Medical Journal of Dr. D.Y. Patil Vidyapeeth

: 2015  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 129--130

Job satisfaction of hospital staff: An emerging challenge

Suprakash Chaudhury 
 Department of Psychiatry, Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences (Deemed University), Rural Medical College, Loni, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Suprakash Chaudhury
Department of Psychiatry, Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences (Deemed University), Rural Medical College, Loni, Maharashtra

How to cite this article:
Chaudhury S. Job satisfaction of hospital staff: An emerging challenge.Med J DY Patil Univ 2015;8:129-130

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Chaudhury S. Job satisfaction of hospital staff: An emerging challenge. Med J DY Patil Univ [serial online] 2015 [cited 2020 Nov 27 ];8:129-130
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Job satisfaction is defined as "a pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one's job or job experiences." [1] Few models have been proposed for studying job satisfaction. The most popular job satisfaction model is Locke's range of affect theory, which postulates that job satisfaction is determined by a discrepancy between what one wants in a job and what one has in a job. The theory also mentions that how much one values a given facet of work (e.g., the degree of autonomy) moderates how satisfied/dissatisfied one becomes with the job when expectations are/are not met. The common aspects of job satisfaction are work, pay, promotions, recognition, benefits, working conditions, supervision, co-workers, company and management. [1] On the other hand, the dispositional theory posits that people have innate dispositions that cause them to have tendencies toward a certain level of satisfaction, regardless of the nature of the job. This theory became a notable explanation of job satisfaction in view of evidence that job satisfaction tends to be stable over time and across careers and jobs. [2]

Herzberg's two-factor theory states that satisfaction and dissatisfaction are driven by different factors - motivation and hygiene factors, respectively. He named the satisfiers as motivators and the dissatisfiers as hygiene factors. Hygiene factors (working conditions, quality of supervision, salary, status, security, company policies and interpersonal relations) ensure that an employee does not become dissatisfied. These factors do not improve motivation, but without them there is dissatisfaction. Motivational factors (achievement, recognition, responsibility for task, interest in the job, advancement to higher level tasks and growth, meaningfulness) are needed to motivate an employee into higher performance. This theory emphasized that managers must ensure the adequacy of the hygiene factors to avoid employee dissatisfaction. Simultaneously, the managers must ensure that the work is stimulating and rewarding so that the employees are motivated to work and perform better. This theory emphasizes upon job-enrichment so as to motivate the employees. The job must utilize the employee's skills and competencies to the maximum. Addressing the motivational factors will improve work quality. [3],[4]

The Job Characteristics Model is used to study how particular job characteristics impact on job outcomes. According to this model there are five core job characteristics (skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy and feedback), which impact three critical psychological states (experienced meaningfulness, experienced responsibility for outcomes and knowledge of the actual results), and that in turn influence work outcomes (job satisfaction, absenteeism, work motivation). [5]

In hospitals, job dissatisfaction is highly associated with staff's intention to quit, suboptimal healthcare delivery and poor clinical outcomes, for instance due to adverse events and reduced patient adherence, and lower patient satisfaction. [6],[7],[8] For the healthcare workers themselves, lowered job satisfaction is also associated with higher levels of stress and burnout. [9] Research suggests that job satisfaction and job performance are positively correlated. [10] Doctors with higher job satisfaction are more likely to provide more satisfactory services and produce better therapeutic effect than those with lower job satisfaction. [11] Higher job satisfaction of hospital staff results in higher patient satisfaction and lower medical costs, thereby making a hospital more competitive. [12]

The most important predictors of job satisfaction are: [13]

Belief that the organization carries out its Mission statement,Good communication,Less frequently being asked to perform an excessive amount of work,Good decision latitude,Satisfaction with the pay level,Satisfaction with the organization's recognition of employee contributions,Being female,Good role clarity,Being satisfied that the organization keeps employees informed,Good teamwork,Being given enough time to get the job done andGood organization/staff relations. [13] Evidence suggests that many health care workers are dissatisfied with their income and overall working conditions. [2],[14],[15]

What is the way forward? Can any steps be taken to improve job satisfaction? Increasing pay and perks may not be easy in these days of shrinking budgets. There is a need to innovate and come up with low/no cost measures. Job satisfaction is higher in a work environment in which supervisors and subordinates consult together and individuals are involved with peers in decision making and task definition. [2] This can be implemented at no cost. In one study, altering the schedule of days on night duty (without reducing the total number of night duties performed by an individual) produced a significant improvement in job satisfaction at no additional cost. [16] Recognition of staff can be one of the easiest, cost-effective strategies to retain experienced mature staff. [2] Managers at present only issue show cause notice/counseling letters. A system of also issuing letters of appreciation can vastly improve staff morale at practically no cost. The system of best-maintained ward/worker can also help in this regard.

In the age of intense competition, it is likely that only hospitals having better job satisfaction will survive. Managers can neglect it only at their peril.


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