SATISFACTION THROUGH MOTIVATION
Imagine an attendance record that looks like this: Day 1, late; day 2, late; day 3, absent; day 4, undertime; day 5, AWOL. Records can’t lie. It can only reflect our feelings and thoughts about our jobs. In this case, the employee is way below the job satisfaction level any employer hopes to keep. Obviously, this kind of record calls for only two things: either a change of job or a change in mindset.
The first option is the easiest way out but the way out does not always end the struggle. In one way or another, a person needs to find another job and if dissatisfaction surfaces again, he or she has no strength to say “I’ll get through this” because he or she didn’t learn to do so from the previous job.
A plethora of scholarly articles suggest that the manager or leader should address problems of employees who lack motivation in their jobs. However, to wait for the manager to do something about our `motivation problem’ is the biggest problem we can create in any organization.
MOTIVATING ONESELF AND OTHERS
The only viable option to job dissatisfaction is the second choice, which is a change in mindset. For example, instead of expecting the manager to do something about the perceived problem in the workplace, we may just act on the problem itself. We must look for the perfect motivation to relive our energy at work.
Motivation is such a complex term. Prince (1990) defines motivation as “the complex forces, needs, drives, tension states, or other mechanisms within us that will create and maintain voluntary activity directed toward the achievement of personal goals” (qtd. in Skemp-Arlt & Tourpence, 2007). The key word in this definition is `voluntary.’ Only when we act voluntarily can we say that there is a motivational force that allows action to take place towards goal achievement. Of course, motivation is not found anywhere outside ourselves. It is within us and it must be nurtured for it to be sustained.
There is nothing more frustrating than dragging our body out of bed, and seeing ourselves looking at the clock the moment we reach the workplace as we imagine how we’d get through another day of work. This can happen for a number of reasons. However, if we want to see ourselves looking forward to our job every morning, then we must deliberately find a reason to feel that way.
First, we must set our minds that we don’t live to work or we don’t work to live. Our jobs are our tools to making ourselves better citizens. Our jobs are our venue to make a difference in other people’s lives. For example, call center agents should not feel bored with their jobs, instead they should feel rewarded for being able to do something about the clients’ problems. Likewise, administrators should not feel frustrated with the problems that they see in the organization; instead they should feel more inspired to create solutions to the organizational problems. The key is to finding the most appropriate set of mind and live with it. This is not to say that we must keep ourselves blind to the realities in our workplace but to be reminded that our own standpoint is what matters.
Also, it would help if we find someone to trust in the workplace. To know that someone is with us is more than just a relief to the everyday struggles in the workplace. We must remember that we are not just employees. We are human beings who are constantly in need of social support. Aside from these, we may become more motivated by permitting ourselves to be `immersed’ with our own jobs. This means we should be engrossed with what we do so we won’t be watching over the ticking clock until our working hours is over. We may be surprised by “how the time flies” when we focus on our jobs and on our clients, instead of thinking about how much we don’t like our jobs.
WHAT IT TAKES TO KEEP US SATISFIED WITH OUR JOBS
There is actually no magic formula to keeping ourselves satisfied. Our feelings towards our jobs may vary regularly. One time, we feel rewarded, the next day we feel dissatisfied. This is because our level of satisfaction may be affected by a lot of factors within and outside of us.
One the outside forces that affects our job satisfaction is the company hygiene which refers to the extrinsic factors associated with our work environment. Hygiene includes the company policy and administration, the supervision, salary, relationship with our superiors and peers, and the working condition in general (Guthrie, qtd. in Skemp-Arlt & Toupence, 2007, p. 28). All these outside factors play a significant role in our job satisfaction and engagement level. For us to be more effective, more factors come into play: staff morale, self-esteem, the feeling of being valued, etc.
The list of factors towards job satisfaction is quite endless. For this reason, it is easy for us to readily point to one factor when we fail to perform to the organization’s standards. We can always say, “It’s because of the salary,” or “Blame my poor performance on the boss who’s not good at motivating us.”
The bottom line is simple yet complicated: we must initiate change from within us. How we perceive things to be is what matters, not the boss, not the salary.
When we feel dissatisfied with our jobs, we must remind ourselves that “the opposite of dissatisfaction isn’t satisfaction, but motivation” (Glen, 2003, p.42).
Karen M Skemp-Arlt, Rachelle Toupence. (2007, February). The Administrator’s Role in Employee Motivation. Coach and Athletic Director, 76(7), 28,30,32,34. Retrieved June 22, 2008, from http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?index=13;did=1228229811;SrchMode=1;sid=2;Fmt=3;VInst=PROD;VType=PQD;RQT=309;VName=PQD;TS=1214233284;clientId=57020.
Paul Glen (2003, November). Job satisfaction: It’s highly overrated. Computerworld, 37(47), 42. Retrieved June 22, 2008, from http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?index=40&did=469975501&SrchMode=1&sid=2&Fmt=4&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=1214262640&clientId=57020