If you have a well-paying job in an organization that values you and offers opportunities for growth, how often are you likely to think about a job change?

Probably not that often!

Employee job satisfaction is the beating heart of the current employment landscape. For instance, the modern jobseeker no longer wants to work for organizations that pay well but overlook work-life balance. For employees to be satisfied and happy with their jobs, organizations have to go beyond the scope of fat paychecks and promotions.

Today, employees seek learning and development, a space where they feel respected and valued and a healthy organizational culture that’s diverse, equitable and tolerant.

It’s important to do a health check every so often to make sure that you’re not getting drained at work. Rather than thinking about a job change, you need to adjust your approach to work.

Job Satisfaction Vs Job Dissatisfaction

Understanding what is job satisfaction is the first step in recognizing whether you need to calibrate your professional aspirations.

The meaning of job satisfaction is your positive perception of your work life. When you enjoy going to work, interacting with your colleagues and making an effort to learn, it’s a result of job satisfaction.

But, if you wake up with a feeling of doom on a weekday, dream of the weekend on a Monday morning or dread looking at your laptop, you may need to shake things up a little. These are classic signs of job dissatisfaction. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to change your job, you just need to change your perspective!

Let’s look at a few things you can do and questions you should ask before you assess your job satisfaction:

  1. If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, maintain a calendar to stay on top of things.

  1. Getting along with your coworkers is just as important as doing a good job so make an effort to interact and communicate.

  1. Reach out to your supervisor or the Human Resources manager to help you address any issues—rather than dwelling on things for prolonged periods.

  1. Gauge whether you’re a good fit for the organization—does the culture suit you or would you like to work for a different setup?

  1. Talking to those who know you well will offer perspective to understand whether it’s the job that’s making you unhappy or something personal.

Mulling over these attributes will give you a clearer idea about what you need to do. Sometimes, we’re so busy with work, we don’t even have the time to sit and really think about what we do on a daily basis. Assess your job role, address problems and ask the right questions, i.e., acknowledge your attitude towards your work.

Employee Job Satisfaction In The 21st Century

How organizations treat employees is a significant determinant of employee satisfaction. We have different types of organizational cultures in play today. From a traditionally hierarchical setup to a flat startup culture, there are countless ways organizations prefer to work.

Organizations don’t only rely on a top-down management style—this change can be credited to Google.

When it comes to employee satisfaction, the first organization that comes to mind is Google. It supports a flexible, employee-driven culture where people work and play hard. Employees are encouraged to work as they please because it boosts creativity and productivity. Their ‘Googler to Googler’ program promotes employee development with a twist. You can teach your colleague how to write code while they can teach you how to paint. This kind of culture is conducive for collaboration and improved communication—which are the pillars of a healthy work environment.

Google’s model has become a critical aspect of the modern workplace. Here’s what employees are looking for in their professional life with examples of job satisfaction:

  1. Respect, Trust And Acknowledgment

Teamwork is something that every organization supports and encourages. This is because it helps individual employees leverage their skills for organizational excellence. Within this culture of collaboration, employees need to feel respected and appreciated. Overlooking individual efforts and celebrating only collective goals may leave employees feeling disgruntled and dissatisfied. A satisfied employee is one who’s self-motivated to perform in a team because they know their effort will be recognized.

  1. Employee Growth And Development

If you’ve been working for five or more years, you’ve probably been promoted and adopted new skills along the way. But imagine if you’re in the same role for five years without acquiring any new knowledge. This is one of the most common factors that affects job satisfaction. Organizations must prioritize employee growth and development so you can learn on the job and grow in your role. From new ways of performing old tasks to building new skills, you should always look ahead and never stop learning.

  1. Freedom At Work

Another important factor that affects job satisfaction is the freedom to make your own decisions. Many times, supervisors or seniors like to micromanage their teams. It’s probably because it gives them a sense of control or because they’re not satisfied unless they approve every little detail. This kind of work environment can feel suffocating. Imagine your manager breathing down your neck for things like sending emails and taking notes—you’ll never be able to work in peace. Encouraging autonomy at work is critical for employee satisfaction.

  1. Giving And Receiving Feedback

One of the things that can help organizations reach out to their employees is feedback. If you’re unhappy about an aspect of your job, you should be able to tell someone about it. You can talk to your manager or peers to come up with solutions. How you do your job depends largely on how you think of it. Perspective is everything at work. If you can give and receive feedback well, you’ll feel like a part of the organization.

  1. Work-Life Balance

Many organizations claim they support work-life balance but most fail to follow through. If you feel like you’re being exploited at work because you have seven-day workweeks, you’ll find yourself looking at job vacancies. In other words, if your organization doesn’t support you having a life outside work, you may want to consider a change. It’s okay to contribute where you can—especially for the organization’s growth—but this should never come as a demand or an order. In some cases, employees should have the freedom to choose life over work.

  1. Workplace Relationships

Your relationship with your team members, managers and juniors affect how you fare at work. A healthy work environment is one where everyone gets along and works harmoniously. But say you have a conflict with your manager, this may just be the reason you quit. You should always speak your mind—of course, if the situation allows—if you feel that you’re being treated unfairly. A mutually respectful relationship is the key to employee satisfaction.

  1. Job Security

Imagine going to work every day with a sword hanging over your head. If you’re not secure about your job, not only will it impact your job performance but also add to your anxiety. This is another critical factor that negatively affects job satisfaction. Everyone seeks job security because this way you don’t have to worry about your next paycheck. Job security can also give you a sense of accomplishment and belongingness. Otherwise, you may feel like an outsider, which can keep you from giving your best at work.

These are some of the main aspects of job satisfaction that employees seek. But there are many more ways that organizations can increase employee job satisfaction and decrease employee turnover. Most of it has to do with paying attention to employee needs. As an employee, you should also do your part and convey your perception of work to your manager or HR. This way you can build a happy and approachable work environment.

Job Satisfaction Is A Two-Way Street

The key to employee job satisfaction is team dynamic, communication and conflict resolution. Harappa’s Managing Teamwork course will teach you the basics of navigating teams, what makes an effective team and the art of feedback. Learn from our expert faculty—who are industry leaders—how you can increase job satisfaction by collaborating with your coworkers.

Arming yourself with the right knowledge will give you the confidence to speak and create a space for yourself. Job satisfaction is a two-way street—it’s not just the organization’s responsibility. You too have to put in the work if you want to see the results. Improving your professional life is as much about self-motivation and taking responsibility as it is about employee benefits.

Explore Harappa Diaries to learn more about topics related to the COLLABORATE Habit such as Work-Life BalanceInterpersonal Relationships & Employee Engagement and achieve a better professional life.