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Unformatted text preview: that seem to contribute the most to feelings of job satisfaction for most North American workers. These include mentally challenging work, adequate compensation, career opportunities, and friendly or helpful colleagues.38 Mentally Challenging Work. This is work that tests employees’ skills and abilities and allows them to set their own working pace. Employees usually perceive such work as personally involving and important. It also provides the worker with clear feedback regarding performance. Of course, some types of work can be too challenging, and this can result in feelings of failure and reduced satisfaction. In addition, some employees seem to prefer repetitive, unchallenging work that makes few demands on them. Adequate Compensation. It should not surprise you that pay and satisfaction are positively related. Employee job satisfaction at Husky is probably partly due to industry high salaries as well as bonuses received as part of the company’s profitsharing plan. However, not everyone is equally desirous of money, and some people are certainly willing to accept less responsibility or fewer working hours for lower pay. In most companies, one finds a group of employees who are especially anxious to earn extra money through overtime and another group that actively avoids overtime work. Career Opportunities. The ready availability of career opportunities contributes to job satisfaction. Opportunity for promotion is an important contributor to job satisfaction because promotions contain a number of valued signals about a person’s self-worth. Some of these signals may be material (such as an accompanying raise), while others are of a social nature (recognition within the organization and increased prestige in the community). Of course, there are cultural and individual differences in what people see as constituting a fair promotion system. Some employees might prefer a strict seniority system, while others might wish for a system based strictly on job performance. Many of today’s flatter organizations no longer offer the promotion opportunities of the past. Well-run firms have offset this by designing lateral moves that provide for challenging work. Also, as discussed in Chapter 2, career development helps prepare employees to assume challenging assignments. People. It should not surprise you that friendly, considerate, good-natured superiors and co-workers contribute to job satisfaction, especially via positive moods and emotions. There is, however, another aspect to interpersonal relationships on the job that contributes to job satisfaction. Specifically, we tend to be satisfied in the presence of people who help us attain job outcomes that we value. Such outcomes might include doing our work better or more easily, obtaining a raise or promotion, or even staying alive. For example, a company of soldiers in battle might be less concerned with how friendly their commanding officer is than with how competently he is able to act to keep them from being overrun by the enemy. Similarly, an aggressive young executive might like a considerate boss but prefer even more a boss who can clarify her work objectives and reward her for attaining them. The friendliness 117 118 Individual Behaviour Part Two aspect of interpersonal relationships seems most important in lower-level jobs with clear duties and various dead-end jobs. As jobs become more complex, pay is tied to performance, or promotion opportunities increase, the ability of others to help us do our work well contributes more to job satisfaction. For some types of jobs, the challenge of achieving employee satisfaction can be particularly difficult. Consider the example in the You Be the Manager feature. RAC Motoring Services www.rac.co.uk Manager You Be the [[Catch photo 4-3]] RAC combats traditional call centre problems. In today’s service-oriented economy with its focus on high-tech communication, call centres have become one of the most popular means of delivering customer service. Unfortunately, call centres have come to be viewed by many as the sweatshops of the 21st century, where employees are overworked, underpaid, and highly stressed. They are also often characterized by close supervision, as call statistics are meticulously examined and calls are regularly listened in on, with or without the knowledge of the employee. While employee well-being has been identified as a problem, call centres can also have an important impact on organizational outcomes. Call centres have been shown to have very high turnover and absenteeism rates, which result in extra costs for employers. Furthermore, call centre employees are often the primary contact between customers and the company. As such, it has been suggested that the job satisfaction of call centre employees can influence customer satisfaction, which can impact company revenues in future years. Given the popularity of call centres, the stress experienced by their workers, and the potential impact on the bottom line, h...
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