Happy Valentine’s Day!
For today’s topic, I decided to go with a somewhat Valentine’s Day theme. Let’s discuss what it takes for employees to *love* their jobs and what you need to do to make employees LOVE working for you. Or, more specifically - how employees can feel work satisfaction and have increased commitment levels to their employer.
There is a significant body of research surrounding job satisfaction, so let’s review what conclusions some of those sources conclude and how to they relate to employee commitment.
Companies need happy and satisfied (or at least content) people in order to thrive. Like I’ve said before, the work doesn’t make the company, the people make the company so organizations should take action to ensure their people are satisfied with their job and their employer.
What is employee Satisfaction? Sageer, Rafat, and Agarwal state, “[e]mployee satisfaction is a measure of how happy workers are with their job and working environment” (2012). Typically, companies who show a love to their people, will be loved in return. If companies invest in certain programs or develop organizational behaviors/policies/procedures and have a real sense of mindfulness behind them, employees will likely see the effort their employers are making and feel a greater sense of appreciation, which may increase the employee’s job satisfaction and commitment to the overall company success. Essentially, happy, loyal, committed people mean increased employee engagement and productivity, which then creates pleased customers and increased revenue. Then, in turn, provides even more resources for company growth and development [(Aamodt, 2010), (Vance, 2006) and (Sageer, Rafat, Agarwal, 2012)]. Basically, employee satisfaction can improve and support the overall health of a company.
Acknowledgement that all people are different is very important in terms of this topic (and really, one must keep this idea in mind in most situations) because what provides a sense of fulfillment, contentment, happiness, jealousy, anger, what-have-you is different for EVERYONE and the frequency in which people experience these emotions is very individually based. To put it plainly, companies cannot please all of their employees all the time. However, research has shown that there are certain things that organizations can do or follow certain guidelines as a means to increase the level of satisfaction that employees may experience while working. We will get to these things in a moment.
Additionally, satisfaction levels are very important because they can also fuel the level of engagement and productivity an employee has in a job. From what I have both read and experienced first hand, I believe that these two things are very closely linked. Robert J. Vance Ph.D. explains that through his research, employee engagement is defined differently across a multitude of companies but ultimately, increased engagement means more company success. He says that engagement happens when an employee is fully satisfied and proud of their work, recognized for their efforts, and know they are valued by the company. These fully satisfied people are more likely to really do the utmost possible to produce quality work. In fact, in his SHRM document titled Employee Engagement and Commitment: A Guide to Understanding, Measuring and Increasing Engagement in Your Organization, he discusses an assessment that measures the overall general level of engagement an employee holds in a job based upon variables like their job satisfaction score and scores of other workplace factors, like recognition for performance, personal support from supervisor, understanding role importance in company vision, etcetera (2006). Very Interesting!
Struggling With Having Engaged and Excited People? This list suggests ways to establish or increase employee job satisfaction and commitment:
1) Job Expectations - When someone is hired for a job, they have a set of expectations of what the position entails as well as what is expected of them in the position. It helps to fully communicate these expectations before the person begins their job so there is no miscommunication. Next, a company must follow through on these expectations and keep them consistent. If an employee perceives the job expectations are not being met, this will really start to hurt the development of trust and loyalty to their company. (Aamodt, 2010)
2) Organizational/Cultural/Social Fit - Employees need to feel accepted and that they fit with their team, group, cohort, and company culture overall. This will help them to adjust and build a sense of comfort and confidence in a new place. If someone doesn’t fit with a company’s overall culture or vision, that will create some discomfort and create an opposite effect of lowering satisfaction levels (Aamodt, 2010).
3) Overall Perceptions of Fairness and Justice - Employees need to believe that their supervisor and company is generally fair and unbiased in terms of promotions, rewards, assignments, and things including layoffs, or corrective discipline. If any whiff of perceived favoritism, injustice, or unfair treatment is picked up by an employee, this can greatly backfire and build a large sense of distrust and low commitment levels (Aamodt, 2010).
4) Organizational Prosperity - When organizations are making efforts and striving to be market leaders or, at least, market competition in their industry, employees can both see and feel that vivacious energy which can enhance their desire to be a part of a company that is successful and prosperous, which I think, is something EVERY company should strive for! (Sageer, et al 2012).
5) Job Security - This one goes hand in hand with the previous item. Employees will further flourish and develop trust, loyalty, and company commitment when they are confident and assured that they will continue to be a part of something great for a long period and that they don’t have to worry about being let-go unexpectedly. (Sageer, et al 2012). (This idea also is a close cousin to the idea of companies selecting individuals who are “right” for the company and the job so they won’t have to continually deal with high turn-over rates).
6) Physical Working Conditions - Working conditions can play a part in the levels of job satisfaction employees may experience because the employees can attribute their conditions with how much an employer invests in their day-to-day comfort and how much an employer is focused on what is needed, and even requested to properly perform their jobs. (Sageer, et al 2012) (I personally am not someone who NEEDS those FANCY pens that cost $20 a pop in order to do my job properly, but I see you folks out there who do! I think, if a company splurges occasionally on things here and there that may seem frivolous, employees will feel a little bit like a kid in a candy store who got to pick out their favorite sweet one special day, which makes it all worth their hard work!)
Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think, ask me a question, or request a topic for a future blog post.
Aamodt, M. (2010). Industrial Organizational Psychology An Applied Approach.
Sageer, Alam, Rafat, Sameena Ph.D., & Agarwal, Puja M.S. (2012) Identification of Variables Affecting Employee Satisfaction and Their Impact on the Organization. IOSR Journal of Business and Management (IOSR-JBM) ISSN: 2278-487X. Volume 5, Issue 1 (Sep-Oct. 2012), PP 32-39. http://iosrjournals.org/iosr-jbm/papers/Vol5-issue1/E0513239.pdf Accessed Feb 13, 2019.
Vance, Robert J. Ph.D. (2006) Employee Engagement and Commitment: A Guide to Understanding, Measuring and Increasing Engagement in Your Organization. SHRM Foundation’s Effective Practice Guidelines. https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/trends-and-forecasting/special-reports-and-expert-views/Documents/Employee-Engagement-Commitment.pdf Accessed Feb 13, 2019.