What are the real keys to improving job performance and satisfaction in the workplace?
It’s not about making people “happy.” Instead, the keys to improving job satisfaction are: improving autonomy, skill variety, task identity, task significance, and feedback loops. In plain English, it means empowering people with meaningful tasks where they can feel their impact, while growing their skills. This is how people find their flow and improve, while enjoying the job they’re in.
In Social Psychology: Theories, Research, and Applications, Robert S. Feldman identifies key dimensions that influence your performance and satisfaction.
Five Key Job Dimensions
The key job dimensions are:
- Skill variety
- Task identity
- Task significance
Job Dimensions Explained
Feldman explains what the five key job dimensions are:
- Skill variety: the degree to which the job requires different skills underlying the activities that are part of the job.
- Task identity: the degree to which an individual produces a whole, identifiable unit of work (versus completion of a small unit which is not an identifiable final product).
- Task significance: the degree to which the job has an influence over others.
- Autonomy: the degree to which an individual holding a job is able to schedule his or her activities and decide on the particular procedures to be employed.
- Feedback: the extent to which clear, precise information about the effectiveness of performance is conveyed.
Improve Job Dimensions to for Higher Performance, Motivation and Satisfaction
Improving the job dimensions improves job performance and satisfaction. Feldman writes:
“Improving the job dimensions improves higher productivity, increases motivation and job satisfaction, high-quality performance and lower-levels of absenteeism and turnover. The following table is based on Hackman & Oldham (1976).”
Feldman shares a summary of table of high job satisfaction:
|Job Dimension||Psychological States||Outcomes|
|Meaningfulness of work||High motivation and satisfaction|
|Autonomy||Perceived responsibility||High-quality work|
|Feedback||Knowledge of results||Low absenteeism and turnover|
While I don’t think the categories are a surprise, I like the precision and the mapping. If you’re feeling a lack in the "Outcomes" column, check the corresponding "Job Dimension" column to see what the underlying issue might be.