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Attitudes and job satisfaction and Motivation at Work
People’s attitude is described when they express their feelings, opinions or their own views about their job or career, Saari and Judge (2004). Our attitudes are shaped from a young age, Perloff (2010).
Studying and analyzing attitudes and employees’ job satisfaction are very essential to understand what people carry towards their organizations, companies for example need to understand reasons for low performance, absenteeism and turnover. Many researchers, relate these together and many others did not proof a strong relationship exists, Hitt, Miller and Colella (2011).
Researchers found that values like recognition and financial security influence attitudes, Rayner, Rees and Rumbles (2011).
On the other hand, motivating employees is always a tough task for managers to achieve, as employees will always demand, and a motivation theory that may work with one employee may not work with another, Griffin and Moorhead (2014). Many theories of motivation explained and tried to analyze people’s need to be motivated, many theories go back to 1930s, although some of them might be applicable nowadays especially when most of them agreed that assigning work to employees to allow them to grow is one of the major drives that influence motivation, Bratton (2010). Attitudes change and reshape by time, by new technology and by new information, but the main objectives remains that companies want to motivate their employees to achieve organizations’ goals, Griffin and Moorhead (2011).
Many theories analyzed drives that would motivate employees and what would impact workers’ productivity and company’s performance, theories like Maslow hierarchy of needs talked about satisfying an employee by going up in the hierarchy but ERG theory analyzed that existence, relatedness and growth are equally important to achieve motivation, Bratton (2010).
Attitudes and Job Satisfaction:
Attitude is how we feel about something like objects, people or events. This can be favorable or unfavorable, Robbins and Judge (2013).
As per another definition, it is psychological and an emotional behavior that describes a person’s characteristics. It cannot be observed directly but can be understood and explained from how people act, Perloff (2010).
People’s response in a specific manner is another way of defining attitude, Mullis and Christy (2013).
Attitudes are people’s feelings about something or someone. Attitudes are about how people show their feelings. It is for example when employees express what they like and do not like in their work place, Griffin and Moorhead (2014).
Employees will have their opinions and own views about their career and about their work place, Saari and Judge (2004).
The fundamental three properties or components of an attitude are: (1) Cognitive, (2) Affective, and (3) Behavioral.
The cognitive component is about the facts we have about something or someone.
The affective component is about the feelings about something or someone.
The behavioral component is about how we behave toward people, Hitt, Miller and Colella (2011)
When people socialize and meet others starting from a young age they learn the attitudes. Eagly and Chaiken say that attitude is not a behavior, it is emotional, Perloff (2010).
Here we may talk about two attitude theories, balance theory and congruity theory. It is about people desire to have their attitudes consistent. When a person likes his job he will have positive attitude while performing it, but he will dislike a colleague working with him that does not like the same job and will have negative attitude toward him, Hitt, Miller and Colella (2011).
Our values, experience and personality are the power that structure our attitudes. For example, we will have positive feelings towards an honest person if we value honesty.
Attitudes may change with new information, when the object becomes less important or when the object changes.A less paid employee dislikes his company, his attitude becomes positive after a salary increment, Griffin and Moorhead (2014).
One of the mostly studied attitudes is job satisfaction. It has a linkage with lot of behaviors that would influence company’s performance. Satisfied employees will carry positive attitudes and will generally stay at their job. Job satisfaction has been seen reducing absenteeism and control turnover. Some researchers found a relation between job satisfaction and performance at work while some others found that there is weak or even no relation. They said that high or strong job satisfaction will result in strong performance. Others found the opposite. A third group found that the relation either weak or may not even exist as they believe other factors like skill and incentives are influencing job performance more than job satisfaction. It was found that the three opinions are correct depending on different situations, Hitt, Miller and Colella (2011).
Job satisfaction as an attitude also related to other factors like worker’s need, company’s policies, relations with other workers and the working conditions, Griffin and Moorhead (2014).
As per a recent research; opportunities to use skills and abilities have been ranked first among other factors that lead to job satisfaction. Results may change depending on size of organization, years of experience and working time system. With these findings and with the help of HR professionals started to develop the skills of existing employees by training and promoting them. Another factor as per research report result by SHRM in 2012, 42 per cent of the workers said that career advancement is important for job satisfaction especially for those looking for more challenging responsibilities, SHRM (2012).
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(USA, AUS, UK & CA PhD. Writers)