You would have heard these two common words, mainly ‘job satisfaction’ and ‘morale’, in any office work environment or a big organisation. A couple of years after joining a firm you are posed with this question, “Are you satisfied with your job?” “How is the morale around?” If you really know the meaning then you would be in a position to answer it appropriately. And if you don’t, then read the contents below to enhance your understanding.
Job satisfaction cannot be defined in one sentence. To some it is just doing what they enjoy and getting a pay check for it, to others it depends on the nature of work and to some it’s a little complicated wherein it is linked to the response they experience in their work. But researchers have a different opinion that job satisfaction is linked with the feelings about their job .
In general, job satisfaction varies from an individual point of view. Given a particular criteria, the satisfaction level or index is varied depending on the individuals view or perception about it. The disparity stands out clearly. Hence, it cannot be confined to a specified type of work and work place.
Having the skills sets and education qualifications matched up with the job, it ensures a job satisfaction for an employee.
Morale is often related with the group task assignment being done with obedience, will power and self-discipline, it points out whether the person or group of people are cheerful, confidence and enthusiast. Though mostly it is referred at a collective level, it often depends on the job satisfaction and feeling of being treated well in the work environment.
Morale, generally, is dependent on the right leadership of the management where the path is clarified to employees and performance is appreciated with feedback, recognition and provision of a pleasant work place.
Relationship Between Job Satisfaction and Morale:
Yet it is observed through employee surveys that though the employees are highly satisfied with their jobs, their morale is low. So how can we say that both are interlinked or not?
Well let’s review some of the factors and see how they are associated with job satisfaction and morale.
1. Communications of Superiors:
Would you like to enter the room where your boss is always having a frowning face and uses inappropriate language while addressing your query? The relation between employee and his/her superior does impact on the level of job satisfaction either positively or negatively. The facial gestures or expressions, eye contact, hand or body movements, voice expressions of a boss on his sub-ordinates influences how satisfied they are. The way the superior communicates, especially non-verbal communications, has more impact on the way the sub-ordinates interact. If the communications become undesirable, then the level of motivation to work becomes low. The other way round where the superior communicates in friendly manner, the job gets executed well and it ends up being a satisfied job. From this it is seen that the person is satisfied but the mannerism of the superior creates a high morale.
2. Employee recognition:
Would you feel excited if your name is being announced for this months ‘employee of the month’? Yes, you would feel proud and happy that your achievement has been recognised by top level. An employee being recognised for their work and output instils confidence in the company. It is traditionally associated with financial recognition, but not always. A company having a reward program culture nurtures innovations.
3. Difficult clients:
Do you feel comfortable to handle clients who don’t co-operate? Working in an environment wherein the employee has to deal with difficult clients is definitely going to impact the satisfaction level. With time the morale goes down and the productivity decreases.
4. Project unfamiliar:
How to work for a project that is not familiar to you? Would you like to work when you are not aware of the terms and type of work to be done? Definitely, you would get irritated and then tend to flop in the work assignments. Some instances due to mismanagement the work assignments are not reviewed before assigning to employees and hence creates a dissatisfaction. The morale seems to get low and the employee doesn’t seem to complete.
5. Undeliverable goals:
Have you been given a target like that just seems impossible to do it? For example “Achieve 100% sales of all the products in the company “XXX” for year 2014”. Such goals set by manager just seems out of hand. Goals set for employees need to be given based on their strengths and talents. The goal can be rewritten as for example “Achieve around 85% of sales of most of the products in the company “XXX” for the year 2014”. Hence, goals that cannot be done will only make the employee to lose his morale.
6. Pleasant work environment:
You enter the office where the work area is cluttered and dirty. The people working inside are all gloomy. You wouldn’t like to enter or work in such an area. As a clean and tidy home is a place of serenity, same applies for work place where the mind would accept to work. The word ‘Pleasant’ itself gives a feeling of soothing the nerves. A work environment having this pleasantness is what any employee is looking forward to. The person gets a satisfied feeling and of course the morale boosts up!
7. Managements interaction:
Have you been greeted by the General Manager of your company everyday morning at your seat? His/her handshake with all the employees every day brings him/her closer to all them and make them feel wanted. Besides this, the Management interacting with employees on shop floor during a breakdown boosts the morale of the employees. This creates trust and confidence in the company. The Management who practice Open door has high level of retention.
8. Performance feedback:
Were you called up for the work you completed and informed that there was small correction in the way it was presented? Well, be happy you have been reviewed on your performance. It only shows that the management believes in your work and would like you to improve. Companies who review employees performances and gives feedback is always considered to give boost to the morale. The employees would ultimately improve and help to be job satisfied.
9. Support given:
You have small problem in the work assignment to be completed and when your boss lends you a hand to get it done with his knowledge and experience, wouldn’t you be happy? Yes, support when given at the need of the hour and in other forms are always appreciated by employees. This creates an environment of trust and builds confidence in the company.
10. Over working:
You got to work every day with assignments that makes you overwhelmed. You are too bogged down and don’t have time for your family. You would end up hating your job in due course of time. Overworking is usually one of the main reasons for dissatisfaction. It would lead to stress and create frustrations. The morale goes down and so does productivity.
So you can see from the above mentioned, that there is only a small difference between job satisfaction and morale. These are in fact interlinked. As to the aspects above, some aspects can be discussed with the superiors and reviewed for changes, while others needs amendments in the corporate culture itself. In general, many corporates and companies try different methods to retain their employee. But they need to look into the aspects of the job that helps to build self-confidence and boost morale.