An overloaded job could cause stress, while an under loaded one could cause boredom. There are 3 main tools under job design, namely:
- Job Rotation: Job rotation as a means of job design is to rotate the task of the employee so that he can be moved from one task to another and to others. Such rotation of job creates a variety for the employee so that he does not become bored with a monotonous job. Rotation also enables employees to multiply skills as they learn so many different aspects of the job.
- Job Enlargement: Another aspect of job design is job enlargement. This involves increasing the scope and tasks or the job for the employee, by a combination of related activities. Job enlargement will be particularly useful in cases where there is a job under load. Job enlargement is also referred to as horizontal job design, as the job tasks become larger horizontally.
- Job Enrichment: Closely related to job enlargement is job enrichment, which is another tool of job design. Job enrichment, which is referred to as vertical job enlargement, seeks to give greater autonomy and authority to the staff, so that staff have more responsibility and are more involved in the decision making process.
According to Mullins, some of the methods of achieving job enrichment include the following:
- Permitting workers to build a complete product, or a complete component of a large product, undertake a full task cycle, or provide a complete service;
- Giving workers the opportunity to have direct contact with the users of the product or service provided;
- Allowing workers greater freedom over the scheduling and pacing of their own work; a
- Providing workers with direct feedback on their performance, and increased responsibility for checking and control of their own work.
“The environment has long been recognized as a source of influence on the individual’s behavior (Downey, Hellrigrel, & Slocum, Jr., 1975: 149).” In the past, organizational climate has been defined as an individual’s perception of his or her work environment (Downey et al., 1975). More recently, organizational climate has been viewed as a multidimensional construct that is influenced by organizational characteristics such as leadership style and job activities (Batlis, 1980). Debate has spurned over the years in regards to the differences in terminology between organizational climate and organizational culture. It has been suggested that organizational climate refers to a situation and its link to thoughts and behaviors of employees, whereas organizational culture refers to an evolved context within which a situation is embedded and is ultimately rooted in the values and beliefs of organizational members (Denison, 1996).
Employee response to dissatisfaction may have its roots in culture or climate, Two proposed concepts of organizational culture come from Walton?s (1991) analysis of management work-force strategies. Walton (1991) proposed control and commitment based strategies that vary in regards to job design principles, performance expectations, organization structure and style, compensation policies, employment assurance, employee voice policies, and labor-management relations. Walton (1991) noted different behavioral and outcome responses to the two strategies. In particular, as Walton (1991) points out, the benefits of a commitment oriented atmosphere can boost product quality, cut waste, reduce turnover, and promote the development of skills and employee self-esteem. The basis of a control oriented atmosphere, according to Walton (1991), is structured by a top-down allocation of authority which strives to establish order, exercise control, and achieve productivity and efficiency in the application of the work force. The basis of a commitment oriented atmosphere is structured with relatively flat hierarchies which promote job security and are founded on the belief that employee commitment leads to enhanced performance (Walton, 1991). Walton (1991) suggests a current transition happening, and has been happening, from a control based workforce towards a commitment based workforce, but also notes that most organizations adopt what is termed a transitional stage approach (i.e. a comprehensive version of a commitment based workforce).
Research conducted by Downey et al. (1975) found significant support that organizational climate interacts with an individual’s personality in predicting job satisfaction. Studies have also shown that culture can affect decision-making processes which help to guide and shape behavior (Smircich, 1983). Researchers have also indicated that the decision to express certain behavioral responses of dissatisfaction can hinge on perceived safety and acceptance of ideas (Van Dyne et al., 2003). These perceptions all speak to organizational climate.
Loke and Crawford (2001), through empirical research investigating the relationship between perceptions of organizational culture, job satisfaction and commitment; found that subculture has a greater influence on commitment than organizational culture. Subcultures are defined as smaller clusters of values, beliefs and attributes which exist independent of organizational culture and are typically found in departmental designations (Loke & Crawford, 2001). It is important to note that the subculture of a group can include core values found in the organizational culture. Three particular types of culture were identified in this study: bureaucratic (e.g. power-oriented and regulated), innovative (e.g. creative and challenging), and supportive (e.g. sociable and relationship-oriented). Lok and Crawford?s (2001) results show that innovative subcultures had strong positive effects on commitment, while bureaucratic subcultures had negative effects on commitment. Supportive subcultures, although originally displaying positively correlated results with commitment, did not have significant effects on commitment after having controlled for other independent variables (Lok & Crawford, 2001).
Factors such as hierarchical decision making, autocratic work environments, and restricted employee empowerment will negatively impact employee commitment (Lok & Crawford, 2001). Thus, Organizational climate does in some respect have an indirect impact in the dissatisfaction process for employees, but does organizational climate have a direct impact on the behavior responses of those organizational climate does in some respect have an indirect impact in the dissatisfaction process for employees, but does organizational climate have a direct impact on the behavior responses of those employees experiencing dissatisfaction? The research would indicate yes. Literature focusing on voice system failures show support for the fact that if an organization is not supportive and will not act on employee concerns, then individuals will not engage in voice responses (Wilkinson, Dundon, Marchington, & Ackers, 2004). Furthermore, it has been suggested that the decision to engage in vocal responses are influenced by the climate
(i.e. perception) in regards to choosing collective or individual voice forums (Goldberg et al., 2001).
For this study descriptive statistics, a method of classifying and summarizing numerical data is used. It includes frequency distribution, mean (Measure of central tendency) and standard deviation (Measure of variability). The purpose of using survey research was to collect primary data for our research. For our research we distributed questionnaires amongst managerial staff of three organizations. We conducted a self administered survey, in which questionnaires were distributed to different individuals. They filled in the answers according to their preferences.
For this research we used a questionnaire as our survey tool which includes questions covering all the aspects of our research. The scale for survey is a grip from 1 to 5. To simplify the grid we have defined 4-5 as satisfied, 3 as neither satisfied nor dissatisfied and 1-2 as satisfied.
Out of those employees who were satisfied, 100% believe that support from superiors is essential for employee satisfaction. While overall, 33% of dissatisfied employees also feel the same. This proves the hypothesis that superior’s support is indeed required for overall employee satisfaction.
Hypothesis H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, H6, H7, H8 and H10 and are proved to be correct while Hypothesis H9 is found not confirmed through this study. In the light of this study, it is clear that Management has to play a key role if the organization really wants their employees to be satisfied in order to make a unified team that can eventually give the right combination for success.
Attitudes, behaviors and social pressure shape a person’s perceptions and expectations. A good organization’s culture can satisfy the employees to an
extent of loyalty. Policies and foresightedness with growth paths are very necessary for employees to be positive and to keep their goals in mind.
- Dr. Prince Efere (2005), Motivation and job satisfaction, Trans Atlantic College, London
- Shuai Chaumin, Faheem Ghazanfar, M. Mahroof Khan (2011), A study of relationship between satisfaction with compensation and work motivation, China University of Geosciences.
- Michael Argyle (1989), Do happy workers work harder: The effect of Job Satisfaction on work performance, University of Rotterdam.
- Thomas K. Bauer (2004), high performance workplace and job satisfaction: evidence from Europe.
- Wanda Roos (2005), The relationship between employee motivation, job satisfaction and corporate culture, University of South Africa.
- Kristine Vangel (2011), Employee responses to job dissatisfaction, University of Rhode Island.
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