It is evident that every person has some sort of satisfaction and dissatisfaction with some things. Therefore, employees would also have own satisfaction and discontentment for the managerial team in an organization (Ushioda, 2012). Employee satisfaction and dissatisfaction is best understood through the lens of Motivation Theories. The three most prominent theories of motivation that outline the process of job satisfaction and dissatisfaction are Motivator Hygiene Theory by Herzberg, Maslow Theory of Need Hierarchy and Job Characteristic Model. These theories are widely used by employers, nowadays. This paper provides personal experience based on the application of these theories to a selected job.
Job satisfaction, according to Pakdel, B. (2013), refers to a measure of employees’ happiness with their employment, whether or not they like the work. It can be evaluated in terms of cognitive, emotional and behavioral aspects. To apply the concept and theories of job satisfaction in a real life context, the chosen job role is Information Technology Consultant. I was employed by an SKP wholesale stationery company (pseudonym) in Australia as an IT consultant in 2014 as a full time employee in the for profit sector. I remained at this job till 2018 and then left employment for further studies and future career growth opportunities. Previously, there was not any sophisticated system related to innovative technology like bar code and CCTV. But, when I joined SKP, I really felt this need and soon installed these technologies to get more convenience quality and all financial transactions were recorded through the PC system. Apart from such installation, the security for the entire organization was also enhanced due to CCTV installation.
To some extent, I was extremely satisfied with my job due to the position I offered and the duties that were assigned to me. However, there were some areas in the job that caused my slight dissatisfaction and I really need to overcome the stress that was generated through dissatisfying elements. First of all, I will talk about things that made me extremely satisfied while considering the level of satisfaction through the lens of Maslow’s Theory of Need Hierarchy. This theory critically examines the elements that majorly contribute to job satisfaction. The theory postulates that individual needs form a five level hierarchy comprising physiological needs, security, and need of affection, esteem and self realization (Kaur, 2013). The theory suggests that there are basic needs that should be fulfilled first (like physiological needs and security) before more challenging needs could be addressed (like belonging and self esteem) (Taormina & Gao, 2013).
Employee satisfaction, following the Maslow’s Theory of Need, is defined as how contented workers are with their job and work conditions. On the contrary to employee satisfaction, dissatisfaction means that workers are not happy with their managerial team or work environment (Dweck, 2013). Manpower holds sheer importance in the organization since they are an important resource for any company to get a competitive edge over the rivals. It is, due to the fact that the production unit can never function well in the absence of the workforce. Eventually, the company would face heavy losses and low levels of production.
Considering my personal experience relating to my former job role, I was extremely satisfied with the position offered to me. Since my basic (physiological needs were already met), I was happy while appointed as an IT consultant. My employer gave me complete authority relating to IT integration within the work processes. I felt that I have the power in the company and this seemed quite better when compared with my former employer. It is, for the reason that, formerly I was employed at a computer shop and served the role of just a technician. Job at SKP gave me a sense of security as well as stability, and this enabled me to achieve the need for security and become satisfied. I found myself physically safe in the work environment of SKP since the management team empowered me to unleash the potentiality buried in myself.
Moreover, benefits along with the basic pay were another factor that led to my job satisfaction. Considering the theory of Motivator Hygiene Theory by Herzberg, the job satisfaction and dissatisfaction are not two contrasting ends of the same band, but rather are two distinct and, sometimes, even unconnected ideas. ‘Motivator’ factors such as pay and perks, recognition and accomplishment should be met for a worker to become satisfied with his or her job (Reiss, 2012). On the other side, ‘hygiene’ factors (for example, work conditions, organization policies and structures, work security, dealing with co workers and management) are related to work dissatisfaction (Malik and Naeem, 2013).
My former employer, SKP, gave me complimentary benefits whenever I performed well. It was a form of encouragement to me so that I can further excel in near time. Some benefits provided by SKP include gym facilities, holiday trips, profit sharing option and retirement funds (after completing a certain time or tenure limit with SKP). I availed benefits like gym facilities, went on a trip to the company’s expense and also enjoyed profit sharing benefits until I remained at the job. This not just enhanced my relationship with the management team, but also made my loyal towards the employer for a long time.
Since both hygiene and motivator factors are considered as independent, it is feasible that workers are neither happy nor unhappy. The theory of Motivator Hygiene Theory by Herzberg claims that when hygiene factors are low the worker is not satisfied, but when these factors are high it refers that worker is not dissatisfied, but not essentially happy (Khalid, 2013). However, over time, I felt some sort of dissatisfaction in the job role in terms of stress and pressure. The work environment soon became stressful for me due to the decision made by management relating to starting a franchise business. In 2017, SKP opened a news outlet as a retail shop in high-town Street in Sydney. At that event, prior to starting a retail operation, I was given a task to manage and inspect the entire process of the new franchise.
For instance, I was given the responsibility to check the decor process, set up technological tools that can link the store’s computers with the headquarter office and also hire new IT staff at the junior level. This was the time, I felt really stressful since I was the only IT specialist and the work load given by the management was beyond my working capacity. These things were planned among top managers and nobody thought to hear my concern rather they burdened my shoulders with many responsibilities. Such responsibilities were not included in my job description. This was the time I felt stressful and quite unsatisfied since hygiene factors like work conditions and quality of management (as per the theory) were quite low and ruined my expectations with the job as well.
As per the model of JCM (Job Characteristics Model), job satisfaction takes place when the work setting supports inherently motivating features. The key work related characteristics are skill variety, task identification, autonomy and feedback, which impact other states of psychology (Elliot & Dweck, 2013). These states are critical in nature and comprise of meaningfulness of work, responsibility knowledge about results (Barrick, Mount & Li, 2013). In my work tenure and especially before the company (SKP) started a franchise business, I felt that my assigned tasks were quite meaningful since it provided me with autonomy and empowerment. There was some sort of task variety in my former job and I found a great room for skill development. I was always encouraged by my supervisors to show my hidden talent relating to the installation of technology and make work processes user friendly. These were the factors that made me satisfied and I remained with the company for a longer period of time. I really admired the working environment and policies that were flexible enough to make the work atmosphere comfortable for everyone.
Overall, it was a great experience while working at SKP and I still remember my supervisors in good words. I believe that the criterion of job satisfaction greatly depends on certain factors that are clearly outlined by the above mentioned theories. These theories of motivation provide valid grounds regarding satisfaction and dissatisfaction factors that let an employee to either leave or remain loyal to the company in the long run.
In summation, employee satisfaction and dissatisfaction form an imperative part to decide the success of an organization. If a firm faces a high rate of employee turnover then job dissatisfaction may be the one reason and managers must look into this to minimize the rate of employee turnover. I believe these theories of motivation carry weight in today’s organizational context and they provide useful insight for both employer and employee. I have gained sufficient insight from these theories of motivation. Applying these theories in a real life context has enabled me to decide my future employment while considering all factors of satisfaction and dissatisfaction. These theories of motivation are rich enough and provide managers with a clear guidance about how to motivate their workforce and retain them for a longer period of time.
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