On the connection and impact of job satisfaction and motivation

Essay 2016 7 Pages

Psychology - Work, Business, Organisational and Economic Psychology


Table of Contents

Job Satisfaction and Motivation

Connection between Job Satisfaction and Motivation


Job Satisfaction and Motivation

Over Recent years it has been possible to detect a trend towards a rise of diseases such as depression leading to the burnout syndrome or a mid-life crisis. Nowadays more than never you have to adopt to a fast changing business environment and compete with job applicants from all over the world. In this competitive environment many people become victims to pressure and they lose the focus of their goals trying to succeed in the business world. But are those people satisfied with their jobs and what are their motives to work so hard?

The purpose of this essay is to analyse the connection between motivation and job satisfaction and how they influence each other. With reference to the most appropriate motivation theories I will examine the factors influencing job satisfaction and increasing my own personal level of job satisfaction. In addition to that I will explain how this will motivate me to give my best for the organization that I work for because I think this issue becomes more important as I am about to finish my studies and start working at a company.

The first issue that needs to be examined is whether there is a connection between motivation and job satisfaction. To answer this question you have to define the term job satisfaction and motivation. According to Frederick Herzberg et. al. (1959), an American Psychologist who became famous for his “Motivation-hygiene Theory” job satisfaction is based on motivators. Those motivators or job factors e.g. recognition, achievement, possibility of growth, advancement and responsibility (Herzberg, 1959) refer to factors intrinsic within the work itself. If a worker has great responsibility or many achievements in his job he tends motivators will not cause great dissatisfaction. Causes for dissatisfaction at work are neither motivators but so called hygiene factors (Herzberg, 1959). They are referred to as extra job factors and have an extrinsic motivation character e.g. salary, working conditions, status, job security to be more satisfied. An important factor for satisfaction is the need for self-actualization as the humans´ ultimate goal according to Maslow (1954). However a lack of those, company policy and interpersonal relations to co-workers and supervisors. (Herzberg 1959) If the job security for example is not guaranteed the worker will be dissatisfied whereas if the job security is guaranteed the worker will not show great signs of satisfaction and appreciation. This leads Hertzberg (1968) to the assumption that dissatisfaction is not the opposite of satisfaction but rather a state of non-dissatisfaction. The same goes for satisfaction.

Having described job satisfaction and the cause for it according to Herzberg we can now proceed to the definition of motivation according to Herzberg. The American psychologist differentiates the term into motivation and movement. Second is divided into negative and positive consequences consisting of punishment and reward. Movement describes the external stimulation of the worker to get something done for example a bonus payment if the project is finished within a certain deadline. This type of stimulation is not very effective in the long run because he was only temporarily moved to act. The more effective way of motivation is the intrinsic stimulation of the worker. As previously mentioned the employee needs motivators such as responsibility and recognition to stay motivated for a long term (Herzberg 1968).

Connection between Job Satisfaction and Motivation

In my opinion there is a connection between job satisfaction and motivation. The most important factors that will increase my personal level of job satisfaction are the intrinsic motivators. My level of satisfaction depends mainly on the achievement and recognition of my work. I want to be able to achieve things which are recognised by myself and by other people regardless how big the achievement might be. The level of responsibility is not my primary incentive to pursue a profession. For example if I work as a financial consultant my primary objective will be to help people in need of financial services. I consider the clients which I consulted successfully as achievement and my work should be recognised as well by my superior as by my clients. If I help either a single person or a whole company out of its misery will not be my primary objective. However extrinsic motivators such as salary and interpersonal relations also play an important role since I am an economically motivated person and I want to earn enough money to provide a good life for my future family and for my parents. But money is not an effective motivator that will keep me satisfied over the long term because you get used to earning money thus you will strive for more. This struggle is deeply connected to the advancement and possibility of growth motivators Herzberg is talking about in his theory.

However Herzberg´s definition of satisfaction and motivators does not consider the fact that the levels of satisfaction can vary from person to person. Everyone has his own values thus a level of satisfaction in his job. Some people are satisfied with their jobs because they have a safe job and a high income and others are satisfied since they enjoy their activity. In both cases many people would tell you that they are satisfied with their jobs. According to John Locke an English philosopher and physician there are several critiques to his work. But before we can analyse the criticism we have to evaluate his two assumptions about the work: Firstly Herzberg assumes that satisfaction and dissatisfaction result from different causes such as motivators and hygiene factors and secondly the comparison of the two factor theory with the dual theory of man´s needs (Locke 1976). Second describes a parallel relation of hygiene factors with the physical need of humans and a relation of motivators with the psychological need of humans. The physical need of humans consists of basic needs such as security and nutrition whereas psychological needs consist of the needs for self-actualization like growth etc. (Locke 1976). But according to John Locke this view is inaccurate because hygiene factors also influence the level of satisfaction. He compares it with the physical need of nutrition. Eating can either be the aversion of hunger or a pleasure for the body. If you apply this idea to job satisfaction, an external motivator like a relationship to superiors, which is not for satisfaction but for utter non-dissatisfaction of the worker, could be a factor which is satisfying because of the desire for human interaction (Locke 1976).



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Title: On the connection and impact of job satisfaction and motivation