What Is Job Satisfaction And Why Is It Important? (With Tips + Statistics)

By Jack Flynn
Oct. 11, 2022
Articles In Life At Work Guide

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The nature of jobs might seem simple: You work to get paid. However, the functionality of the workplace relies on more than just the promise of pay. The role of job satisfaction cannot be understated.

In this article, we’ll cover the value of job satisfaction in the workplace, what to do when you’re not satisfied with your job, and the role human resources departments play in trying to keep employees happy.

Key Takeaways

  • Three of the most important factors of job satisfaction are opportunity, a healthy environment, and appreciation.

  • When their employees are satisfied, companies experience increased productivity, higher profits, and more satisfied customers, among other benefits.

  • If you aren’t satisfied at your job, you can negotiate your salary, talk to your manager about your concerns, and fill out company surveys.

What Is Job Satisfaction And Why Is It Important? (With Tips + Statistics)

What Is Job Satisfaction?

Job satisfaction is experiencing a constructive headspace and positive emotions while you’re doing your job or at work.

While job satisfaction is not a quantifiable measurement, its importance continues to become more and more prioritized amongst companies. This is because increased job satisfaction seems to be directly connected to employee productivity, reduced turnover rates, and more.

One of the difficulties in measuring job satisfaction comes from the fact that satisfaction levels differ from employee to employee, even in the same working environment and conditions. The factors that make one employee more satisfied may not work for another. Given that, here are some different examples of areas that can improve satisfaction in the workplace:

  • Opportunity. There’s nothing satisfying about a dead-end job, so the more clearly employees can picture their upwards mobility in the workplace, the more satisfied they’ll be. After all, everyone wants their personal growth in the workplace to give them career progression opportunities.

  • Convenience. Employees won’t want a job that inconveniences them at every turn. Therefore, flexible hours, paid time off (PTO), more sick leave, access to appropriate equipment, and easy commutes can all play vital roles in job satisfaction.

  • Challenge. Boring and repetitive jobs can feel tortuous, so giving employees rewarding challenges in the workplace can improve satisfaction. When employees feel challenged in the workplace, they can more easily gain skills, increase their focus, and rise to new heights.

  • Appreciation. No one wants to feel disrespected and taken for granted by the higher-ups. Therefore, evident appreciation from management or the company as a whole can motivate employees and make them feel much more satisfied in the workplace.

  • Pay and benefits. While pay isn’t everything, employees will never feel satisfied if their pay can’t cover their basic needs. With that in mind, salaries and benefits that allow employees to maintain their ideal work-life balance will lead to higher job satisfaction.

    Additionally, employees also appreciate the opportunity to discuss their pay or have an employer who’s open to the idea of future raises.

  • Security. If an employee is in a constant state of anxiety because they’re always wondering whether or not their job is secure, they’ll have no ability to feel satisfied.

    When companies communicate honestly and provide a sense of security among employees, employee satisfaction will likely improve.

  • Healthy environments. Workplaces should be free of morale issues, harassment, discriminatory practices, or any other forms of toxic company culture. When employees feel safe in a healthy work environment, their stress in the workplace will be reduced significantly.

Why Do Companies Care About Job Satisfaction?

While job satisfaction is valuable to employees, it’s important to note that many companies purposefully put a great deal of effort into providing it. This is because companies see the value of satisfied workers.

For example, here are some of the benefits companies can reap by providing a satisfying workplace:

  • Increased productivity. Regardless of job level or salary, companies have found that the higher the job satisfaction, the more productive their employees will be. After all, happy employees are more likely to improve and prioritize their wellness.

    Increased productivity will inevitably benefit the company by producing more products for less, allowing the company to earn more money.

  • Higher profits. When productivity and work quality are increased, companies will have more sales and reduced costs. Essentially, when all of the cogs in the clock are working properly, the clock is more likely to tick.

  • More satisfied customers. Imagine trying to guide someone through a complicated refund process when you’re tired, frustrated, and unhappy. Not ideal. Happier employees provide better customer service because they’re more likely to maintain positive interactions with others.

  • Reduced turnover. No company likes to see attrition among their employees, as massive turnover rates can cost HR Departments whole heaps of money.

    Therefore, when job satisfaction helps companies retain their workers, the company will not only create a more productive and positive working environment, but also reduce costs.

  • Skilled workers. When workers are more likely to stay at a company and have higher productivity, they’re also more likely to grow their skillset.

    More skilled workers produce higher quality products, which can help a company in many ways.

  • Immovable loyalty. When workers experience job satisfaction, they’re more likely to stay at their company for a long time. Further, an employee might report positive things about the company’s treatment, products, ethics, or objectives to their friends, family, and others, which will increase the company’s positive public publicity.

For these reasons, it’s essential to understand that job satisfaction is both a short term and long term vision for employers. Companies will work hard to make new employees see the company and position in a positive light to reduce the risk of turnover.

Further, if job dissatisfaction lingers with an employee for an extended period, that employee might start to show that in their performance. They may call out more often, have reduced productivity, or poor customer service. Inevitably, their negative perception of the company will erode their value as an employee.

For these reasons, job satisfaction proves to be essential for companies to maintain.

Are You Satisfied at Work? What to Ask for and When

If there are areas of your career you feel unsatisfied with, there are some ways you can attempt to address your concerns. Remember that job satisfaction is valuable to employers, so even if your company’s compliance is not guaranteed, your satisfaction is nevertheless important to bring up. Speak your mind politely and professionally.

  1. Negotiate your salary when you’re hired. First and foremost, when you first start working for a company, you may be able to negotiate your salary or work schedule.

    Many higher-level positions will be open to salary negotiations, and you shouldn’t be afraid to request what you’re worth. For example, if your last job paid you an average of $60,000 per year, and your new job’s starting salary is $58,000, you shouldn’t feel bad about requesting that extra $2,000 per year.

  2. Set up a meeting to share specific concerns with your manager. If you’re already working at a company, and you’re beginning to feel dissatisfied with your work, you still have some options. If you’re able to, you might want to discuss your concerns with your manager.

    Find a calm and quiet moment to speak with them in private, and maintain your professionalism. Managers can offer considerable assistance when you’re dealing with harassment from other employees, struggling with your workload, or dealing with emotional turmoil.

  3. Fill out company surveys whenever they’re provided. If your relationship with your manager isn’t ideal, or they aren’t able to address your concerns, you can also utilize company surveys. Companies often provide job satisfaction surveys to their employees annually or semiannually.

    Survey questions can address company culture, management, and the position itself.

    If you feel like your company’s culture is toxic, you’re being undervalued, or there is a lack of opportunity at your company, a job satisfaction survey is an excellent opportunity for you to express your concerns. After all, companies wouldn’t provide surveys if they didn’t care about your feedback.

  4. Ask for a raise up to once a year. Once you’ve been working at a company for at least six months, it’s perfectly acceptable to respectfully ask your boss for a raise.

    Set up a meeting with your manager and present your reasons why you deserve a raise. Mention your recent accomplishments, any new responsibilities you’ve taken on, and your research on what the going rate is for a professional with your experience in your area.

    Be ready to negotiate, and make sure you aren’t asking for a raise at a time when the company is struggling financially or in the middle of your department’s busy season.

When you use any of these methods to address your level of job satisfaction, you’ll more than likely receive a diplomatic response from your employer.

Job Satisfaction FAQ and Statistics

  1. Why is job satisfaction important?

    Job satisfaction is important because you spend a great deal of your life at work, and being satisfied with how you spend that time greatly affects your overall satisfaction with life.

    From an employer’s perspective, satisfied employers are 13% more productive employees, and companies with high rates of job satisfaction are typically more profitable.

  2. How do I improve job satisfaction for my employees?

    To improve your employees’ job satisfaction, treat them with respect, make their jobs feel meaningful, pay them fairly, and provide them with autonomy and opportunity.

    According to Zippia’s data, feeling respected is necessary for 72% of employees to feel satisfied with their jobs, followed by the other, followed by the other items listed.

  3. What percentage of Americans are satisfied with their jobs?

    While 85% of US workers are happy with their jobs, only 49% of Americans are “very satisfied.” Strangely enough, while over 100 million Americans are at least somewhat satisfied with their jobs, at least 26% of employees want to leave their current jobs.

  4. What are the industries with the highest rates of job satisfaction?

    Roles in healthcare and the humanities typically report the highest rates of job satisfaction.

    Clergy report the highest job satisfaction rate at 90%, followed by English Teachers, Surgeons, Elementary School Administrators, Radiation Therapists, Chiropractors, and Psychiatrists.

  5. What factors are most important for job satisfaction?

    The two most important factors for job satisfaction are pay and a sense of meaning, according to employee self-reporting.

  6. Final Thoughts

    Keep in mind that your requests and concerns should be just. For example, if you recently received a raise, it might not be appropriate to request another one.

    Further, if your company provides a positive workplace culture, above-average benefits, or plenty of opportunities for advancement, you should analyze why you’re feeling dissatisfied. Is there something outside of the workplace causing you dissatisfaction?

    Even when you’re feeling frustrated, don’t curse out your company or lose your temper with customers to get your point across.

    Overall, you’ll be more satisfied and more successful when you have patience and know your worth. That way, you can approach your needs and discuss them in the most professional manner possible.

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Jack Flynn

Jack Flynn is a writer for Zippia. In his professional career he’s written over 100 research papers, articles and blog posts. Some of his most popular published works include his writing about economic terms and research into job classifications. Jack received his BS from Hampshire College.

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