There are a plethora of various companies in the entire world today. Every organisation has multiple competitors that try to attract the best employees in a certain professional sphere to their businesses because their output is dependent on their workers’ performance. In turn, there is almost no chance to succeed if employees are not satisfied with their positions or professional roles. There are several factors that influence a person’s overall impression of his or her job, and the same standards cannot be applied to every company. The following paper is intended to critically analyse and evaluate employees’ attitudes and job satisfaction, as well as their link to employee motivation and overall organisational behaviours, to understand the most efficient methods in organising the best working environment.
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Links Between Job Satisfaction and Motivation
Zheng et al. (2014) define job satisfaction “a subjective cognitive and affective judgment” regarding multiple facets of including “pay, promotion opportunities, supervision, and coworkers” (p. 428). Job satisfaction and other work-related attitudes are considered to be the major contributors to employee motivation and, consequently, enhanced performance and productivity (Dobre, 2013). To understand the correlation between them, it is essential to evaluate the major factors defining job satisfaction. An essential factor that has to be considered when identifying whether a person is satisfied with their job or not is his or her feedback, as well as overall relations and communication with colleagues and supervisors (Peng et al., 2014; Srivastava, 2013). Efficient and open communication helps colleagues understand one another and plan their professional collaboration accordingly. It is worth noticing that although organisational support is important in small companies, people pay less attention to the given aspect once their firm expands and becomes global (Zopiatis et al., 2014). At this point, the majority of workers usually adhere to various rules set by their employers beforehand. It would be proper to state that people who work for small companies usually feel happier than their peers from transnational corporations (Widmann et al., 2016). Local firms have more to accomplish and achieve in the future. Therefore, these organisations’ workers are more motivated to promote their working places and become successful.
Monetary compensation and reward is also an essential factor for job satisfaction (Zameer et al., 2014). When the labour of every employee is valued and based on the number of specific tasks accomplished by this person, he or she will be satisfied with this important aspect of one’s job (Cullen et al., 2013). However, it is necessary to remember that not all people deserve to receive high payments as their responsibilities may not be as complicated as those of their colleagues. Moreover, if a worker does not make any effort to show that his or her presence is important for the company one is employed by, this individual must be penalised for using the organisations’ resources and not bringing any benefits to it and its clients (Han, 2014). Every kind of labour must be evaluated according to what it brings to the society and what role does it play in gaining profit for the entire corporation.
The mentioned factors defining job satisfaction, i.e., rewards, relationships with colleagues, work autonomy, etc. are mainly related to the overall corporate environment, as well as work structure. However, when speaking about motivation, the role of internal, subjective, and psychological factors cannot be underestimated. Employee motivation as such is defined as “the inner force” driving a person to achieve formulated goals (Conrad et al., 2015, p. 93). So how do both external and internal factors interact to direct employees and increase their persistence in endeavours to achieve organisational objectives? Herzberg’s two-factor theory may answer this question.
In his theory, Herzberg suggests that employees’ behaviours are driven by intrinsic factors/motivators, such as achievement and recognition, and extrinsic/hygienic factors defined by physical and psycho-social conditions at the workplace, such as rewards and job security (Damij et al., 2015). The theorist considered that intrinsic factors could motivate employees much better than the external ones, yet the workplace hygiene can affect organisational behaviours by influencing job satisfaction. The findings by Lau and Roopnarain (2014), and Chermack et al. (2015) support Herzberg’s position: they state that when people are motivated to achieve some heights or reach new horizons in their primary responsibilities, they are thought to have more desire and passion for what they do. Loi et al. (2013) also note that it is also necessary to give workers a chance to be engaged in other professional activities they might be interested in, which will have a positive impact on their development and desire to improve their working environment and conditions.
Nevertheless, Stelzner and Schutte (2016) observe that many employees can regard external, financial factors as essential to motivation and job satisfaction as good and fair payment entails the sense of security and personal reward, and provides opportunities for advancement. The differences in researchers’ findings may indicate that it is necessary to understand employees’ preferences and needs well in order to develop an appropriate motivation strategy. For instance, Osborne and Hammoud (2017) state that while Millennials usually do not want to make personal sacrifices for career and tend to value monetary compensation, Baby Boomers are more oriented towards processes within companies and long-term partnerships with their organisations. Therefore, the assessment of demographic characteristics and personal values of workers can support the development of knowledge about the factors that promote positive organisational behaviours in them.
It is important to note that intrinsic motivators do not drive employee performance in many cases and some workers are likely to wait upon motivation from their superiors. Sometimes, people may have perception biases affecting their job satisfaction and desire to perform high-quality work, e.g., depression (Peters and Waterman, 1982). Therefore, managers should seek to identify the biases of these people and address them to prevent unproductive professional activities in future. Pascale and Athos (1981) claim that if employees are not satisfied with their jobs, it is essential to reshape their duties and help people change their personal lives. Also, it is important to analyse people’s skills and give them missions accordingly.
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Maslow’s hierarchy of needs provides a distinct perspective on the issue of job satisfaction and motivation. Maslow claims that employees have five levels of needs: physiological, security, social, ego, and self-actualising, while every higher step in the pyramid cannot be achieved if lower levels are not accomplished (Olafsen et al., 2015). In general words, it is implied that to motivate employees to self-actualisation through achievements and professional development, managers should first provide them with sufficient financial resources so that they could meet their physiological and security needs. However, similarly to the case with Herzberg’s two-factor model, it is possible to say that in order to implement the given theory in practice, managers should understand which organisational factors can help address different-level needs of diverse employees, as the theory fails to link the elements mentioned in the pyramid to particular managerial practices or environmental factors. Another difficulty arises when managers need to understand whether a subordinate has passed a particular stage in the pyramid or not (Miner, 2015). As such, there is not sufficient research evidence to support the idea of the hierarchical progression of motivations and satisfaction. It is also worth noticing that Maslow’s theory will not be efficient if employees prefer to develop regardless of their personal needs and other people’s expectations. Nowadays, many workers set their goals and try to reach them without any other considerations about their social statuses or human needs (Kane and Patapan, 2014). Therefore, Maslow’s model is generalized and cannot be applied similarly to all population groups.
Another set of theories similar to Maslow’s is the set of X and Y theories developed by McGregor, which are motivational models that aim at fulfilling the needs of the higher stages described above. It would be proper to mention that the X theory obliges managers to use penalties and other punishments to motivate their subordinates towards better performance (Gürbüz et al., 2014). In contrast, the Y theory leads to job satisfaction and is, in essence, more positive than the first approach. However, the method of penalising employees for an unsatisfactory work is somewhat awkward in the modern world because people are taught to analyse their deeds properly today and prevent the same failures in the future to gain credit among their colleagues, superiors, and clients (Jaros, 2016). Moreover, the imposition of penalties can be regarded as a demotivating practice as it increases the level of job-related distress. According to Hall et al., (2013), when the workplace is associated with numerous psychological hazards, such as the risk of penalising, employees tend to develop adverse psychological mindsets that contribute to dissatisfaction and poor performance. Thus, the analysis of X and Y theories clearly shows that a positive work environment is related to better job satisfaction and can lead to the activation of employee motivation.
According to the psychological theory of cognitive dissonance developed by Leon Festinger, all people strive to reduce various gaps, referred to as dissonances in the given study (Nelson and Quick, 2013). This encompasses any incompatibilities between one’s behaviour and attitudes. There are three factors that determine the strategies for coping with this issue: the importance of different elements that might lead to cognitive dissonances among managers and their employees (Judge et al., 2017), influencing people’s beliefs as to the factors that lead to these dissonances, and rewards that might have a significant impact on the development of multiple dissonances in one society (Yousef, 2016). Although the theory proposed by Leon Festinger is sound, it does not explain the main factors that might influence cognitive dissonances. Usually, this problem is known as a personal conflict in psychology, whereas the scholar proves that the issue can emerge among various people (Hambleton, 2014). Individuals experience cognitive dissonances when perceptions of a certain object or work by their brains and bodies contradict each other and cannot be synchronised.
The theory of A-B relationship is another important subject to consider. In this scheme, the letter A stands for attitudes, and the letter B is used for determining behaviours that might be caused by those attitudes (Goleman et al., 2016). However, such a theory might be considered only with the fact of moderating the presence of such variables as social pressures on employees, direct experience with a specific attitude (Wagner and Hollenbeck, 2015), accessibility of the attitude, the importance of the attitude (Dhar, 2015), the specificity of the attitude. In social communities, the factor of behaviour must be considered by every their member. It is necessary to mention that people behave themselves differently among a variety of fellowship circles (Braun et al., 2013). Therefore, the theory given above does not identify any new perspective on situations where colleagues disrespect one another and try to look better in the eyes of superiors for their peers’ deeds and accomplishments.
Lastly, according to McKinsey’s 7S framework of motivation, which comprises such elements as shared values, staff, systems, style, skills, strategy, and structure, professional managers must draw on every element of this theory to develop and take wise decisions regarding the improvement of job satisfaction in employees (Singh, 2013, p. 44). Such an approach is beneficial for detecting and identifying different changes in certain situations or a company in general. McKinsey’s theory has been practised by many beginner firms, where it did not turn out to be successful (Daft, 2014). It is claimed to be interruptive regarding the primary working process. This theory requires paying much attention to it, whereas the main goals in job satisfaction can be hardly achieved with its help (Lee et al., 2015). However, some elements given above are beneficial for the general development of employees and their working environment in general.
The evaluated theories reveal that workplace-related factors defining job satisfaction substantially determine the degree of employee motivation. In general, the theories indicate that highly satisfied employees usually become more motivated, while those workers whose preferred job-related needs are not satisfied are associated with lower work engagement. The theoretical premises are supported by research evidence. For instance, Zheng et al. (2014) state that a person’s attitudes towards work-related factors affect his/her self-regulation behaviours, namely, the ability to modify behaviours in response to challenges and environmental changes, which, in their turn, are directly linked to motivation. Such factors as job insecurity mediated by the lack of manager-employee communication, poorly defined responsibilities and objectives, etc., are associated with low levels of self-regulation among employees. Additionally, Fisher (2010) observes that emotional experiences during work and emotional evaluations of job features affect the level of one’s organisational commitment and job engagement, directly influencing the overall employee performance and behaviours.
The organisational commitment remains a critical part of job attitudes and employees’ work satisfaction, playing a tremendous role in people’s understanding of personal significance and importance (Hülsheger et al., 2013). In general, it can be identified as a worker’s desire to contribute to the professional activity of any business. Thus, it is associated with employee motivation and positive organisational behaviour. Three major dimensions of organisational commitment can be identified. Affective commitment is a desire to remain a part of one’s organisation on a regular basis and believe in its further prosperity. Continuance commitment is a comparison of values and benefits that might be obtained at other workplaces in contrast to those in the present occupation (Daft, 2014). As a result, people see more advantages in being employed by their firms, regardless of their positions in the market. Normative commitment is the individual’s will to maintain his or her professional activity in a certain company under any circumstances due to specific values, goals, and moral norms.
Successful companies are more likely to develop commitment in their workers, make them satisfied with their jobs and other things related to their positions as they understand that such an approach to the entire working process makes the atmosphere among colleagues less stressful and nervous (Hülsheger et al., 2013). Apple is an example of a successful enterprise that acknowledges the significance of job satisfaction. As one of the biggest and most successful corporations in the world, it uses a comprehensive motivation strategy that addressed all steps identified within Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to promote positive behaviours in workers. To ensure that the company’s employees do not have any unsatisfied physiological needs, Apple pays managers one hundred and ten thousand dollars in annual salary (Barnett, 2015). Moreover, the human resources department of this electronics company provides all necessary insurance benefits and covers employees’ medical expenses as needed. Also, Apple offices are equipped with various security applications and devices to maintain workplace safety (Haslam et al., 2014). The plans of the corporation include the improvement of relationships between workers and supervisors to address the belonging needs of employees. To fulfil people’s self-esteem needs, the organisation’s managers decided to give from three to five percent recognition bonuses. In the end, Apple’s best employees are given a chance to contribute to educational processes and various development programmes that are aimed at teaching students who might specialise the sphere of electronic gadgets in the future.
Impacts on Organisational Behaviour
Discussed motivational theories can be implemented in practice in many ways depending on the context and overall features of the employee population. According to Ho and Nesbit (2014), there are several Chinese companies that developed their own approaches based on job satisfaction theories. Perhaps the approach discussed below is somewhat uncommon for Europeans or Americans as people of Asian cultural background have other values and goals in life. The managers of the companies discussed in the research by Ho and Nesbit (2014) let their employees practise self-leadership to satisfy their professional needs. “Self-leadership consists of three distinct but complementary categories of strategies—behaviour-focused, natural reward, and constructive thought pattern strategies—through which people control their own actions and thinking to reach personal and organisational goals” (Ho and Nesbit, 2014, p. 342). It means that when individuals are given the freedom to do something, their minds become concentrated on provided tasks as they treat these activities as their own projects or creations.
It would be proper to examine the attitudes and job satisfaction hypotheses used by nine modern Chinese businesses with the help of the anthropological method. At the very beginning, Asian corporations thought that self-leadership influences workers’ satisfaction as they are allowed to decide how to perform their daily duties (Cha et al., 2015). As the time passed by and local managers gained some experience in the given question, they arrived at the point of view that autonomic job also improves behaviours of people at work and their general performance rate (Caldwell and Hasan, 2016). Nowadays, these businesses stick to the hypothesis, which supports the idea of allocating various tasks and responsibilities among workers and let them control their time and resources required for its completion (Jaques, 2017). Usually, employees show decent results and manage to save more time and corporate financial means.
The research findings indicate that managers should understand which factors can contribute to better job satisfaction in their employees and which job-related features they can value most, for instance, work autonomy, recognition of achievements through rewards, and so on. By emphasising and actualising those factors at the workplace, managers can mediate the subjective emotional and psychological perception of the work environment, job, and organisation as a whole. Consequently, a positive attitude will translate into individuals who desire to perform better and thrive within the organisation. Overall, to achieve such positive behavioural outcomes, managers must perfectly align the elements of the work environment, personal attitudes/values/objectives, and organisational goals.
Every worker must be motivated to perform his or her work accurately and professionally. One’s attitude and job satisfaction are connected to employees’ productivity and readiness to engage in their working processes with extra effort and strong desires to develop in a particular sphere. The factors mentioned above are considered to play a major role in people’s personal lives, and their success at work might also have significant impacts on their mood and relationships with relatives. There are many theories developed by various scholars to resolve the problem of people’s job dissatisfaction and behaviour at working places. Nevertheless, none of the models presented in the paper can be claimed unique or original. All of them have particular drawbacks and positive effects on relationships among employees. To make the best of the learned information, it would be proper to use several theories at the same time to make the working process balanced. As long as one theory is efficient for colleagues’ communication and desire to work together, another one can be responsible for their mood and attitudes towards their duties.
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