Effects of Job Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction on Employee Behavior

Job satisfaction is related to the positive feeling an employee perceives about one’s job resulting from an evaluation of its characteristics. Jobs require interaction with coworkers and bosses, following organizational rules and policies, meeting performance standards, living with working conditions. It has been identified that a positive relationship exists between a person’s job satisfaction level and holding of positive feelings about the same concerned job whereas a person dissatisfied with his job carries negative feelings about the job and organization. Every organization works towards having satisfied employees.

When employees are dissatisfied with their jobs, lack job involvement and are low in their commitment to the organization, a wide variety of consequences follows in. Dissatisfied employees may engage in psychological withdrawal, physical withdrawal or even acts of aggression and retaliation for presumed wrongs. Satisfied employees may provide acts of consumer service beyond the call of duty, have sparkling work records, and actively pursue excellence in all areas of their jobs. The consequences of job dissatisfaction are very long term in nature. The negative effects of job turnover on organizations may include increased costs in recruiting, selecting and training new employees, demoralization of remaining employees, negative public image of the organization, disruption of day-to-day activities and decreased organizational opportunities to pursue future growth strategies. Thus it is important to have a thorough understanding of the factors that lead to job satisfaction and dissatisfaction so that it would help in putting a stop on the negative consequences associated with job dissatisfaction.

Some specific outcomes of job satisfaction and dissatisfaction in a workplace are explained as under:

Job Satisfaction and Job Performance

The relationship between Job satisfaction and Job performance was described as the “Holy Grail”. The satisfaction-performance relationship is more complex that the simple path of “satisfaction leads to performance.” Thus it is wrong to assume that high satisfaction always leads to high employee performance. Satisfied workers actually may be high, average or even low producers will tend to continue the level of performance that brought them satisfaction before also. The study of the relationship between job satisfaction and job performance has a very controversial history. In 1930s the Hawthorne studies conducted helped the researchers in becoming aware of the effects of employee attitudes on their work performance.

One way to view this dimension is in believing the relationship that high performance contributes to high job satisfaction. This sequence states that better performance typically leads to higher economic, sociological and psychological rewards. If these rewards are seen in a fair light then the overall employee satisfaction improves. On the other hand if these rewards are seen inadequate for one’s level of performance then dissatisfaction tends to arise. It is important for managers to devote its efforts to aid its employee performance, which will likely produce satisfaction as a by product.

Job Satisfaction and Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB)

Job satisfaction is considered to be a major determinant of an employee’s organizational citizenship behavior (OCB). A modest relationship exists between job satisfaction and OCB. Satisfied employees seem more likely to talk positively about the organization, help others, and go beyond the normal expectations in their job. They are also very likely to go beyond the formal requirements of the job just in order to reciprocate their positive experiences. They voluntarily engage in behaviors that work in favor of the organization.

Job Satisfaction and Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is a very important requirement for many firms. Their performance gets marked by keeping their customers satisfied and happy. Employees of service based organizations often interact with their customers, thus the satisfaction of these employees is very important in order to keep the customers loyalty to the concerned organization. Satisfied employees increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. Service organizations know that satisfied and loyal customers are highly dependent on how frontline employees deal with their customers. Satisfied employees are more likely to be friendly, upbeat and responsive in nature which the customers appreciate. Since satisfied employees have high retention rate, customers are more likely to encounter familiar faces and receive experienced service. All these qualities build customer satisfaction and loyalty. The dissatisfied customers can increase an employee’s job dissatisfaction in a similar fashion.

Many service based companies like, FedEx, Southwest Airlines, Four Seasons Hotels and American Express very customer oriented companies who go out of their way in order to please their customers. In order to provide that great impeccable service to their customers they focus on building employee satisfaction- recognizing that employee satisfaction will go a long way towards contributing to their goal of having happy customers. These firms seek to hire upbeat and friendly employees, train the employees in the importance of customer service, reward customer service, provide positive work climates and track employee satisfaction on a regular basis through various attitude surveys.

Job Satisfaction and Absenteeism/Tardiness

A consistent negative relationship exists between satisfaction and absenteeism. Dissatisfied employees are more likely to be absent at their work, other factors have an impact on the relationship and reduce the correlation coefficient. Employees who have less job satisfaction tend to be absent more often. But this connection is not sharp for a couple of reasons. Some absences are caused by legitimate medical reasons and therefore a satisfied employee may have a valid absence at times. Tardiness is another way by which employees may exhibit their dissatisfaction with job conditions. A tardy employee is one who arrives late at work. Tardiness is a type of short period absenteeism ranging from a few minutes to several hours for each event, and it is another way by which employees withdraw from active involvement in the organization. This may impede the timely completion of work and disrupt productive relationships with coworkers.

Job Satisfaction and Turnover

Satisfaction is also negatively related to turnover, but the correlation is way stronger than that in the case of job satisfaction and absenteeism. Yet there are various factors such as labor-market conditions, expectations about alternative job opportunities, and length of tenure with the organization are important constraints on the actual decision to leave one’s current job for some other work. Evidence indicates that an important moderator of the satisfaction-turnover relationship is the employee’s level of performance i. e, it is said that level of satisfaction is less important in predicting turnover for superior employees as compared to the poor performers. But studies suggest that job satisfaction should be more important in influencing poor performers to stay than the superior performers because regardless of level of satisfaction, the high performers are likely to remain with the organization only on account of receipt of recognition, praise and other rewards.

Job Satisfaction and Withdrawal Behaviors

Dissatisfied employees are more likely to quit their jobs or be absent than satisfied employees. Job satisfaction shows correlations with turnover and absenteeism. It also appears to be related to other withdrawal behaviors like lateness, unionization, grievances, drug abuse, theft or decision to retire. Using different methods that statistically measure the financial impact of employee attitudes on organizations, practitioners can reveal costs of low job satisfaction and the value of improved employee attitudes on such outcomes as absenteeism and retention.

Job Satisfaction and Workplace Deviance

Job dissatisfaction predicts a lot of specific behavior, including unionization attempts, substance abuse, stealing at work, undue socialization and tardiness. Researchers say that these behaviors are indicators of a broader syndrome that is usually termed as deviant behavior in the workplace. If the employees do not like their work environment then they world respond in some way which could either be in favor or not in favor of the organization. If the employers want to control the undesirable consequences of job dissatisfaction, they have to attack the source of the problem i. e. the dissatisfaction rather than trying to control the different responses.