What Is Job Satisfaction? Factors, Benefits, How to Improve

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 29 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Job satisfaction is essential to keep you motivated and engaged in pursuing your career. It involves experiencing satisfaction with your role and working environment. Learning what job satisfaction is and understanding the role it plays in your career can help you improve it so you can make the most out of your career. In this article, we define job satisfaction, explain its importance, list the factors affecting job satisfaction and provide steps to improve it.

What is job satisfaction?

Job satisfaction is a positive feeling resulting from working and performing your job duties. It may vary depending on work style, occupation and goals. For example, one person in a company might experience job satisfaction because they enjoy their daily tasks, while another might not because they're not receiving adequate mental stimulation.

Benefits of job satisfaction

Review the following reasons why job satisfaction is important:

Increases productivity

Employees' attitude toward their jobs affects how productive they are, leading to a productivity change. When individuals experience job satisfaction, they're more productive and creative, which increases a company's productivity. This often results in customer satisfaction and increased company profits.

Related: 12 Strategies for Increased Productivity (With Definition)

Reduces employee turnover

Employees satisfied with their positions and work environment usually retain employment within the company. Factors such as job security and advancement opportunities encourage them to remain loyal to the company and progress their careers within it. This leads to a reduction in employee turnover.

Related: What Is Employee Retention and How to Improve It (With Steps)

Decreases operating costs

Employees who lack job satisfaction may leave their position or require further training. These lead to increased human resources costs, such as hiring and retraining expenses. A workforce with high job satisfaction leads to a decrease in these costs.

Factors affecting job satisfaction

Explore the following factors that affect job satisfaction:

Work environment

Employees may feel satisfied with their job if the office culture encourages inclusivity, kindness and professionalism. They also experience satisfaction from effective leadership and communication from superiors, including guidance about work projects, communication about company goals, mentorship and valuable feedback. The physical workspace also affects an employee's job satisfaction. Providing employees with ergonomic workstations and equipment they require to perform their jobs effectively, such as laptops or protective gear, can increase their job satisfaction.

Related: What Is a Good Work Environment? (Plus Other FAQs)

Salary and benefits

Individuals get job satisfaction from receiving a salary that adequately compensates for their time, efforts and expertise. If an employee knows that individuals in similar positions in the industry receive more pay than them, they may feel dissatisfied. Employees who receive practical benefits also experience job satisfaction. Examples of employee benefits include bonuses and incentives, paid leave, health benefits, housing allowances, transport reimbursements and childcare benefits.

Related: What Are Employee Benefits and 17 Types of Employee Benefits

Recognition and respect

It's essential for employees to receive recognition and appreciation for their contributions. They also experience satisfaction when they feel others respect their ideas and opinions and implement them into projects. There are several ways superiors can recognise employees' efforts:

  • organising parties for the staff to thank them for successful projects

  • giving non-cash rewards, such as concert tickets, gift cards and custom plaques or trophies

  • acknowledging them in person or through internal email announcements and company meetings

  • allowing employees to introduce enjoyable elements to their work life, such as casual wear on specific weekdays

Work-life balance

Employees value a career that allows them to pursue personal interests and goals. Creating a work culture that enables them to maintain boundaries between their professional and personal lives can increase job satisfaction. A healthy work-life balance reduces stress levels and promotes mental well-being, which can lead to improved productivity.

Related: Tips for Better Work-Life Balance

Challenges

Employees often find job satisfaction in receiving new responsibilities that challenge them mentally. There are a few ways to challenge employees to increase job satisfaction, including:

  • Job rotation: Temporarily shifting employees to other positions to gain new skills and experiences by performing different tasks can be beneficial. For example, new doctors work in various specialities to gain exposure.

  • Job enrichment: This involves expanding employees' responsibilities and giving them autonomy over their tasks. For example, an editor can allow writers to oversee their own editing and proofreading to gain new skills and make their job more interesting.

  • Job enlargement: Job enlargement includes adding job duties to an employee's current job description. For example, a social media assistant previously in charge of two social media accounts now oversees five accounts.

Job security

According to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, there are different factors that motivate human behaviour. This hierarchy contains five levels, the second being safety needs, which consist of job security and financial stability. Job security involves feeling secure about your job position and lacking fear that you may experience dismissal or layoffs. When employees feel safe in their jobs, it gives them job satisfaction and improves their productivity.

Related: Implementing the Maslow Motivation Theory (With Tips and FAQs)

Career advancement

Employees experience more job satisfaction when they know their career path involves promotions. It's essential to inform employees about promotion policies so they know how to earn them and when to expect them. This motivates them to take on extra responsibilities and increase productivity.

Related: Career Advancement Strategies (With Steps and Tips)

How to improve job satisfaction

The following steps can help you improve job satisfaction:

1. Recognise your contributions

Think about the contributions you've made in your career and the successful outcomes you've had. Seeing the value you're adding to your job and recognising its positive impact can improve your job satisfaction. Reward yourself for these contributions as motivation to continue achieving career success.

Read more: How to Answer, 'When Were You Most Satisfied in Your Job?'

2. Develop a positive outlook

When you experience challenges at work, envision yourself solving them and achieving a successful outcome. Remember that the challenging situation is temporary and that you can manage it. Use potential benefits, such as higher pay or awards, to encourage you to keep going.

3. Pursue your passion

Pursue a career for which you have passion and interest. Do something you enjoy every day. When creating your daily or weekly schedule, plan for these activities within it. For example, if you're a writer and are passionate about your job, write a new piece regularly. This helps you improve your writing skills and allows you to continue pursuing your passion, giving you job satisfaction.

Related: Tips on How to Find Your Passion in Your Profession

4. Help others

Helping your colleagues can add meaning to your purpose at work, improving your job satisfaction. Consider signing up as a mentor if the company has a mentorship programme or begin mentoring some of your junior colleagues. You can also assist your colleagues with their projects or take on new projects once you complete pending ones.

5. Socialise with colleagues

Find colleagues who enjoy their work and socialise with them. Their positive attitude can influence yours and increase your job satisfaction. Healthy peer relationships also contribute to an optimal work environment, improving job satisfaction.

6. Introduce a self-care routine

Self-care is essential to maintaining your physical and mental well-being. It involves performing activities you enjoy that relax and energise you to keep pursuing your goals. Examples of self-care include:

  • Setting boundaries: This involves setting time for work and your personal life and ensuring that neither interferes with the other. It allows you to enjoy a work-life balance, improving job satisfaction.

  • Having hobbies: Consider finding new hobbies or creating more time for your current ones. Examples include exercising, pursuing music, creating art, travelling and dancing.

  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle: This involves eating healthy meals and snacks, hydrating adequately and getting enough rest. Include these items in your daily schedule to build a routine.

  • Creating routines: Develop a schedule incorporating your work tasks and personal goals and practise performing them daily. This enables you to build habits that promote a suitable lifestyle, improving your job satisfaction.

Related: How to Make Time for Self-Care While Working from Home

7. Set new goals

Setting new goals gives you something to work towards, which can improve your job satisfaction. Analyse your career and determine what you want to achieve. Examples include seeking a promotion, gaining new skills and certifications, earning leadership roles and creating new projects. Develop long- and short-term goals and create objectives so you know what you require to achieve them.

Related: How to Set Personal Development Goals (Plus Benefits and Tips)

8. Find new challenges

When you experience monotony or boredom in your job, find ways to make it more exciting. Consider asking your superior for a job rotation opportunity for a position you think you'd enjoy. You can also ask for a new, more challenging project to stimulate your mind.

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