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What Are the Different Job Satisfaction Models?

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  • Written By: Marlene Garcia
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 28 August 2016
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Job satisfaction models vary, but they all compare satisfied employees with motivation and job performance. The most common job satisfaction models include dispositional theory, content theory, process theory, and the two-factor model. All job satisfaction models explore personality traits of individual workers and link those traits to satisfaction on the job.

The dispositional theory is based on personality traits of happy people and how these factors carry over into the workplace. It measures the degree of happiness in life with the degree of satisfaction on the job. This theory suggests people with positive attitudes possess more energy and face work tasks with enthusiasm. Employees with these traits are typically motivated and perform well even if poorly supervised.

These workers are generally extroverts who possess emotional stability. They exhibit conscientiousness at work and are open to change. In contrast, negative attitudes result in employees who find little or no satisfaction from work. Employees who lack self-esteem and self-efficiency typically also lack motivation, which can be measured in their job performance.

Two-factor job satisfaction models use attributes found in the dispositional theory and examine how companies can influence the way employees perceive the workplace. These theories look at factors that promote satisfaction and those that lead to dissatisfaction, in combination with personality traits. Managers and supervisors might influence the way employees view their jobs by understanding basic human needs, according to the two-factor model.

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Employees who receive recognition for accomplishments and see growth or promotion opportunities appear happier at work when surveyed. They appear more eager to accept additional responsibility and perform well if work is meaningful. Psychologists believe all people have the same basic needs to reach their full potential, which include food, shelter, and the desire for recognition, referred to as the content theory.

Management might influence the level of employee satisfaction in positive and negative people. Process theory job satisfaction models base employee satisfaction on how workers perceive their treatment by supervisors. If they view management policies as unfair, they tend to find fault with the job.

These policies might relate to salary, working conditions, job security, or administrative practices. The degree of dissatisfaction is linked to how often unfair treatment occurs and its severity. Examples might include wages that are so low the employee struggles to meet basic needs, or lack of recognition for an employee’s efforts. Surveys show older workers and part-time employees tolerate unfairness better than younger and full-time workers.

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oasis11
Post 4

@Crispety - I agree with you and I wanted to add that employee satisfaction model also contributes to the type of work involved. There are some jobs that have intrinsic value in it because of the role that they play in society.

For example, a doctor, a nurse, and a teacher offer a high degree of job satisfaction because these are noble professions that help others. Lawyers that work in public interest law also have a high degree of satisfaction.

My sister is a public interest attorney that represents poor people that are facing unlawful evictions. She gets so happy when she is able to resolve these issues for her clients because many of them are living paycheck to

paycheck and are suffering so much stress from this problem that there is a huge relief when they get the issue resolved.

People like my sister are not motivated by money, but instead really take satisfaction in helping others less fortunate. This is why they are attracted to jobs like this.

Crispety
Post 3

@Mutsy - I know what you are saying, but the employee satisfaction model also looks at an environment in which the average employee is happy.

For example, there is a local hospital in my town that was ranked as one of the best places to work for women because the hospital offers flexible work schedules, a workplace daycare, a gym, full healthcare benefits, and allows mothers with school aged children to take the summers off to care for their children.

I think that a company that really takes care of the needs of their employees benefit not only from the reduced turnover, but they also are rewarded with increased productivity. These companies rarely have openings and when they do the jobs are filled quickly because word of mouth spreads.

mutsy
Post 2

@Icecream17 - I understand the need to motivate employees, but I also think that employers should hire more self starters and people who don’t need external motivation factors to perform well.

I think that these types of people are more entrepreneurial minded and look at the question of what is job satisfaction a little differently than the average employee. These people realize that hard work and determination will create a career path that will lead to higher paying and more challenging work.

For example, if a person works at fast food chain, one person might think that this is a dead end job and not work hard because they think that there is no future with this type of

work.

Another person that is self motivated might look at the chance of working at a fast food restaurant as a stepping stone to owning a franchise someday. Again these are two workers that have very different perspectives and levels of motivation.

I realize that self motivated people are harder to find, but employers should really seek these people out by offering behavioral personality tests because people like this are worth their weight in gold.

icecream17
Post 1

I think that these job satisfaction theories are really on target. I know that employee job satisfaction really relates to how they feel about their jobs. I remember reading somewhere that most employees wanted positive feedback more than they wanted salary increases.

I think that employees that feel valued and appreciated will always perform better than those employees that are overlooked. I think this is why so many companies offer employee recognition awards and bonuses for high performing employees.

I also think the offering awards for remaining loyal to the company also motivates employees. My company gives awards for years of service beginning with the five year mark leading all the way to thirty five years.

I think that companies that recognize these loyal employees are smart because not only will they produce more, but the company also saves money in hiring and training costs due to the lack of turnover.

Also these employees often give the best referrals which are another way a company can benefit.

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