Job satisfaction is a measure of an employee’s attitude towards their job. Employers use questionnaires and surveys to assess the degree to which employees like or dislike the various aspects of their work. Job satisfaction covers a wide range of factors, including the tasks that employees have, the work environment, and the terms and conditions of employment.
Satisfied employees are less likely to seek alternative employment. In March 2010, the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment estimated that the cost of replacing an employee is US$ 7,000. Employers can reduce their costs by retaining experienced employees. In addition, employees who leave take their knowledge and skills away from the company. New employees will need time to develop skills and gain experience. This delay in knowledge and skills can have a negative impact on the business.
Job satisfaction has a positive impact on job performance. It seems logical that happy employees are more productive. However, the strength of the relationship between job satisfaction and employee performance has been much debated by academics in recent years due to the contradictory results of a series of studies. In an article published in the “Bulletin of Psychology” in 2001, researchers analyzed several studies and found that job satisfaction has a moderate impact on job performance. Improving job performance allows employees to work more effectively and meet company goals.
Employers must ensure that they provide a safe work environment. A study published in August 2010 by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago found that workplace safety standards are ranked as the most important of a list of seven standard labour standards. In the study, 85percent of respondents considered safety in the workplace to be very important. Employers can reduce injuries and deaths and avoid paying large fines through effective safety regimes, which also result in greater job satisfaction.
Implications for employers
It is clear that employers make significant profits by ensuring that their employees are satisfied in their work. Employers can measure job satisfaction by conducting participation surveys or by asking their employees to fill out structured questionnaires. It is important that employers act on the results of these surveys if they are about to improve and maintain job satisfaction in the workforce. Employers should consider the time and resources spent on conducting studies, evaluate responses and act on this feedback as an investment that will pay off by increasing employee retention, improving work performance and safety.