In contemporary business environment, employees are considered to the most valuable asset for an organisation. Employees’ attitudes towards work and job satisfaction are considered to be crucial in determining the effectiveness of the workforce performance. Therefore, the report attempts to evaluate a range of literature in order to determine the factors that influence employees’ attitude and job satisfaction and how these two factors can impact on an employee’s motivation. Taking into consideration several academic models and theoretical propositions, the paper would conclude on possible ways of influencing employee attitudes and job satisfaction positively.
Christian, Garza and Slaughter (2011) once mentioned that happy employees can be more productive for an organisation. There are some evidences in the several contemporary business sectors across the world that can validate the statement. Organisations nowadays are emphasising more on the HR policies in order make sure there is high employee morale in the workforce and the productivity is as per the board’s expectations. However, ensuring high employee morale might not be an easy task for the HR department as different employees are influenced by different factors. Several scholars have claimed that regardless of the nature of the work process, employee morale is influenced by the attitude and job satisfaction (Aydogdu and Asikgil, 2011).
Employee attitude is generally comprised of three components such as cognitive components, affective component and behavioural component. The cognitive component is concerned with the self belief of the employees. The affective component suggests the emotional state of the employees and the behavioural component reflects an employee’s intention to react in a specific way (Erdogan et al., 2012). These components are considered to be interrelated with each other and any alterations within these components are likely to impact on the attitude of the employees. Exhibit 1 in appendix reflects how cognitive, affective and behavioural components promote a negative attitude of the employees towards the immediate supervisor (refer to appendix).
The components as discussed above, determines how an employee would react in the work place. However, there can be several influencing factors that could also impact on employee attitudes. These are,
According to some of the scholars, a person’s disposition often determines job satisfaction. Kabir and Parvin (2011) found that for the majority of the employees, job stability has been achieved only after several years of working in an organisation. In another study, Grant (2012) discussed that one of the major reasons for job satisfaction is the employee’s perception of the job. If an employee is appointed for a job within the preferred domain, positive attitude can be expected, whereas an employee working out of the comfort zone can develop a negative attitude towards the work. In addition to that there are also evidences on the influence of several personality traits that determine an employee’s attitude. Among these, precision and extraversion are assumed to be two major factors that determine how an employee is going to react towards the allocated job roles (Aziri, 2011).
The continuous globalisation of businesses has introduced several challenges for the modern day HR practitioners (Boswell, Zimmerman and Swider, 2012). Among these, cross-cultural influence on employees is a major factor that can impact on the employee attitude. Among the researches on cross-cultural impact of workforce, the study of Hofstede is found to be the most valuable. The study conducted across 67 countries and the study concluded that there are four different cultural dimensions that can determine the attitude of the workforce. The four dimensions are individualism-collectivism, uncertainty avoidance against risk taking, power distance and masculinity-famininity (Edmans, 2012). Considering Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, practical recommendations on awareness level and adjustments are proposed that determines employee attitude towards cross-culture environment.
The working condition or the work situation is considered to be a strong influencer behind employees’ attitude. The statement can be contradictory to some of the business practitioners who believe employees’ job satisfaction is determined only by the compensation packages. Scheers and Botha (2014) argued that the nature of the work itself influences the employees to like the work and as a result, employees experience high morale. Perhaps this is the reason why some scholars refer the nature of work as ‘intrinsic job characteristics’. Several researches revealed that along with the level of supervision, compensation, promotion opportunities and employee relations, the nature of work is a crucial job facet that the employees prioritise (Lanaj, Chang and Johnson, 2012).
Job satisfaction can be influenced by several factors, some of which can be related to monetary related and some are non-monetary factors. According to Hom et al., (2012), work, opportunities for promotion, salary, work conditions and management efficiency are some important factors enable employees to enjoy the job role. However, there are instances where employees can be dissatisfied to the current job roles due to other factors. In this context, the determinants of job satisfaction discussed by Baer (2012) can be considered that leads to either satisfaction or dissatisfaction (refer to exhibit 2 in appendix).
There is a considerable number of theories on job satisfaction. However, the most reliable and widely used theory is perhaps the Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory that segregated the factors intor two parts including motivators (that cause job satisfaction) and hygiene factors (that cause job dissatisfaction). Recognition, growth, added responsibilities, achievement and work itself are among the motivators that cause job satisfaction among the employees (Duffy, Dik and Steger, 2011). On the other hand, company policies, employee relations, compensation, job security, level of supervision, etc. are some hygiene factors that can cause job dissatisfaction among the employees.