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You are here: Home White Papers Job satisfaction

Job satisfaction

By: Malcolm J. Stubblefield
August 2006

Job satisfaction has emerged as a major topic area in organizations today. Many organizations are devoting significant resources to determine relationships between productivity, absenteeism, and satisfaction. This white paper speaks to how job satisfaction can impact employee productivity, absenteeism, and turnover.




No doubt, there are many factors that influence job satisfaction.  However, attempting to determine the relationship between productivity, absenteeism, and satisfaction can be a daunting task.  While research has shown that employee performance is enhanced when there is a high ability – job fit (Robbins, 2005, p47) and the more satisfied an employee is the less incline the employee is to leave, however, absenteeism is another issue all together.  This is due in large part to organizational decisions to put in place sick leave and vacation leave policies as a benefit to employees. As such, it is hard to correlate satisfaction with absenteeism because an employee may be satisfied with his/her job but absent excessively due medical issues, family related situations and the like.  Women, according to Robbins (p 44), have a higher rate of absenteeism then men due primarily to their role and responsibilities with family. 


None the less, many relevant issues can enhance job dissatisfaction that rest on values.  As individuals mature from childhood to adults, their values are developing along the way.  Values, for the most part, tend to influence attitude and behavior (Robbins, p73).  Values also serve to lay a foundation toward personal views relating to job expectations, bonuses, and other types of fringe benefits, as well as recognition for good performance; such as, a reserved parking space, seniority, job duties that are germane to the individual’s area of expertise, and so on.  When these expectations are not met, the door to discontent is opened, and the employee can become complacent or dissatisfied, even withdrawn.  This results in a decrease in motivation and movement towards not only dissatisfaction with the job itself, but with the organization as well.  Attitudes of this nature can lead to excessive absenteeism, decrease in productivity, and turnover.


In today’s ever changing environment, management is turning to the use of satisfaction surveys as a means to offset problems leading to employee dissatisfaction with both the job and the organization.  Likewise, many companies are beginning to incorporate the use of personality inventories to measure job compatibility in the interview and hiring stages before making a firm employment commitment.  Such action provides a mutually benefiting arrangement for the potential employee and the organization, whereby value formation and expectations are pre-established and become a preeminent part of the hiring process.


Topical areas for future discussion:


  • Job satisfaction is not the same as motivation although linked.
  • Job design aims to enhance job satisfaction and performance; methods include job rotation, job enlargement, and job enrichment. 
  • Other influences on satisfaction include the management style and culture, employee involvement, empowerment and autonomous work groups.
  • Job satisfaction is a very important attitude which is frequently measured by organizations.  The most common way of measurement is the use of rating scales where employees report their reactions to their jobs





Robbins, Stephan P (2005). Managing and Organizing People (11th Ed). Pearson Publishing, Boston, MA