Sunday, January 6, 2008

Improving Job Satisfaction

What are the keys to improving job performance and satisfaction?  In Social Psychology: Theories, Research, and Applications, Robert S. Feldman identifies key dimensions that influence your performance and satisfaction.

Five Key Job Dimensions
The key job dimensions are:

  • Skill variety
  • Task identity
  • Task significance
  • Autonomy
  • Feedback

Job Dimensions Explained
Feldman explains what the five key job dimensions are:

  • Skill variety: the degree to which the job requires different skills underlying the activities that are part of the job.
  • Task identity: the degree to which an individual produces a whole, identifiable unit of work (versus completion of a small unit which is not an identifiable final product).
  • Task significance: the degree to which the job has an influence over others.
  • Autonomy: the degree to which an individual holding a job is able to schedule his or her activities and decide on the particular procedures to be employed.
  • Feedback: the extent to which clear, precise information about the effectiveness of performance is conveyed.

Higher Performance, Motivation and Satisfaction
Feldman writes:

Improving the job dimensions improves higher productivity, increases motivation and job satisfaction, high-quality performance and lower-levels of absenteeism and turnover. The following table is based on Hackman & Oldham (1976).

Summary Table of High Job Satifaction
Feldman includes a summary of table of high job satisfaction:

Job Dimension Psychological States Outcomes
Skill variety
Task identity
Task significance
Meaningfulness of work High motivation and satisfaction
Autonomy Perceived responsibility High-quality work
Feedback Knowledge of results Low absenteeism and turnover

Key Take Aways
While I don't think the categories are a surprise, I like the precision and the mapping.  If you're feeling a lack in the "Outcomes" column, check the corresponding "Job Dimension" column to see what the underlying issue might be.


Alik said...

Thanks for putting this simple technique. I realize now where i went wrong and what i need to improve

J.D. Meier said...

Can you share where you went wrong?

Alik said...

i really got screwed on providing feedback. It is not that i was not doing it rather the way i did. It was perceived as micromanagement and hurt autonomy dimension