What we can conclude from surveys depends on several factors. One such factor is the type of scale. A seven-point scale has better measurement properties than the four-point scale used here. Another factor is how the results are presented. SHRM chose to present the overall findings from this rating scale as a ranking based on responses to one part of the scale. “very important.” What if we collapse the two “important” categories and sum “very important” and “important”? What is important to job satisfaction? The overall results look like this:
1. Compensation/pay 98%
2. Job security 97%
3. Work Itself 96%
Next is a four way tie at 95%
Opportunities to uses skill and abilities
Autonomy and Independence
Communication between employees and senior management
Organization’s Financial Stability
Frederick Herzberg would have argued that pay and job security are important because if they are not good, the employee will be dissatisfied. However, only the work itself is motivating.
Maslow would agree that job security is critical to satisfying safety needs. Jobs with tenure is one of the few work-related factors he specifically addressed in his hierarchy of needs.
I suggest that the factors that affect job satisfaction do not really vary much within cultures. There are individual differences but the big three, as presented here, will probably emerge repeatedly based on the management research literature.
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