This study aimed at examining the relationship between communication, as an independent variable, and job satisfaction, as the dependent variable. The study analyzed previous studies on communication and job satisfaction in a bid to establish any relation between communication and employee job satisfaction. Also, the study looked at the case study of Emirates Group in the United Arab Emirates.
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A survey was carried out in seven departments of Emirates Group to investigate the level of satisfaction of employees in different departments. The results of the case study were compared with the results from the literature review, to find any form of correlation. It was evident that there is a positive relationship between organizational communication and employee job satisfaction. The study discovered that communication serves as the bridge between employees and the realization of their satisfaction in any organization, and thus improves the working condition of the workers. From the literature analysis, it was evident that communication is a primary part of any organization, and thus the management should enhance effective communication through off-work relationships, and conducting events and workshops.
The study found out that to ensure high levels of employee job satisfaction, organizational management should embrace effective time management. As well, friendly work relationships, employee recognition, and personal recognition especially for employees who show excellent performance are significant. Thus, the study recommended that the organization should regularly research the factors that influence employee job satisfaction, to set up the necessary measures for improving employee performance and job satisfaction.
Effective communication plays a significant role in the workplace (Abdulla, Djebarni & Mellahi 2011). Many people tend to miss an important appointment because of a missed call or an email. In any workplace setting, many conflicts result from poor communication. Effective communication involves paralinguistic cues, body language, and actual words. However, research has shown that most human communication comprises a high percentage of paralinguistic cues and body language.
Usually, poor communication reduces the level of output for the affected company or organization. Employees that are highly motivated tend to work extra hard to ensure that their performance is high. In this paper, the primary focus is on the case study of Emirates Group, in the United Arab Emirates. Here, the aim is to carry out an analysis of the role of job satisfaction in an organization’s performance.
Air transport is one of the most important sectors of any society. The transport sector must work efficiently to give the best to society. As such, the employees in the aviation industry are supposed to be satisfied since job satisfaction has a considerable and direct effect on employee output. For this reason, it is important to ensure that the personnel within air transport are satisfied with the duties given to them considering they deal with very sensitive issues. Thus, the case study will look into how Emirates Group can maintain a high percentage of employee job satisfaction by ensuring the maintenance of effective communication at all levels of the organization.
The productivity of any given organization depends on the performance of employees. However, the level of performance is often determined by how satisfied the employees are with their job. The study had the following objectives:
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- To find out how communication relates to job satisfaction.
- To examine the workplace environment of Emirates Group, to find out how job satisfaction affects the productivity of Emirates Group and draw conclusions.
- To evaluate the findings from the study to establish how the results relate to previous studies on employee’s job satisfaction and communication.
Case Overview-Emirates Group
Research has shown that Emirates Group is one of the hard-working international aviation companies that are helping the travelers a great deal, as far as air transport is concerned (Abdulla, Djebarni & Mellahi 2011). According to Bhatt (2011), Emirates Group has been cited as being forward in terms of thinking and its commitment to the welfare of the travelers surpasses that of other Groups in the United Arab Emirates currently. As a result of its commitment to society, Emirates Group has been recognized both internationally and locally because it makes use of quality management systems.
The rationale behind the Choice of Emirates Group
The operations of any aviation company’s department involve a lot of communication. Effective communication is an important aspect in that it helps in ensuring that all sectors of any given organization are coordinated as expected. The choice of Emirates Group in this case study was appropriate because communication within the air travel is essential. Such is the case, especially in the provision of quality services to the public, as well as ensuring that its employees are satisfied with the work they do. Emirates Group concentrates more on the employees, primarily working towards the improvement of the employee’s level of job satisfaction as a means of enhancing their productivity while providing excellent services to the public (Bhatt 2011). Besides, Emirates Group employs thousands of employees, and this implies that effective communication is necessary for any organization.
Communication refers to the process whereby concerned parties reach a mutual agreement through the exchange of feelings, ideas, news, and information (Czech & Forward 2013). Effective communication plays a significant role in the workplace. Its significance can is attributable to the fact that through communication, different people can share meaningful ideas through the transmission of symbolic messages.
Since communication is a process of transmission of message and understanding of information between two or more persons, a message must be passed from one party and received by the other. As such, communication is a process through which people are connected. In the business context, communication plays a significant role in the operations of any business since it links employees and the departments within an organization. However, Czech and Forward (2013) pointed out that communication failure and miscommunication are the major problems affecting effective communication.
In organizational behavior, the general attitude of employees towards work, often referred to as job satisfaction is of great significance (Giri & Pavan 2010). As such, job satisfaction is a form of individual feeling, as well as the outlook that a given person has about a job that they are doing. Also, job satisfaction refers to the perceptions that are likely to affect the level of confidence among employees in terms of the quality of work they are doing. According to Robbins and Judge (2013), job satisfaction can be measured through the assessment of several factors of a given person’s job. Some of these factors include job supervision, promotion, pay, co-workers’ behavior, and the work itself. It is thus evident that a person can be satisfied with one aspect of a given job but be dissatisfied with other aspects of the same job.
The systematic planning of actions that are applied in the collection of information and subsequent analysis of data in a logical manner that helps in the realization of a study’s purpose is called the study design. Examples of study designs include descriptive, cross-sectional, experimental, and explorative researches. Research methodology refers to the principles and processes that a researcher applies to collect data that can be utilized in decision-making, in business and social settings. This study as such used the interpretative research philosophy since it focuses on a case study of Emirates Group.
Additionally, the study was conscious of time and thus combined both deductive and inductive approaches, which was preferred because of its flexibility in the process of scrutinizing the existing literature on this subject. The study was able to explore all the research objectives using mixed qualitative methods.
Data Sources and Collection Methods
The study adopted the mixed methods approach to data collection on the subject of study. The choice of the mixed methods data approach was suitable in this context. Such an approach allowed the study to be flexible as well as overlap in its analysis between the research questions to collect data that was consistent with the research objectives. As a result, the type of data collection that would ensure that comprehensive data is gathered was applied.
According to Denzin and Lincoln (2008), the research strategies adopted in any study are instrumental in deciding the choice of method of data collection. These authors also attribute the selection of the point of collection, and the person to research the research strategies applied in a given study. The main types of data sources used in the study included both primary and secondary sources.
Primary sources refer to the first-hand source of data that can be obtained by the researcher using primary data collection methods such as observation, interviews, and questionnaires. Secondary sources of data, on the other hand, refer to second-hand sources, whereby information is often in record form and are thus stored in materials such as books. In this study, the use of both primary and secondary data sources helped relate the subject understudy to the existing literature.
The study looked at the existing literature on communication and job satisfaction in an organization. Several scholarly sources were analyzed. These included books and journals tackling the aspect of communication and job satisfaction, and the role that they play in improving the performance of employees and the general productivity of an organization.
The primary sources of data included both interviews and questionnaires. Questionnaires were drafted to collect in-depth information on the relationship between communication and job satisfaction. According to Denzin and Lincoln (2008), questionnaires are useful research instruments that can be applied in the collection of information to gain insights into the attitudes and perceptions of participants of any study.
They are suitable for the exploration of personal differences, experiences, and outcomes. Also, surveys were used in this study. The study used guided questions, as they would probe to get accurate information from the respondents. The guided questionnaire thus had questions that were clear and succinct and in line with the research objectives. Depending on the logistical challenges, the questionnaires were administered either on a face-to-face basis or through e-mail.
The information collected in the process was typed, recorded, and preserved for analysis. The use of questionnaires was significant for this study since the method enabled the collection of in-depth information regarding the relationship between communication and job satisfaction. However, before the actual study, it was necessary to brief the participants of the study on the aims and objectives of the study. Briefing the participants was significant since it gave the respondents an insight into their role, as well as allowed them to be free while answering the list of questions. The questionnaire was prepared in English and subdivided into different parts.
Here a 5-point scale range was adopted with the questionnaire being developed in the Likert-format whereby strongly agree formed one end and strongly disagree built the other end. The test of validity, accuracy, as well as reliability of this data collection instrument, was subject to a pilot study. During the pilot study, the questionnaire was administered to three departments, and the score was 0.8 to 0.9.
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There are a lot of literature materials published about job satisfaction and the role of communication in any organization (Robbins & Judge 2013). In this section, the focus was on finding studies that explain the two variables (communication and job satisfaction). A lot of studies have been established that seek to explain the meaning of job satisfaction, as well as how it relates to communication. Despite thousands of studies done on this subject, there is no uniform definition of job satisfaction.
Ellickson and Logsdon (2001) noted that there is a close link between job satisfaction and high productivity levels, commitment to the concerned organization, reduced absenteeism rate, employee turnover, and high organizational efficiency. Employees’ productivity, creativity, skill, and effort are influenced by organizational benefits offered to employees. In the concept of corporate interests, job satisfaction is affected by the fact that organizations need to fulfill the humanitarian interests of workers. According to Ellickson and Logsdon (2001), such interests are guided by the idea that organizations are required to maximize the physical, as well as psychological wellbeing of employees.
However, it is important to note that there are adverse outcomes associated with employee’s low job satisfaction. Some of these effects include customer dissatisfaction, decreased profits, increased costs, and withdrawal behavior.
A review of the literature on job satisfaction and the factors responsible for different job satisfaction levels indicated that job satisfaction can be approached from different perspectives; the content perspective and the process perspective. Foster (2000) pointed out that the content approach sees job satisfaction in the light of fulfilling needs while the other perspective embraces the cognitive process that leads to the high levels of job satisfaction. The content approach is based on the fact that all people are equal and that their needs are similar. However, the process perspective does not recognize the role of human needs in job satisfaction.
It emphasizes the cognitive process that explains either the satisfaction or dissatisfaction of employees in the workplace (Tuzun 2013). Despite the different approaches to the subject of job satisfaction in the workplace, the two perspectives complement one another. As such, the two views indicate that some demographic and environmental factors are related to job satisfaction in an organizational setting. One of the primary factors is effective communication. Despite the belief that job satisfaction is all about the good pay, availability of fair appraisal systems, and promotions, lack of effective communication can cause a lot of dissatisfaction among employees in a workplace. Whenever employees are not satisfied, the chances are high that their level of productivity reduces.
According to Vinnicombe (2005), even though organizational communication is paramount in any organization, many organizations tend to show little attention regarding the role of communication in job satisfaction. In this article, it is evident that there is a direct relationship between communication and job satisfaction. This relationship can be seen in the context of functionality. As such, it is considered as an intervening variable as far as the role of communication is concerned.
Besides, Vinnicombe (2005) noted that several communication factors influence the level of job satisfaction. Some of these factors include personal feedback, communication climate, as well as the relationship of employees with their superiors. Effective communication plays a significant role in ensuring that employees in any organization are highly satisfied.
It is important to investigate the role of communication on job satisfaction (Czech & Forward 2013). According to Czech and Forward (2013), organizational communication plays a significant role in determining the level of employees’ job satisfaction. However, these authors pointed out that the degree of employee satisfaction can be different depending on departments in an organization. Such scenarios can be attributed to the fact that different employees have different opinions on the communication styles of their supervisors.
Besides, an organization’s communication system, content, as well as its credibility influence the level of employees’ job satisfaction. In the article, Communication, Leadership, and Job Satisfaction: Perspectives on Supervisor-Subordinate Relationships, Czech and Forward (2013) pointed out that effective leadership is characteristic of effective communication. As such, this translates to satisfied employees and hence quality performance. As such, lack of clear communication adversely affects the performance of workers in the duties assigned to them.
There are different dimensions of communications. Some of these include communication load and directionality. The directionality aspect involves the upward, lateral, as well as downward movement of information within an organization. Vries (2006) investigated the relationship between job performance and individual job congruence. According to Vries (2006), communication load and communication directionality moderate both job performance and personal job congruence.
Communication load takes consideration of both the under-load and the overload. Thus, the mode of communication in any organization matters a lot considering that the relationship between supervisors and employees can vary depending on different circumstances. For a case of a positive association between employees and their supervisors, it is expected that a high level of job satisfaction can be registered. On the other hand, the negative relationship between employees and supervisors can be detrimental in that it lowers the level of job satisfaction among employees. Thus, it can be seen that the flow of information from the supervisors to the employees should be adequate.
Such a state leaves a feeling of self-confidence and comfort in the workplace, which acts as a motivation the employees to work extra hard. Tuzun (2013) pointed out that even though communication, in general, is significant in a workplace, it is only assertive communication style that has the potential of offering employees the required level of support. As such, support and active communication from the supervisors build a robust emotional bond between the employees and the supervisors. As a result, cases of absenteeism reduce with the increase in employees’ feelings of self-control, self-worth, and a sense of self-direction (Abdulla et al. 2011).
Employees, on the other hand, develop a sense that they are indebted to the supervisors, and can only pay such support through appropriate behavior aimed at achieving the organization’s goals. According to Bhatt (2011), a conducive environment pushes employees into the exploitation of their full potential. Full exploitation of employee potential leads to the improvement of performance within the workplace, as well as the attainment of a higher level of job satisfaction.
From the literature analysis, it was evident that communication and job satisfaction is related to the aspects of participation satisfaction, as well as communication satisfaction. The implication is that high-level employees lead to high participation, considering that the involvement of workers in decision-making influence job satisfaction in an organization. In conclusion, it suffices from the literature reviewed that effective communication in a workplace is very crucial in the realization of high levels of employee job satisfaction (Giri & Pavan 2010). On the other hand, the lack of effective communication leads to considerably low levels of job satisfaction. Thus, the mode of, and channels of communication within an organization are critical in determining communication efficacy.
The questionnaires were distributed to the seven departments of Emirates Group. The departments of Emirates Group include the marketing department, operations department, customer service department, human resource department, sales department, accounting department, and the legal department. As such, 420 questionnaires were distributed to the employees of every department, with only 378 out of the 420 being useful for the research study since they were filled according to the inclusion criteria proposed.
The 378 questionnaires represented about 90% of the target population for the study. The study did not delve into more details to establish reasons for refusal or even any characteristics for the same. However, the typical high response rate may be an indication of how the subject of communication and job satisfaction was significant for the study area. The remaining 42 questionnaires were not filled. Some subsections were omitted, and hence the 42 questionnaires were not fit for the study.
There were different departments, and thus, the response rate was different for each one of the seven departments of Emirates Group. The response rate was 60%, 78%, 79%, 82%, 75%, 68%, and 90% for the marketing department, operations department, customer service department, human resource department, sales department, accounting department, and the human resource department respectively.
All the distributed questionnaires were collected, and the observations recorded as indicated below.
The response from the marketing department indicated that 50% of the workers in this department were satisfied with the mode and channels of communication. Nevertheless, about 46% of the employees reported that they were not pleased with the level of communication in this department. The rest of the employees (4%) were neutral as far as the degree of communication in the department was concerned. The study established that the level of job satisfaction of 90% of the employees was affected by the communication level.
According to the study, 53% of the employees in the operations department are strongly satisfied with the mode and channels of communication. However, 43% of the employees felt that the level of communication in this department was not satisfactory while 4% of the employees were neutral. The analysis of satisfaction level and participants’ perception of communication level revealed that 96% of the employees admitted that communication is significant in determining the level of employees’ job satisfaction.
Customer Service Department
An analysis of the participants’ response from the customer service department of administrative affairs shows that 64% of the employees are strongly satisfied with the mode and channels of communication in this department while 31% of the employees were strongly dissatisfied. Also, 5% of the employees were neutral, and 91% indicated that communication plays a significant role in employees’ job satisfaction.
Results from the sales department recorded 56% satisfied employees, 39% dissatisfied, and 5% were neutral as far as the communication level is concerned in this department. Also, 87% of the employees pointed out that communication is an important aspect that influences the degree of employees’ job satisfaction.
The study found out that 60% of the employees in this department were satisfied with the level of communication while 32% were not satisfied. However, 8% of the employees were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied. Nevertheless, 88% of the employees shared the opinion that communication was an essential part of job satisfaction.
According to the questionnaire results, 56% of the employees were strongly satisfied with the nature of communication within the department. On the other hand, 40% of the employees were strongly dissatisfied with the nature of communication in the department. Only 4% of workers were neutral as far as the subject of communication was concerned. Moreover, 91% of the employees agreed that communication is one of the primary factors that influence the degree of job satisfaction in the workplace.
General Department of Human Resources
The results from the general department of human resources in Emirates Group indicated that 76% of the employees were strongly satisfied with the nature of communication within the department. On the other hand, 22% of the employees were strongly dissatisfied with the nature of communication in the department. Only 2% of workers were neutral as far as the subject of communication was concerned. Additionally, 91% of the employees agreed that communication is one of the primary factors that influence the degree of job satisfaction in the workplace.
The table below shows data on the response from participants in all departments of Emirates Group. As can be seen, different departments registered various levels of satisfaction with the nature of communication in each department.
Table 1: Data on the response from participants in all departments of Emirates Group.
|Department||Supervisors attend to employee’s suggestions||The expectations of supervisors from employees are clear|
|Customer services department||Agree||78%||70%|
|Human Resources department||Agree||82%||49%|
The table below outlines the level of satisfaction in percentage for all the seven departments of Emirates Group.
Table 2: Table showing data on the level of satisfaction in percentage for all the seven departments of Emirates Group.
|Department||Level of satisfaction|
|Customer services Department||78%|
|Human Resources Department||82%|
According to the analysis of the responses from the seven departments of Emirates Group, it was evident that there were varying levels of satisfaction from one department to the other. The Human Resources department had the highest percentage of satisfied employees, while the lowest level of satisfaction was registered in the accounting and operations department.
The table below shows the interview questions for the two variables used in the study.
|Variable: Communication||Variable: Job Satisfaction|
| ||vii. Are employees supposed to be trained by the company about effective communication?|
| ||viii. Do you think there is a relationship between communication and job satisfaction? Explain|
| ||ix. Do you get satisfaction from your job?|
| ||x. Do you think the level of job satisfaction affects how you communicate with clients?|
| ||xi. Is there an incident whereby communication from your supervisors motivated you or made you happy? Explain|
| ||xii. Is there an incident whereby communication from your supervisors left you dissatisfied or made you unhappy? Explain|
The participants of the study indicated that a friendly environment is important in a workplace setting since it affects communication among workers. According to the responses, hostility within the workplace can lead to poor communication. As a result, the achievement of the set objectives becomes quite hard. Besides, the lack of respect among employees and their seniors inhibits effective communication. However, in a setting whereby the environment is friendly and parties respect one another, there is a possibility that communication will be effective.
An analysis of the response from the participants of the study on employee job satisfaction at Emirates Group indicated that there were different satisfaction levels from various departments. In their explanation, the participants showed that poor communication along with incompetence from the management can be a challenge to the achievement of high levels of job satisfaction among the employees. The study indicated that the human resources department had the highest level of employee job satisfaction.
This was attributed to the fact that the human resources department deals directly with personnel, and thus there was the need to ensure that all employees are highly satisfied. The human resources department is comprised of managers with quality skills in management and efficient communication. Additionally, the managers in this department focus on a friendly environment, which ensures that employees are at ease with their supervisors. The results from the literature review were in line with the outcome of the case study.
The level of employee satisfaction for the customer services department was relatively high. According to the case analysis, this is one of the largest departments of Emirates Group, after the human resources department. The customer services department is tasked with major operations concerned with customer concerns. For this reason, its employees are required to be highly satisfied to ensure that they are highly productive. Thus, the organization achieves employee satisfaction by ensuring that there is effective communication between the employees and their supervisors. With effective communication, the employees can raise their concerns, which are addressed efficiently leading to a friendly environment that is necessary for improved performance.
Many researchers and scholars have been actively involved in the establishment of a link between the job satisfaction of employees and communication in any given organization. For this reason, understanding the factors, as well as the consequences resulting from job satisfaction is an important step. In this case, a study was conducted based on a case study of Emirates Group. The primary aim of the study was to examine the relationship between communication, as an independent variable, and job satisfaction, as the dependent variable.
The study analyzed previous studies on communication and job satisfaction in a bid to establish how communication and employee job satisfaction are related. As such, the focus of the study was on Emirates Group. A survey of the operations of seven departments in the company was carried. The study aimed to establish the level of job satisfaction in each department, as well as determine whether communication had any role in attaining the different levels of job satisfaction.
From the analysis of both the case of Emirates Group and existing literature on the subject, it was evident that both demographic and environmental factors have a significant effect on employee job satisfaction. However, narrowing on communication, the study revealed that the mode of communication, as well as the channels used in the passage of information from the sender to receiver, is quite important. Communication should thus be effective in all ways; between vendors and employees, employees and employers, employees and customers, across departments, and between workers and managers.
The study found out that enhancing positive interaction between the employees and their supervisors is a significant method to achieve a high level of employee satisfaction level. In this regard, supervisors are required to treat employees with dignity and fulfill the employees’ interpersonal and functional needs. Also, it was evident from the study that upward, downward, and lateral communication is necessary for any organization. It implies that supervisors should be open and ready to seek any form of clarification from their juniors.
As such, if supervisors are not willing to seek any explanation from their juniors, it is more likely that such supervisors cannot communicate effectively with employees. For this reason, achieving high levels of job satisfaction in such a workforce can be quite hard. On the other hand, organizations that apply effective communication often have better teamwork, which translates to an improvement of performance and employee job satisfaction.
Following the literature and case study analysis, it is evident that the management of Emirates Group and other organizations that fall in this category need some improvement. The study found out that communication serves as a bridge between employees and the realization of their satisfaction in any organization, and thus improves the working condition of the workers. The level of job satisfaction for employees cannot be at its maximum, and, for this reason, there is a need to ensure that employees are at their highest level of satisfaction ever. Outlined below are some of the recommendations to enhance effective communication and employee job satisfaction in the workplace.
Management of time is an important aspect of any organization. In the case of Emirates Group, the management should ensure that its employees use the available time effectively. However, of importance is to make sure that the managers have time for their employees. Spending time with the employees provides a sense of openness, which helps the employees to share ideas with the management that can help improve both the performance and productivity of the organization. Also, managers setting time to be with their employees offers validation, recognition, and provides a platform for employees’ support. Such a platform is achievable through listening to the workers’ ideas, concerns, and suggestions, as well as giving them the necessary advice.
Flexible working hours
Supervisors should recognize how worth employees’ time and time offs are to the employees and the general organization. The employees get an opportunity to strike a balance between their work responsibilities and personal obligations. Such an analysis helps the employees to improve teamwork and communication skills through personal evaluation.
There is a common belief that people need to be appreciated for their work. Organizations that offer motivations and personal recognition to their employees through awards and personal praise often maintain a hardworking team. Personal recognition gives employees a sense of being appreciated and value for their effort in the organization, which has the potential for improving the performance of employees.
Research job satisfaction
Various factors influence job satisfaction in any workplace apart from communication. As such, the management ought to research to establish the factors that affect employee job satisfaction within the organization. Such research can help the management install measures that can assist in improving the level of job satisfaction among employees. However, the management must involve its employees in the research by considering their opinions about what makes them satisfied with their work. The results of the analysis can help set up measures necessary to improve the productivity of the employees in the organization.
Enhance effective communication
As evident from the study, effective communication is an important factor that influences employee level of job satisfaction. As such, the management should ensure that communication between employees and their supervisors is friendly and open. Such openness allows both the organization and the employees to share their ideas for improving the performance and productivity of the organization while ensuring that the employees are highly satisfied in the workplace. Effective communication helps the management to communicate policies, tasks, priorities, and deadlines to employees, which then translates to the achievement of organizational set goals and objectives.
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