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Improving employee job satisfaction brings along additional benefits such as a direct impact on increase customers’ satisfaction and employees’ work performance. Satisfied employees tend to add extra effort to job performance, then work harder and better. Hence the organizational success totally depends on human capabilities, highly satisfied work force is completely essential for an organization.
Job satisfaction is a person’s emotional reaction to aspects of works such as pay, supervision, colleagues, working condition, job security, company policies and support, benefits, promotion and advancement or to the work itself (French, 1990). In other words, job satisfaction is an individual’s emotional reaction to a specific job. Falkenburg and Schyns (2007) indicate that job satisfaction can be studied from different approaches. Job satisfaction can be seen as a result of different behaviours or as a cause of behaviour. Moreover, it can be seen as an overall feeling or involving of some aspects of the job and the work situation together contribute to the feeling of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with work (Johansson, 2010).
Performance is defined as a role of individual ability, skills and effort in a given situation. Performance depends on an individual’s perception, values and attitudes. Job performance is an accomplishment of the specific work related tasks or skills by an employee. Besides, employee behaviour is also necessary for an organization to be smooth, cooperate and communicate well in the organization to achieve gaols. There is some reciprocal relationship between job satisfaction and job performance. Satisfaction can cause performance, performance can cause satisfaction and rewards affect both performance and satisfaction. If employees are satisfied and committed to their job, they are more willing to take additional responsibilities without increasing their salaries. Then, their levels of commitments are high and they are more enjoyable in their work place. When employees are happy, they are more probably to have a positive attitude on life and more enthusiastic and productive. Otherwise, if employees are dissatisfied on their job, they are demotivated and they are not participating in any organizational activities, means lack of commitment.
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Job satisfaction does not only depend on the quality of employment, but also on the employee’s expectations with respect to the job. The better fit between employees’ expectations and the job reality, the better the satisfaction of employees and it is vice versa. (Llorente, 2005). If the job satisfaction is low, there will be a performance problem. Employees’ job satisfaction based on several factors such as autonomy, working conditions, supervision, promotional opportunity, skill identity, skill variety, social relations, workload, pay and feedback. Moreover, group cohesion and organizational culture are positively connected to the job satisfaction within an organization. That leads employees’ commitment and improves job performance. Organization can develop the relationships with the employees by motivating them to maintain a competitive advantage through employee job satisfaction and performance.
According to the Herzberg’s two factors theory, employees have two types of needs; hygiene factors and motivator. The hygiene factors are basic needs and including salary, job security, supervision and working condition and in a neutral state if these are fulfilled. These are not motivation for job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction can cause if the basic needs are not fulfilled. Motivators include responsibility, recognition, authority, advancements and achievements. Both hygiene factors and motivators are fulfilled, employees are satisfied. If the motivators are not fulfilled, the neutral state will be caused. Even though, if the motivators are fulfilled but the hygiene factors are not, the employee will still feel dissatisfaction towards the job. These conditions are affected the job performance to achieve set goals and management needs to aware of these situations. Normally, a person with a high level of job satisfaction towards a positive attitude in the job, while a person is dissatisfied, his/her job tends to a negative attitude about the job (Pushpakumari, 2008). Dissatisfied employees can affect to organizational performance and effectiveness. Initially, it is direct impact on an employee’s productivity, and it may result to less tendency of slow work with conscious or unconscious. Second, if employees not satisfied with their jobs may have a greater chance to develop illness or absent for work without illness. While absent, an employee’s productivity is zero and even if the other workers can substitute the work of the absent employee, productivity is possible to decrease because of sharing jobs. Third, job dissatisfaction leads employees to quit from the organization. Subsequent replacement for quitting and hiring creates costs for companies and it is also indirectly means lower productivity. Finally, job dissatisfaction is linking with the high accident rates which lead to decrease performance and productivity.
When some employees completely finished their tasks successfully; they are highly satisfied (a feeling of accomplishment) and, at that time, job performance causes job satisfaction. Performance leads to valued outcomes and that are satisfying to individual employees. Theorists, Lawler and Porter (1967) argued that performance leads to job satisfaction through by intrinsic and extrinsic rewards (Timothy A. Judge, Carl J. Thoresen, Joyce E. Bono, Gregory K. Patton, 2001). Thus, high performance may cause high job satisfaction, which reinforces by the rewards that accompany performance.
Managers also play an essential role to support their employees to satisfy their jobs. Good managers know how to maximize their employees’ job satisfaction. The level of happiness based on how managers engage with their employees and how to recognize their employees’ performance by management. Employee satisfaction can be different for different employees. The level of job satisfaction depends on the age (the majority of old employees have more experience, judgment, a strong work ethic and commitment to quality than younger ones), gender (different gender have different social roles and different benefits needs and these affect job performance), material status (single and marriage, single employees perceive more benefit, more impact on job performance than the married ones), race and experiences. Managers must know their people, their behaviour and their works. The most of lower level employees are satisfying their basic needs. Therefore, they may need monetary rewards rather than other rewards for achieving their basic needs. At that time, extrinsic rewards are their motivation to work harder and perform better. Some employees may have favourable attitudes towards opportunity for growth. Therefore, their high satisfactions come from intrinsic rewards such as achievement, growth, variety challenges, recognition and autonomy. At that time, managers better allow their employees the power to make the job related decision. The more control people have over their work, the greater their job satisfaction, the higher their work quality, and the lower their stress level (TLNT Webinars, 2012). By practicing this, employees need to find ways for improvements of independent decision making, flexibility on how their jobs are done. More opportunity employees have to make decisions; they use their mind and take more responsibility and then results better performance. Therefore, managers need mentoring, coaching, and providing information which needs to make intelligent decisions. Consequently, the employees’ effectiveness and efficiency will grow within the organization. In this situation, employee job performance tends to high job satisfaction.
Managers also need to understand the important of the employees’ work attitude towards job satisfaction. To improve the employees’ positive attitude, managers can provide training based on individual needs and requirements to increase job performance. Since they have the positive attitudes towards their jobs, these tend to attend to work on time with lesser absenteeism, minimum errors, loyalty and commitment to the job, work independently, obedience of rules and regulations and willing to take more duty and responsibility. These positive attitudes will increase the quality and quantity of employees’ performance. These employees contribute more efforts to their jobs and stay longer within the organization.
Motivation, job satisfaction, job performance and employee turnover are important in competitive employment markets in IT industry, and both the dynamic changes occurring in IT industry and the high demand for employees make the need for organizational strategies heading for long-term organization success. IT manager from one of the Logistics companies in Singapore (Hitachi Transport System (Asia) Pte Ltd) is practicing some motivation to her employees to increase employees’ satisfaction through their performance. Allow her employees to participate, share the ideas and transfer knowledge each other and create with an open communication environment within the department. The employees are given more autonomy, responsibility, challenging and interesting work. Besides, she is creating flexible working condition and flexible schedule based on their duties and responsibilities so the employees are satisfied with their jobs. She always monitors and identifies her employees’ performance gap; whether they need training to fulfill their current jobs to perform well and to meet new expectation for new technology and skills for further purposes. Acknowledge their performance based on their needs whether intrinsic, extrinsic, or combination of both. Because of this practicing, employees getting satisfaction with their jobs put more efforts and commitments in their works and results increase efficiency within the department. It results lower turnover rates, increase productivity and decrease the overall cost within IT department.
Some organizations are practicing in order to improve the employees’ job satisfaction through recognition and empowerment on customer services. For example, in Glacier Valley Bank, bank officers and supervisors went out their ways to compliment employees with a particularly difficult customer problems were solved well or to pass along customers’ expressions of appreciation. Good customer service was also frequently recognized in performance reviews. Further, bank contributes to the pleasant atmosphere and to the ease with employees could help customers and each other. When the problems are needed to be solved, everyone involved and consulted, and solutions and decisions were usually based on opinions and recommendations agreed to by the group. Employees are taking their own initiate and judgment to solve problems and they have high job satisfaction within the organization.
As the value of high satisfied employees and their performance are important for the organization, today managers need to align with the organizational and individual interests in human capital management to improve employee job satisfaction. Although it is difficult to say employees’ job satisfaction leads to performance, job dissatisfaction strongly link with the negative effects of performance and productivity. For a manager, it is essential to understand the concept of job satisfaction and needs to fit between the job conditions and individual employee’s expectation to achieve organizational goals. Besides, the organization also needs to create the needs of individuals for security and community that align with commitment and flexibility to sustain of performance and competitive advantage. Finally, the organization and an individual employee need to be happy on their own field with win-win situation.
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