Consolidation of Studies Pinpoints 5 Key Factors to Finding Job Satisfaction

Summary of:

Holland, E., (2016). “5 Key Factors to Finding Job Satisfaction” The Chopra Center.

Background & Theory:

Job satisfaction significantly influences employees and organizations alike, leading to varying levels of productivity, morale, loyalty, performance, and stress depending on the level of satisfaction. Job satisfaction in everyday life is dependent on a variety of factors, many of which can be controlled. Two-factor theory suggests that employees experience job satisfaction through both extrinsic and intrinsic lenses. This consolidation of studies pinpoints five research-based intrinsic and extrinsic factors that contribute to employee job satisfaction.

Question(s):

Research was consolidated to answer the following question:

  1. What factors lead to higher job satisfaction in an employee’s work life?

Methods:

Multiple research studies and surveys were collected over the past decade to result in recognizing the five factors of job satisfaction. Studies were collected from organizations like The Conference Board, Gallup, the Journal of Healthcare Management, the Society for Human Resource Management, BambooHR, and British Psychology Society.

Results:

Research suggests that while both intrinsic and extrinsic job satisfaction factors are important, intrinsic motivating factors have the most impact on job satisfaction. Additionally, results from one survey showed that professional growth and having personal values in line with the company outweighs pay when it comes to job satisfaction. All of this being said, the five factors to job satisfaction are engagement, respect, fair compensation, motivation, and life satisfaction.

For engagement, one poll showed that 51% of employees reported not being engaged at work. Fully utilizing one’s skills can lead to increased engagement, along with understanding the correlation between employee work and company goals. On the other hand, respect, praise, and appreciation (abbreviated ‘respect’ above) are important to job satisfaction because employees value their supervisors’ respect for their ideas. One study found that nearly half of employees rated the supervisors’ respect for their ideas as “very important” to job satisfaction.

Next, fair compensation is important to employees because of its extrinsic nature. In one study, respondents considered pay to be the second-most important factor, with benefits as the third. Other studies have found that employees prefer recognition and praise over extra monetary compensation. The fourth factor to job satisfaction is motivation, which is referred to as the act of knowing your underlying purpose in completing work. Finally, life satisfaction was found to have a significant influence on job satisfaction. It turns out, people who are generally more satisfied with life are more likely to be satisfied with their work.

What We Can Learn:

Looking over this research, we can take away this key insight:

  • The five factors: engagement, respect (praise and appreciation), fair compensation, motivation, and life satisfaction all help lead to job satisfaction in the workplace. While extrinsic factors like compensation are important, intrinsic factors generally contribute more to job satisfaction.

Final Takeaways

For Consultants: Employees who are dissatisfied with their role may not be considering what is making them unhappy. Additionally, dissatisfied employees can often lead to more workplace conflict, so understanding the contributing factors to job satisfaction can be very important for mitigating future conflict.

For Everyone: If you are dissatisfied with your job, recognizing the importance of these five factors can help you figure out how to improve your working situation or find a more suitable job.