Job Satisfaction - is it a myth..?

5 Key Factors to Job Satisfaction 

1. Engagement. When you are engaged in your work, you are present, focused, and productive. However, according to a 2015 Gallup poll, 51 percent of workers reported not being engaged at work, many of which were millennial's.  

One reason you may not be engaging in your work is because you may not feel you are utilising your skills and abilities to your fullest potential. Undoubtedly, people are naturally more engaged in work that puts their talents to good use. But experts have taken notice of a misconception: to truly enjoy work and become fully engaged, you have to make a drastic career change, giving everything up for a bigger purpose. 

The truth is, your talents can be utilised in any job you find yourself in. Sure, you may be better suited for some jobs more than others but by engaging fully in work and recognising how your individual strengths positively impact others, you can bring meaning and purpose to any role.

One way to find meaning in the work you do, even if it isn’t your dream job, is to have a clear understanding of the correlation between your work and the company’s goals. Being aware of how your job is directly supporting a larger outcome could encourage you to stay engaged and remain motivated.  

2. Respect, praise, and appreciation. Regardless of the job, you want to feel respected in the workplace as well as appreciated for the work you do. Employees are more satisfied in their positions when they feel respected and are praised for a job well done, even if it’s a simple thank you from a company manager. Supervisors are often vocal when an employee makes a mistake or something is needed of them but making the same effort to congratulate or voice appreciation can have a positive influence on worker’s satisfaction.   

According to the 2016 Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), close to half of the employees surveyed rated supervisor’s respect for their ideas as “very important” to job satisfaction. The SHRM emphasises constructive feedback and open communication in the workplace as one way to encourage respect amongst employers and employees. 

In short, working a job where you feel disrespected, undervalued, and underappreciated will likely cause you to feel dissatisfied with your work. 

3. Fair compensation. The importance employees place on pay as a contributing factor to job satisfaction appears to be on the rise, according to the 2016 survey conducted by the SHRM. Workers currently rank pay as the second most important factor compared to the fourth most important factor the year prior. Benefits rank as the third most important factor with 60 percent rating them as crucial to job satisfaction. In essence, employees want to be compensated for their worth and are likely to look for work elsewhere if they’re not. 

But as important as compensation appears to be to employees, many would choose recognition and praise from a higher-up over cash. In a survey conducted by the company, BambooHR, one-third of workers said they would rather have an executive send a company-wide email praising their accomplishments than receive a $500 bonus that went unpublished.  

4. Motivation. Understanding your motivation behind the job you either already have or the job you want may help increase job satisfaction as well. Asking yourself the following questions:

What motivated me to accept this job in the first place?What inspires me to do the work I do?What inspires me to want to be a [insert job aspiration]?

Answers to these questions can help determine where you are lacking satisfaction so that you can then do something about it, whether that means switching jobs or changing your approach to your current one. 

5. Life satisfaction. Perhaps unsurprisingly, people who are unhappy in life are less likely to find satisfying work. 

A 2010 meta-analysis published in British Psychology Society reviewed 223 studies that examined the link between job satisfaction and life satisfaction (subjective well-being). The psychologists concluded that people who are predisposed to be happy and satisfied in life in general are more likely to be happy and satisfied in their work. They note that individuals who are generally unhappy in life and seek satisfaction in their work likely will not find it. 

Perhaps nurturing yourself and enhancing your well-being will naturally lead you to satisfaction within a working environment. 

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