Job satisfaction at its core
Jobs then and now
According to Wharton Finance Professor, Alex Edmans, the idea of contentment with work was introduced nearly a century ago when the expansion of global economy largely was based on engineering machinery. Workers were required to perform unchallenging tasks and were easily replaceable. Bosses motivated workers primarily with money, paying by the piece to reward those who produced the most widgets. A hundred years ago, the average worker actually went to work in order to meet their basic human needs – to put food on the table and a roof over their heads. In exchange for their work, they received money, and money alone was entirely sufficient. But things are really not the same today.
Job satisfaction = Life satisfaction
According to a 2006 Europe-wide study conducted at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, one of the world’s oldest universities, job satisfaction has become the “most critical factor of life satisfaction and well being.” Career fulfillment doesn’t merely influence exhilaration; it’s actually become the top factor in a person’s overall gratification with his or her existence. This is over and above satisfaction with family, leisure time, health, finance and social life. An average working person spends 10 to 12 hours of the day at work. If one spends roughly half of his or her lifetime at work, satisfaction with life will be heavily dependent upon job satisfaction.
Cognitive vs. Affective
Not infrequently are we faced with people who claim that their job is as perfect as they could have asked for: proximity to home, convenient travel, well paying and not very overbearing. These reflect contentment with only a few facets of the job and something still seems amiss. Cognitively, results of the analysis seem perfect, as these aspects ate judged by everyone on some or the other objective standpoint. Affective matters usually get ignored. A fitting job is in many ways comparable to an apt life partner. There are times when everything seems perfect but it isn’t. Sadly, contentment with work becomes an unattainable dream to many.
Originating from Maslow’s hierarchy, the instinctive needs theory is the lucid explanation for discontentment with work. If one gets what one is seeking from a job, one will be satisfied, not otherwise. Some people have emotional dispositions that color their perspective of events and make them satisfied or dissatisfied human beings in general, irrespective of their jobs. Perception of unfairness, inadequate communication at work, poor peer relations, excess competition, negative appraisal, transactional leadership; all influence the self esteem and can be damaging to the emotionally weak sensitive employee.
Brick by brick
Humans desire to find meaning in existence. If their job stimulates their quest for meaning, satisfaction occurs instantaneously and people want to work even after retirement. We aim to tap that potential in employees and assist them in this quest to facilitate their job satisfaction.