Job Satisfaction - It's not all about the money
It's not all about the Money - by Julia
Money - how much does it motivate and engage talent? We
would be lying if we said it isn't a significant part of what
initially attracts a candidate to a role. Salary absolutely
counts. However money isn't nearly as good at retaining
talent as it is at attracting it. As discussed in Stephen Bevan's
recent article Stephan Bevan: Financial Rewards don't motivate
workers keeping talent enthused and on board is more
complicated than dangling a financially attractive carrot in front
of them and comes down to the multifaceted little number that is
job satisfaction. So, if as Bevan suggests that "Overall, the
correlation between job satisfaction and 'turnover intentions' -
the intention to resign in the next six months - [is] very strong"
then the importance of HR as a strategic
function in developing and maintaining an organisational culture
that fulfil the job satisfaction needs of employees, so that they
can in turn meet the needs of the business, should not be
If not money then what matters in terms of job satisfaction? It
seems job satisfaction is the sum of its parts and considering the
individual elements that make up a person's employment experience
is key in being able to, well…satisfy them. Let's have a look at
the parts -
Where I work- The physical environment. How does it affect me?
Do the facilities allow me to do my job in reasonable comfort and
safety? Am I inspired by the environment?
Who I work for -The organisation as a whole. Do I like the
organisational culture and do I care about the overall
Who I work with- My team members and my manager. Do I get
along with my team members? Are my interactions with people
positive or negative? What is my relationship with my manager like?
What are the team dynamics - inclusive or exclusive, social or
What my work is -The specific tasks and responsibilities within
my role. How much do I enjoy performing the specific tasks of
my role and how well do I perform them?
How my work is valued -Do I feel appreciated? Is my work
acknowledged? Am I thanked?
How my work is rewarded -Is my salary proportionate to my role
and responsibilities? Are there opportunities for promotion/career
How my work is valued and rewarded and how I am treated vs how
other people's work is valued and rewarded and how they are treated
-Am I treated fairly? Are opportunities for Learning and
Development given equally?
Perhaps HR's challenge is in helping develop and maintain an
organisation where, for individuals, as many of the answers to the
above questions as possible are positive. If looking at what would
happen to job satisfaction levels if all the above questions were
answered in the negative this seems to make perfect sense!
So how does HR help an organisation tick those boxes
and achieve positive answers to the ponderings of job satisfaction?
How do we make people happy at work (though if you know the answer
to the overall secret of making people generally happy please speak
In looking at the parts that make up the employee experience it
is clear that excluding tangible rewards there are lots of
intangible ways an organisation can contribute to employee job
satisfaction levels. For example, establishing a positive company
culture that engages individuals and sets accepted and encouraged
standards of interpersonal and professional behaviour which filter
down into the interactions between colleagues and ultimately affect
how employees feel about "who they work for" and "who they work
with". There are also "soft benefits" an area where employers can
get creative! Soft benefits can be anything from free lunch - who
said there was no such a thing?, gym subsidies/memberships, private
health insurance, study bursaries, ride to work schemes, company
happy hours, a day off on your birthday, life assurance, season
ticket loans, PARTIES, sweets, treats, and anything that generally
makes employees feel valued, appreciated and all warm and fuzzy on
the inside. On that note there is also the importance of saying
"Thanks". Apparently "being told 'thank you' in the workplace is
worth on average £1,608 a year".
Additionally it appears the workplace environment and company
processes and policies also have an impact on individuals'
employment experience. Making the physical workplace environment as
nice and inspiring as possible within company means and the
necessary functional requirements, having a robust recruitment
process (to ensure you are hiring people who want, who are capable
of and who are going to be stimulated by the roles you are hiring
them for) and having well developed policies regarding areas that
matter to employees in terms of job satisfaction such as Learning
and Development could act as a pre-emptive strike on the job
satisfaction of employees.
Most HR professionals understand the impact that company
culture, soft benefits, processes and polices have on individual
employee job satisfaction and that is exactly why HR are so
important! Within a company HR are the champions of job
satisfaction itself and therefor a key asset in retaining