We spend a large part of our adult lives in the workplace, so it makes sense it should be enjoyed as time well spent. And whether one is a business owner or an employee, we continually look for a high degree of job satisfaction to counter the stressors that accompany whatever role we have and whatever winds of change are out there in the marketplace. So what are the factors that contribute to job satisfaction and one’s overall sense of fulfillment and happiness? Studies show a few things.
A sense of purpose that we are contributing to something bigger than ourselves.
When the corporate vision is shared by a team, and the team believes in the integrity of that vision, then job satisfaction – and productivity – ratchets up. Being able to envision the future allows all workers to feel they fit, which boosts engagement. And heightened engagement helps us focus more acutely, learn new skills with greater aptitude and contribute more fully. Our work matters – to ourselves, to our colleagues and employees, to our customers, and to the corporate good. We’re hopeful…and happy.
Strong, friendly relationships.
We’re social creatures by design and so it makes sense that we won’t function well when the relationships surrounding us are sour. “Difficult” relationships throw us off. They make going into work more arduous; they make interactions more guarded. Feeling that we’re part of a greater good works best when those who share that vision are supportive, positive and working in sync. Contrary to what one might think, people ultimately work for people, just as soldiers ultimately fight for the person beside them. Workmates don’t have to be playmates, but relationships with colleagues where everyone believes in one another frees up emotional energy for the job at hand. Just as we search for clients who are a good fit for the purpose of the business, team members need to be a good fit for the engine of the operation. Because when they are, the team is on its game, and everyone is happier for it.
Bosses who know what your job is about.
Interestingly, bosses or supervisors who could do your job or are experts in the core activity of the business are often the bosses employees work for best, according to several studies on technical competence. It may be a boss who came up through the ranks or one whose technical competence matches that of staff members. By no means is it an exclusive finding; it is not intended to overlook such important management qualities such as organizational skills and interpersonal aptitudes. But the notion exists that it is an important factor, and that those asking for something have been there themselves and know what they’re talking about. It inspires a confidence in the boss’s knowledge that drives employee performance and job satisfaction.
Happy workers contribute with more smarts, grit and endurance. They’re happy to contribute, they stick around for the long game, and they do so gladly. Their task is to carry out the vision and purpose of their employment by working well and working well with others. Leadership’s task is to create the environment within which they can do this.
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