Job satisfaction: more than just financial compensation


Most of us spend more time at work than we do at home, and more time with our coworkers than with our friends and families. For this reason, our job greatly influences all aspects of our life. Any job is better than no job; or is it? Many studies have been done that have linked high levels of work-related stress with depression and anxiety. Some jobs are more likely than others to cause negative feelings. Jobs and careers that expose the ugly sides of people tend to lead to higher stress and depression—these include judges, lawyers, police officers, etc (Worth, 2010). Additionally, physicians, nurses, and others, working in the medical field who witness death and illness on an everyday basis also tend to experience work-related sadness and discomfort. However, all jobs and professions also have their own pros and cons. The culture of the organization counts a lot, and can either encourage creativity and growth in employees, or discourage them and leave them feeling inadequate and unappreciated.

Job satisfaction has been said to stem from a quality of work life that provides employees with a favorable work environment, rewards for achievements, job security, and career development opportunities. The concept of person-situation fit is greatly related to job satisfaction, which states that when a person’s beliefs and goals are similar to the values of their organization, they will experience greater job satisfaction. Additionally, when these individual and organizational goals are aligned, the employee will perform better and, ideally, get praised and rewarded for her performance—which will only increase job satisfaction even more (Olsen, Maple & Stage, 1995). Additionally, when a person truly enjoys what she does for a living, she will naturally perform better and be more motivated to work harder in order to achieve career goals and further her knowledge and skill set.

Famous American psychologist Abraham Maslow, in his hierarchy of needs theory, postulated that a person’s basic needs, such as food and housing, must be met before higher-level needs can be addressed, such as self-actualization. Similarly, psychologist Fredrick Herzberg posited that motivation can be broken down into two factors: motivators and hygienes. Hygienes are lower-level needs that must first be met to inspire motivation, and in terms of job satisfaction these hygienes represent factors such as supervision, salary, work environment, and work relationships. These factors do not directly promote job satisfaction; however, the lack or inadequacy of these factors, do cause job dissatisfaction. Motivators, on the other hand, inspire motivation and effort, and consequently job satisfaction and self-actualization. Such motivators include responsibility, achievement, recognition, promotion, and various intrinsic values (Mind Tools, 2016). For women especially, work-life balance is extremely important. As the primary caregivers for their children, many women struggle to keep up with both their career obligations and their motherly duties. For this reason many women are at a disadvantage when competing with men for prestigious and coveted positions. A job that requires women to work excessive amounts of hours and neglect their personal and motherly responsibilities will undoubtedly lead to job dissatisfaction or resignation—regardless of the pay, work environment, or benefits that may be offered.

Contrary to popular belief, financial compensation is not the main factor that determines an employees’ job satisfaction. Feeling at home at work—experiencing person-situation fit—will greatly boost an employee’s satisfaction at work, and will motivate that person to come to work every day and to work to their full potential. Additionally, competent managers should be available to properly train and assist the employee to achieve superior performance, and praise that employee for their progress and achievement. Everyone wants to feel that their work is being noticed and appreciated. Employees also want to know that there is opportunity for advancement, and many good employees have left their jobs simply because they have capped out their growth potential at that organization. Most importantly, every employee should feel that their work is making a difference and that they are progressing in life. When all of these factors are present, employees will experience greater job satisfaction and will in return work to their fullest potential to promote the growth and success of their organization.

About the Author:


Sonda Eunus, MHA

Sonda Eunus is the Founder and CEO of Leading Management Solutions, a healthcare management consulting company ( Along with a team of experienced and knowledgeable consultants, she works with healthcare practice managers to improve practice operations, train employees, increase practice revenue, and much more. She holds a Masters in Healthcare Management and a BA in Psychology.




Worth, T. (2010). Why your job is making you depressed. CNN. Retrieved from:

Herzberg’s motivators and hygiene factors. (2016) Mind Tools. Retrieved from:

Maple, S. A., Olsen, D., Stage, F. (1995). Women and minority faculty job satisfaction: professional role interests, professional satisfactions, and institutional fit. Journal of Higher Education, 66(3), 267-293.


Tags , , , ,