Job satisfaction describes how content an individual is with his or her job. The happier people are within their job, the more satisfied they are said to be. Logic would dictate that the most satisfied (“happy”) workers should be the best performers and vice versa. This is called the "happy worker" hypothesis. However, this hypothesis is not well supported, as job satisfaction is not the same as motivation or aptitude, although they may be clearly linked. A primary influence on job satisfaction is the application of Job design, which aims to enhance job satisfaction and performance using methods such as job rotation, job enlargement, job enrichment and job re-engineering.
Other influences on satisfaction include management styles and culture, employee involvement, empowerment, and autonomous work position. Job satisfaction is a very important attribute and is frequently measured by organizations. The most common technique for measurement is the use of rating scales where employees report their thoughts and reactions to their jobs. Questions can relate to rates of pay, work responsibilities, variety of tasks, promotional opportunities, the work itself, and co-workers. Some examinations present yes-or-no questions while others ask to rate satisfaction using a 1-to-5 scale, where 1 represents "not at all satisfied" and 5 represents "extremely satisfied."
Job satisfaction can simply be defined as the feelings people have about their jobs. It has been specifically defined as a pleasurable (or un pleasurable) emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job, an affective reaction to one’s job, and an attitude towards one’s job. These definitions suggest that job satisfaction takes into account feelings, beliefs, and behaviors.
Factors that Influence Job Satisfaction
Communication Over-load and Communication Under-load
One of the most important aspects of an individual’s work in a modern organization concerns the management of communication demands that he or she encounters on the job. Demands can be characterized as a communication load, which refers to “the rate and complexity of communication inputs an individual must process in a particular time frame.” Individuals in an organization can experience communication over-load and communication under- load which can affect their level of job satisfaction. Communication overload can occur when “an individual receives too many messages in a short period of time which can result in unprocessed information or when an individual faces more complex messages that are more difficult to process.” Due to this process, “given an individual’s style of work and motivation to complete a task, when more inputs exist than outputs, the individual perceives a condition of overload which can be positively or negatively related to job satisfaction. In comparison, communication under load can occur when messages or inputs are sent below the individual’s ability to process them.” According to the ideas of communication over-load and under-load, if an individual does not receive enough input on the job or is unsuccessful in processing these inputs, the individual is more likely to become dissatisfied, aggravated, and unhappy with their work which leads to a low level of job satisfaction.
Superior-subordinate communication is an important influence on job satisfaction in the workplace. The way in which subordinates perceive a supervisor's behavior can positively or negatively influence job satisfaction. Communication behavior such as facial expression, eye contact, vocal expression, and body movement is crucial to the superior-subordinate relationship (Teven, p. 156). Nonverbal messages play a central role in interpersonal interactions with respect to impression formation, deception, attraction,...
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