7 Key Factors that Influence Job Satisfaction

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What makes a career fulfilling? Why do people stay at certain jobs and leave others, sometimes on a whim? What are some of the key factors that influence job satisfaction? When do people work the hardest at their career, and what motivates them?

Kumari (2011) et al. conducted an analysis pertaining to the factors affecting job satisfaction of employees in both the private and public sectors. They found that employee morale is the deciding factor in an organization’s efficiency.

Morale is, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary:

The mental and emotional condition (as of enthusiasm, confidence, or loyalty) of an individual or group with regard to the function or tasks at hand.

How do people decide which jobs to apply for, and which ones to avoid? We have to dig deeper in the world of psychology, which investigates how we feel and think. Industrial-organizational (IO) psychology may have the answers.

Key factors that influence job satisfaction:

  • Company Culture + Communication
  • Career Development
  • Employee Personalities
  • Recognition
  • Benefits
  • Security
  • Leadership

Accoding to the Work Design Questionnaire (WDQ) by Morgeson and Humphrey (2006), there are 18 work dimensions within 4 characteristics:

  • Task

    • Autonomy
    • Task Variety
    • Task Significance
    • Task Identity
    • Feedback from Job
  • Knowledge

    • Job Complexity
    • Information Processing
    • Problem Solving
    • Skill Variety
    • Specialization
  • Social

    • Social Support
    • Interdependence
    • Interaction Outside the Organization
    • Feeback from Others
  • Contextual

    • Ergonomics
    • Physical Demands
    • Work Conditions
    • Equipment Use

Let’s jump into the seven key factors that influence job satisfaction.

1. Company Culture + Communication

Talking is important. Yes, there’s time for friendly chitchat and small talk—but we have to ask the big questions. What can a company do to improve its productivity? Motivate its employees? Garner respect within its industry? Company culture seems like a vague term, but in a nutshell it’s the heart of the organization. What’s left when you take away the numbers and data? The people.

2. Career Development

As with self-development, people crave opportunities to learn more and advance in their careers. This may look like coaching from an expert, virtual seminars, or a week-long business trip to network with professionals in their field. Career development can also look like additional education and certifications, as well as job shadowing.

3. Employee Personalities

Put a full team of extraverts together and meetings will never (ever) end. Try to gather a team of introverts around and the meeting will end before it even began. The unique personalities of team members should mesh well in order for productivity and employee satisfaction to skyrocket. IO psychologists can help reorganize teams more effectively more the best results.

4. Recognition

Employees want to be recognized for their hard work and efforts. The long nights and early mornings they clock in. That extra mile they go to make sure everything is presentation-ready. Verbal affirmation, accolades, and rewards can be what some employees are seeking. In terms of workplace love languages, words of affirmation may very well be theirs!

5. Benefits

There’s more to the world of benefits than performance bonuses, medical insurance, and the occasional pizza Friday. Some companies offer fun perks such as a personal stipend for books, fitness, and meals. How does a four-day workweek or paid parental leave sound? For some, benefits are one of the most important aspects of job satisfaction.

6. Security

With big tech dropping employees like flies, it can be devestating to have your job taken away in the middle of an economic resession. Job security has been listed as one of the top requirements for job satisfaction. Interest rates are higher than ever, and the last thing people want is to accumulate debt.

7. Leadership

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Great leadership helps empower and encourage employees. They set an example for the rest of the organization and have a responsibility to teach their knowledge and learn from others. From mentoring to giving feedback, leaders play a key role in advancing any organization they’re a part of.

There are many honorable mentions for job satisfaction such as work location, salary, and company prestige. In the end, companies strive for happy, productive employees who can encourage others to work hard. As mentioned earlier, employee morale influences overall productivity.

To recap, the key factors that influence job satisfaction are:

  • Company Culture + Communication
  • Career Development
  • Employee Personalities
  • Recognition
  • Benefits
  • Security
  • Leadership

Job satisfaction is influenced by a variety of key factors that significantly impact an individual’s overall well-being and happiness in the workplace. One crucial factor is the nature of the work itself.

Employees are more likely to experience internal satisfaction and motivation when they find their work meaningful, challenging, and aligned with their skills and interests. Having a sense of purpose and feeling that their contributions make a difference can greatly enhance job satisfaction.

What gets you up for work? What are some other factors you think contribute to meaningful work? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below!


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