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If You Want Your Employees to Perform at Soaring Levels

In the recent years, job satisfaction and how an employee perceives his or her job, has become one of the key areas of study for an organization. This is because, whether an employee is content with his working conditions or not, has an impact on the functioning of the whole organization. Every firm wants maximum productivity from their employees. This essay will discuss how the above can be achieved through job satisfaction. It will also talk about the negative impacts of low job satisfaction and its effects on the performance of employees. It will also look through the benefits and elements of job satisfaction.

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Job satisfaction is defined as “the extent to which people like (satisfaction) or dislike (dissatisfaction) their jobs. ” (Williams, 2004. cited by Spector, 1997) Job satisfaction has significant economic influence. In the event of people being dissatisfied with their jobs, companies can lose a lot in terms of quality, time, resources and money. It also leads to higher rates of quitting and absenteeism. Whereas, high job satisfaction leads to refined job performance and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB). Higher cost of labour and lower productivity can also be caused by job dissatisfaction. Mohr and Zoghi, 2008) Hence, it is vital for the organization to enforce that the personal, organizational and social needs are being met so as to keep the employees satisfied so that they perform at higher levels and benefit themselves as well as the organization. Job satisfaction or dissatisfaction is said to effect how an employee perceives and relates to his organization. It influences his behavior and commitment. To truly understand the importance and role of job satisfaction, we should examine the functioning of a firm in its absence, i. e. , examine the negative effects of the employees of a firm not being satisfied with their jobs.

Dissatisfaction directly effects employees’ job performance and commitment as it affects the employees’ attitude towards their entire working environment including co-workers, the workplace and the work itself. Employees may feel dissatisfied due to multifarious reasons. They may feel so because they feel that they or their work is being undervalued. They may feel as though they do not have enough opportunities to put forward their ideas and voice their opinions or that there isn’t sufficient recognition through financial or non-financial incentives.

If so, either of the two things may happen – either they do not perform at high levels or feel committed to their work or workplace but continue working at low levels with decreased productivity, or employees eventually quit their job. In the first case if an employee is dissatisfied and continues working in the organization, it is observed that there is increased counter-productive behavior like wasting resources or damaging property. Also, for example, if an employee feels he is not given enough authority, he may end up abusing the authority he has by being too strict with his subordinate or may lead to harassment.

Withdrawal behavior may also increase which is basically when a person tries to avoid tasks that need to be performed. Such behavior is common when an employee is eventually going to quit. It includes physical withdrawal behavior through acts such as frequent absenteeism, tardiness etc and psychological withdrawal behavior through daydreaming, excessive socializing etc. All this hampers task performance and contextual performance (also known as organizational citizenship behavior or OCB) and in turn reduces how productive the employee actually is. In the second case, employees eventually quit.

This starts with withdrawal behavior which starts to lower productivity and increase losses and then leads to increasing the employee turnover rate once he or she finally leaves the organization. High turnover rate is an important consideration for many organizations as it is associated with large amounts of time and money. Turnover can financially have quite a large impact as when an employee leaves, the firm in compulsion has to allocate scare resources, both time and money, to either replace the employee or find someone else to cover up and perform his work.

Recruiting and training new employees consumes a substantial proportion of the organization’s budget where losses may even amount to more than two times the person’s salary. There are also various costs that cannot be measured on monetary terms like, disturbances in the day-to-day operations, stress etc. Frequent and unwanted turnover can also create a negative image of the organization. (Singh and Loncar, 2010) Therefore, it is seen that monitoring employee satisfaction is vital to an organization so as to avoid wasteful spending of resources.

Also it encourages employees to function in an organization with the right attitudes and behavior and to achieve higher levels or productivity which benefits both, the organization as well and the individual. Job satisfaction and productivity are essential and beneficial not only to the firm, but also to the employee as an individual. As an organization works towards satisfaction of its employees and provides them with opportunities to grow and perform better, it forms positive attitudes in their minds.

Studies that have examined the relationship between employee satisfaction, productivity and financial performance show that: • Unlike satisfied employees, unhappy employees are less efficient when it comes to being productive, thereby leading to higher rates of absenteeism amonst the workforce. • Rate of productivity, innovativeness and loyalty is higher amongst satisfied employees. • Increased job satisfaction creates an increase in employee morale which inturn leads to increase in overall employee productivity. (www. corporateleadershipcouncil. om, 2003) It is seen that employees that are motivated and satisfied with their jobs and organizations are exuberant towards going to work and it reflects through the manner in which they undertake their responsibilities and how they relate to their co-workers. This is because such employees have a better harmonization with their jobs and are more harmonious in their homes, social and emotional life. It offers personal satisfaction, self-respect, self-esteem, and self-development and leads them to be more flexible, innovative, loyal, productive and resourceful. www. enotes. com, 2010) It also encourages workers to take initiative and offer more value to the organization rather than just following orders, which is their basic job requirement. They facilitate the functioning of the organization at higher standards that leads to the fulfillment or organizational goals effectively and efficiently. Job satisfaction is created through the use of various elements. There are multiple ways to encourage employees and to keep them satisfied so as to ensure that they perform well.

The most widely used ones include: Pay satisfaction – which includes rewarding employees fairly through competitive salaries and using monetary incentives such as bonus, sharing of company profits etc to encourage them to perform at better levels than at present as well as to reward them for good past performance and achievements. Satisfaction through promotional opportunities – which involves growth opportunities and chances to improve themselves over a period of time by gaining knowledge, skills and experience in a particular field and/or various different fields and to get promoted to jobs at higher levels.

This boosts employee morale and self-worth. Supervision satisfaction – The work performed by an employee needs to be evaluated, judged and analyzed by an approachable superior (supervisor). If a task is performed and there isn’t any sort of feedback given to the employee, he feels dissatisfied and the time and effort put into performing the work seems pointless. An employee needs to be given critical analysis of his work where his pitfalls need to be pointed out and his merit recognized. This helps guide the employee and gives him and the organization goal direction.

In its absence, since the employee has no one to report to, he will not work at high levels. Co-workers – It is highly important that the working environment and the people around whom the employee has to work, should be conducive. Every worker mingles with his co-workers and forms relationships inside as well as out of the workplace. When an employee joins a company, he needs to feel comfortable around the people in his surroundings. In no way should the behavior of co-workers hamper the quality of work being executed by any individual employee.

Very often tasks and projects are performed by a certain group of employees. In such cases teamwork is required and it is vital to make sure that co-workers can co-ordinate and work well with each other. Hence managers need to ensure that employees working under them have cordial relationships. Satisfaction with the work itself – Having to do work that is monotonous and uninteresting does not facilitate high quality performance. The work assigned to each employee should be challenging and offer variety. Even the work should offer growth opportunities in terms of the skills possessed by the employee.

Also, while work is being allotted, it should be made sure that an employee is given tasks that he is able to perform keeping in mind the field in which the employee is experienced and has knowledge about. If the task given to him is something he cannot perform as it is nowhere close to his area of expertise, the employee will not be able to give satisfactory output and there will be wastage of resources and manpower. Therefore, it is very important so see that the work assigned to each employee satisfies the conditions of the employee and keeps his interest in the job intact, as well as works towards fulfillment of organizational goals.

Thus, on the whole it can be said that job satisfaction needs to be monitored by managers in the organization so as to keep employees happy and performing at higher levels. It is seen how the presence or absence of satisfaction with one’s job can shape his or her attitude and behavior towards work to be performed and also towards the organization. It is safe to say that the level of performance has positive correlation with the amount of satisfaction a certain job offers i. e. the more the satisfaction, the more it drives the employee to perform better.

We can say this because it is seen how in the absence of satisfaction, employees are not motivated to perform at levels that they can reach up to if and when the satisfaction is provided to them. Tangible elements like absenteeism and turnover rate are clear symbols of the fact that when employees are dissatisfied, it does have an impact on their attitude, performance and behavior. Also, job dissatisfaction stimulates behavior that when studied shows a drifting away pattern of the employee from commitment and interest in performing his or her task well.

All of this leads to wastage of time, money and resources of the organization and hinders its achievement and keeps it functioning at lower standards. Dissatisfaction also leads to stunted personal growth of employees and can harbor poor self satisfaction and low levels of self esteem. Hence it is necessary for an organization to provide job satisfaction to its employees through elements such as pay, promotion, supervision, challenging work, good co-workers and working environment. If an organization and its employees want to perform at soaring levels, job satisfaction is a must.

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