Job Satisfaction Depends Upon Your Supervisor
I constantly relate work and leadership to coaching. I had a lengthy career working and coaching boy’s baseball at all ages as a hobby. I learned years ago that satisfied players perform to the best of their abilities. Employees do the same. Think about the supervisors you have had in your career. If you rate them on job satisfaction, the ones that satisfied you the highest rank at the top of your relationship poll. Research proves this theory correct.
The Washington Post noted that your boss has a huge effect on your happiness, even when you are not in the office. A working paper by a team of Canadian and Korean economists concluded that people who think of their immediate supervisor as more of a partner than a boss are much happier with their lives. Research noted that people are happy when young, less happy at middle age, and trend upward with happiness in the later stages of their lives. Work plays a significant role in their happiness, which they bring home with them.
An article by the Boating Industry supports the theory that a supervisor plays a role in the happiness of an employee. A good supervisor will keep people happy and retain workers, regardless of salary or other benefits. A National Bureau of Economic Research study supports the evidence that a good manager affects the total life happiness of an employee. Factors that support a supervisor in a positive way is one that values employee’s input, plus appreciates and recognizes the value of an employee. This work leader creates an environment of trust and cooperation. They celebrate success, share information and encourage employee engagement.
Currently, recruiting and keeping employees is crucial to nonprofit organizational success. The effects of COVID-19 and the economy are making Americans increasingly unhappy at work, according to Balance Careers and a report by the Conference Board. This trend began before COVID-19. A survey of 5,000 households conducted by the Conference Board stated that 45% of those surveyed are happy in their jobs, down from 61% in 1987, the first year of the survey.
Many employees are changing jobs and the workforce because they are not satisfied with their jobs. Surveys by human resources professionals ranked several key factors as most important in employee satisfaction. Factors included job security, relationship with their immediate supervisor, communication between employees and senior management, recognition of work performance and overall corporate culture.
The CompHealth blog emphasizes that today is a job seeker’s market. It is hard to recruit and retain quality employees because they are not satisfied. During the 1950s and 1960s, clinical psychologist Fredrick Herzberg researched the reasons behind employee satisfaction and dissatisfaction through his Two-Factor Theory of Motivation.
Motivators that are satisfiers on the job included items such as performance and achievement, recognition, and personal growth. Some dissatisfiers included salary, relationship with supervisor and quality of supervisor. Hygiene factors also come into play on the job that includes working conditions, relationship with colleagues and company policies. Employees are motivated if they have interesting work, increased responsibility, encouragement and recognition for a well-done job.
An article by Vanessa Palier indicates that every person in the workforce has satisfiers and dissatisfiers. There are things employers can do to reinforce satisfiers while minimizing dissatisfiers. This is done through affinity seeking strategies such as facilitating enjoyment, inclusion of others, listening, nonverbal immediacy, openness, assuming equality and altruism. You need to seek a positive work environment and train supervisors to encourage positivity.
Think about what would satisfy you on the job. Learn from your previous positions and interactions. Unfortunately, I had supervisors that, for a variety of reasons, had no training or inclination to support their employees in a positive way. My father always said to treat others as you would like to be treated. Strive for job satisfaction for yourself and others around you.
A satisfied employee leads to a productive organization with an outstanding organizational culture. Currently, when employees have more choices to leave than ever before, talk to them and see what makes them satisfied. Never assume that what works for you works for them, especially if they work remotely and have limited personal interface with their supervisors. Job satisfaction depends upon your supervisor. If you understand this basic fact, take steps to improve this situation today.
Duke Haddad, Ed.D., CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis. He also serves as president of Duke Haddad and Associates LLC and is a freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO since 2008.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration plus a dissertation on donor characteristics. He received a master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis on public administration plus a thesis on annual fund analysis. He secured a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) with an emphasis on marketing/management. He has done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
Duke has received the Fundraising Executive of the Year Award, from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Indiana Chapter. He also was given the Outstanding West Virginian Award, Kentucky Colonel Award and Sagamore of the Wabash Award from the governors of West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana, respectively, for his many career contributions in the field of philanthropy.