How Does a Work Environment Affect Job Satisfaction?

A work environment that offers learning opportunities and rewards good performance improves job satisfaction.

A work environment that offers learning opportunities and rewards good performance improves job satisfaction.

Satisfied employees are crucial to achieving business goals and organizational effectiveness. Job satisfaction occurs at the intrinsic and extrinsic levels. Intrinsic satisfaction refers to the feeling of accomplishment that an employee gets from performing a task. Extrinsic satisfaction depends on harmony among the employees and their peers, supervisors, organization and compensation. The work environment is an extrinsic satisfaction factor that has multiple dimensions to it.

Feedback

A work environment that provides feedback is conducive to job satisfaction. Employees thrive in an environment that channels timely feedback to them. To be effective, feedback should be objective and consider actual performance. Moreover, supervisors should devote more time to the interaction, provide useful information for improving job performance and avoid focusing solely on mistakes. The feedback should be ongoing and reciprocal.

Learning

Learning opportunities improve job satisfaction by offering growth opportunities. The work environment should support learning, including learning from mistakes. An organizational learning culture supports the acquisition of knowledge, sharing of learning and continuous improvement of organizational processes. A better learning environment translates into higher job satisfaction.

Rewards and Recognition

A work environment that rewards good performance and genuine employee efforts improves job satisfaction. Employees have different needs and will respond to monetary or non-monetary rewards differently. Employees may respond better to non-monetary rewards, such as performance awards, which boost employee self-esteem.

Supervisory Style

Supervisory style, such as the closeness of monitoring and participatory decision-making, has a direct bearing on job satisfaction, and close supervision has an adverse impact on job satisfaction. This is related to the basic human tendency to value independence, trust, respect and a collaborative work environment. Close monitoring indicates lack of trust and empowerment, and leads to lower job satisfaction.

Physical Environment

A company's physical working environment and design affects employee behavior and job satisfaction. There is more to the physical work condition than safety and cleanliness. An innovative work place design facilitates the flow of information, improves communication and boosts productivity. A badly designed work environment leads to frustration and hurts job satisfaction.

Interpersonal Relations

People devote a lot of time to their professional pursuits. Work is not just a way to make ends meet; it helps infuse meaning into life. As a result, workplace relations have a tremendous impact on not only job satisfaction but also on general well-being. A harmonious and amicable relationship with supervisors and colleagues is vital in overall job satisfaction.

 

About the Author

Alfred Sarkissian holds a master’s degree in industrial management. With experience in business and public policy, he has covered intellectual property rights, industrial policy and technology policy for various publications.

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