Thursday, 20 December 2012

The Controversy of Job Satisfaction

Job Satisfaction is a very controversial topic. 

The bookish definition of Job Satisfaction is the degree to which individuals feel positively or negatively about their jobs. There is a complex relationship between the employee job satisfaction and the performance of the organization. So does the overall performance of the organization  lead to employee job satisfaction or if the employees are satisfied , the organization performs well ?  

One of the most important tasks of a Manager or a Leader is to make their team perform and  Job Satisfaction has a big role to play in the performance of her team. So what is the relationship between Job Satisfaction and performance ? There are several theories :

  •  Does Performance cause Job Satisfaction ? If  the manager finds that the performance of the people in his team is leading to Job Satisfaction, then she should focus on helping people achieve high performance. The goals for the team should be tangible and stretched to the maximum feasible limit. And once the goal is reached, commensurate rewards should follow. But again , if the employee feels that the he has been unfairly rewarded, then this theory will not hold good. 

  • Does Job Satisfaction cause performance ? If this is true them the managers should simply make their employees happy. Well,  in my own experience, I have realized that a person becomes either complacent or settles down so happily in the regular repetitive day job that his performance either decreases or remains static.  This theory might work with higher level employees , but job satisfaction is not a consistent factor of the employees work performance.

  • Does Reward cause Job satisfaction and performance ? This theory propagates that rewards can boost both performance as well as job satisfaction. Again , the reward should be regarded as commensurate.  Rewards might be of many forms. It can be monetary or some extra perks or something intangible , e.g. a member of the President's club.  Research has indicated that higher the reward, the better is the job satisfaction, but it has also been found out that lower rewards to low performers has led to dissatisfaction ! 

So , it is not so simple as it seems ! The manager or the leader should use all the facets of job satisfaction to boost the performance of her team. So, depending on the situation , the manager has to utilize the work itself or the promotion opportunities to increase the Job satisfaction and the performance of the team.  Another very important area for job satisfaction is the quality of supervision and the relationship of the team. And last but not at all the least, pay and rewards to the appropriate people leads to job satisfaction.

So go ahead and make your team perform by making them satisfied with their job ! All the best !


  1. apart from performance,promotion,perks and rewards does the nature work allotted to the employee not matter in job satisfaction ?