Employee satisfaction is the aim of most managers. The contention is that a satisfied employee has a better attitude to work than a dissatisfied employee. It was once believed that satisfaction would lead to higher productivity. Research findings point to the fact that satisfied employee is not necessarily productive. Thus there is no consistent correlation between productivity and job satisfaction. (Ivancevich, 1970, p.139-151). Studies show,
however, that job satisfaction correlates negatively with increased absenteeism rate, labour turnover and poor morale.
Commenting on the lack of correlation between employee satisfaction and productivity, Kahn observed that no significant relationships were discovered between any of the indexes of satisfaction and the productivity of the work group. In other words, employees in highly productive work groups were no more likely than employees in low producing group to be satisfied with their job and the company, or with their financial and status reward (Kahn 1960 p.277).
These studies consistently point out that a satisfied employee does not out produce an unsatisfied employee but they do not claim that satisfaction is the cause of low productivity or poor attitude to work. An employees who is satisfied and motivated is an ideal employee. What satisfies employees is many and varied. Factors such as gender, position, personal characteristics of the job holder level of education, income level, supervision, relationship with co- workers, size of the work group, job content, to mention but a few, are some of the major factors that influences employee job satisfaction.
Employee job satisfaction is influenced by the equitable distribution of organisational favours. Perceived inequity affects employee job satisfaction. The ability of an employee to perform his work up to expected standards influences job satisfaction.
An employee who is capable of performing an assigned task derives intrinsic reward from it, as he is capable of accomplishing something. He sees himself as having some control over his environment and may perceive himself as an achiever. This reward increases when the organization recognizes his contribution and gives him added incentive in the way of promotion or other privileges. If the employee believes that what he receives is equal to what other employees who have achieved level of productivity are entitled, he derives satisfaction. Extrinsic reward includes all forms of format recognition, promotion, advancement, pay, amenities, fringe benefits, and a pat on the back. These originate from the organization.
Intrinsic reward is an inner feeling of satisfaction originating from work well done, achievement, personal growth, status or power possessed and informal recognition. This inner warmth a form of self gratification is very sustaining. Many employees will stay in the organization if they are denied extrinsic reward but possess intrinsic reward. Where the later is lacking, the employee is very likely to leave the organization, or become very tanty, play truancy and characteristically, show a very poor attitude to work. Satisfaction is very closely related to absenteeism and labour turnover (Nwachukwu op cit p.201). Nwachukwu posits that job satisfaction is important because it influences absenteeism and tardiness and to a less extent, turnover of labour but not performance. It costs a lot of money to recruit and train employees therefore no company can survive continuous high turnover of employee or
unexcused absenteeism. Job satisfaction affects staff turnover to an extent because turnover is also influenced by availability of alternative job opportunities. A dissatisfied employee does not resign his position unless another equally attractive position is available.
Job performance can lead to job satisfaction. Job performance on the other hand, is a factor of other variables such as technology ability supervision and motivation.