Answer Question 1: Why do you think many people are in jobs that are not satisfying? Do organizations help people craft satisfying and motivating jobs, and if not, why not? In times of economic recession, one of the main reasons people stay in jobs that are not satisfying can be due to the fear of not being able to pay their bills, provide for their families, and the fear of not being able to quickly find replaceable jobs that will provide equal or higher pay and benefits. This fear can lead many people to face the effects of cognitive dissonance, where individuals will seek a stable state by changing their initial attitude in attempt to reduce any form of inconsistency and to minimize dissonance between two or more attitudes or between behavior and attitude (Judge and Robbins, 2013). For example, an employee that is extremely unsatisfied with the management system of their workplace will not actively voice possible solutions for changes needed nor exit the job by quitting due to fear of losing their job. Instead he/she will persuade self into thinking, “Management sucks, but at least I have a job.”
Or perhaps this worker will criticize management and the company prior to when they began working there, but once hired they will change their position and attitude to rationalize staying with the company, simply because they have no other means of providing for themselves and are often too lazy or apathetic to change jobs. Another reason why people stay in unsatisfying jobs will be due to loyalty; a possible hope for future promotion or belief that one day the conditions will improve. Both of these reasons are not healthy trends of the workforce, and organizations (whether the companies themselves or other third party ones) would be wise to think of ways to improve job satisfaction because studies have shown that happier workers are almost always more productive ones. While all organizations should help people craft satisfying and motivating jobs, not all of them do so. Organizations and those who lead them are usually not concerned with the overall satisfaction of their workforce, so long as that workforce continues to perform the tasks they are assigned.
Organizations are chiefly concerned with profits and maximizing them, and they see their workers as a means to that end, and therefore cannot be overly concerned with whether or not they are satisfied with their jobs. However, organizations also know that there is a thin line, and that they cannot abuse their workers or neglect them or treat them extremely unfairly, because workers will only be willing to put up with so much of this before jumping to another competitor. So in that sense, some organizations are smart and put a lot of effort into ensuring that their workers are indeed satisfied with their jobs and do find the proper motivation to continue to work hard for these companies. Google, for example, provides their workers with many kinds of perks like free meals, exercise gyms, massages, and other accommodations in addition to competitive salaries.
In the study “How to Motivate Employees” the author discusses that humans are naturally driven by four things: to acquire necessities, to build bonds, to comprehend, and to defend their possessions (Williams, 2010). Organizations like Google and others understand these intrinsic drives, and so they offer good salaries to help them acquire, and good mentorship and training to build bonds and comprehension. They also push their workers to develop new technologies and this also helps in the comprehension and bond aspects, as the workers are on a team that must work together to have success. Many companies do indeed follow the same rationale, but many organizations do not, as they are only concerned with making sure the worker is paid. This is probably why much of America’s workforce is disenchanted with their jobs, and see themselves as just one of countless worker ants slaving away for a colony.
Robbins, S.P. & Judge, T.A. (2013). Organizational behavior (15th ed.), 324-325. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall. Williams, Ray B. (February 13, 2010). How to motivate employees: What managers need to know. Wired for Success. Retrieved from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wired-success/201002/how-motivate-employees-what-managers-need-know-0