Work Satisfaction and Participation
Could work be made more satisfying and participatory?
For a long time now, work has been viewed as an important aspect in life. Everybody across the globe is longing for work, with people doing their best to secure an employment. However, it is evident that many people are doing different jobs, but are not satisfied with them. Others do certain work without much conviction, because they cannot secure the right job, while others work because they were forced to. Different factors have proved to be behind this situation. A lot of research has been done concerning this matter, but no direct answer has ever been found to explain this phenomenon. The relationship between employees and employers has been the main factor determining satisfaction and participation at work and also at the workplace (Mahalingam, 1993). There is supposed to be a good relationship cultivated between employers and employees, because this will create a healthy working environment. In addition, employees are supposed to participate fully in decision making, implementing rules and regulations, and also, working towards achieving the set goals of the company or organization. It should be known that the latter, hardly takes place as employees have no say or power in the organization affairs. Nevertheless, this has not been the case, since there has been a bad relationship between employees and employers, and the former denied a chance to participate in significant issues affecting their work or organization at large. These factors led to the need to question whether work could be made more satisfying and participatory.
When looking at this question, it is apparent that work can be made more satisfying and participatory. Participative decision making as a managerial policy is ideal as a means of improving both satisfaction and performance of employees in an organization (Reason & Bradbury, 2006). Employees should be made to feel that they are vital to the organization, and their views and concerns are appreciated as well. Due to this fact, employers, employees, have implemented numerous strategies, reforms, and formed labor unions, aimed at ensuring that work is made satisfying and participatory. However, in order to ensure that work is more satisfying and participatory, several works reforms have to be initiated.
Schaff (2001) asserts that, there are different goals and motivations for work reforms. Many studies have found out that motivation makes people work more than it is anticipated, since they are aware of the rewards, which await them. For instance, employers will ensure that all employees have manageable workloads, high quality supervision and time for specialized training. They will also allow employees to raise their views, pay them reasonable salaries and maintain their health. Employees on the other hand, will ensure that they deliver their best by presenting quality work, observe all rules, and stay focused on the objective of the organization. Consequently, these will lead to increased satisfaction and participation in work.
According to Leitner (2010), this is because low wages, huge workloads and communication barriers that keep employees from raising issues, are the main factors that have been contributing to dissatisfaction by employees. An employee being paid a low salary will be less willing to work, as compared to one paid a higher salary. Furthermore, huge workloads leave employees being highly fatigued, hence losing interest to work again. If an employee is not allowed to raise issues affecting him and also to participate in the decision making process, he or she feels as if he/she is not a member of that given organization, hence not offering his best.
This kind of employee is usually not satisfied, since he/she feels that his rights are being violated. However, when an employee is given a chance to express his views and participate in decision making, he is usually eager to work, since he feels that he is actually part of the organization. There are numerous cases where employees are employed not because they are qualified nor have required skills or interest, but because they have not secured job in their fields of specializations (Ciulla, 2004). Others are employed because they are related to the employer or one of the renowned people in the industry. Thus, these kinds of employees, even if they are paid highly, given manageable workloads, and allowed to raise their voice and participate in decision making, would not be satisfied. This is because they feel like they have not attained their objective in life and you will find many of them still searching for employment in their respective fields of specialization.
According to Berg et al. (1978), everybody across the world including management, unions, and the state can play significant roles in shaping workplaces. For instance, they should ensure that the health of the workers is maintained at all costs by implementing rules and regulations and demanding employers to insure their employees. Within increased exploitation across the world, they can set standard salaries that every employees should be paid. Employees should be allowed to form unions through which, they will be able to demand their rights. They should also ensure that employees are included in the decision making process. The State should ensure that all employees are working the same hours, not more than eight hours per day, and that they do not work on the weekends. They should prevent child labor, which has become rampant across the world.
By doing these, management, unions and state, will have created a humble working environment for all employees. They would also have facilitated satisfaction and participation in work. This is because healthy workers are eager and willing to work, since they deliver their best compared to sick or injured employees (Zemsky, 2009). When employee knows that he/she has health cover, he will be willing to take any risk so as to ensure that organization’s objective is attained.
When employees are allowed to form unions, they will be working harder than ever before. This is because employees will be in a good position to demand and enforce their rights when in a group, than as an individual (Hanlon et al., 1985). Hence, this will create a humble working environment because employees will know that by no chance will their rights be violated. Some employers are seeking cheap labor from children and paying low salaries for hard jobs. Hence, prevention of child labor and standardized salaries will help in creating a favorable working place.
Initially, it was believed that it was not easy to reorganize work, so that it becomes more satisfying and participatory. However, this has become an issue of the past with everybody believing that if determined and willing, work can be reorganized, so that it becomes more satisfying and participatory (Gustavsen & Hunnius, 1981). In order to attain this, there are different issues that are supposed to be addressed. For instance, health of the workers should be maintained fully with all employees given health insurance. All workers injured while at work should be treated immediately, given some days off duty, so as to rest and recover, and also be compensated. Employees should form and join unions of their own choice. This will help them to demand their rights and reorganize work in the way they want. Employees should also access better housing, clothing and meals (Pauly, 2010). Employers should ensure that all their employees have at least three meals a day and that they live in good houses. This will not only motivate employees, but will also make them to view work as being satisfying and participating.
McCann (1994) states that any given business organization has got its productivity and profit goals. However, due to increased need for work-reform, humanistic work-reform has also got its own objectives aimed at ensuring that they reorganize work and make it more satisfying and participatory. However, it is possible to reconcile goals of humanistic work-reform with those of productivity and profit. That is, you can use humble working environment, good salaries, maintaining health of employees, which are goals of humanistic work-reform goals to reduce production cost while increasing profits, which are goals of productivity, and profit making.
This is because, when an employee is treated well and he/she is feeling satisfied what he/she is doing, he will usually be willing to work under low supervision and work hard. This will help to reduce production costs especially capital used on supervision (Card, 2002). Since satisfied employees produce high quality products, they will fetch high prices on the markets and compete effectively hence leading to high profit margins.
There are numerous theoretical perspectives that developed to provide the most significant insights on the prospects or thereof, for work-reform. Nevertheless, not all these theoretical perspectives provide similar insights in the prospects or thereof for work. Nevertheless, the perspective that employ satisfaction and participation are they key factors to success is the best theoretical perspective that provide since it attracts attention from employees, employers, unions and states (Hanlon et al., 1985). It forces them to concentrate one goal- making working to be more satisfying and participatory hence facilitating well being of the employees while lowering organization’s cost of production and increasing profit margins.
In general, work can be easily made to be more satisfying and participatory. Nevertheless, in order to ensure this, employers, employees, unions and states are supposed to play their role and contribution fully towards this objective. Employers should hire highly skilled employees with the qualifications needed to undertake that given task. Employees should seek employment in their fields of specialization. They should not go for what they are not comfortable with since this will not satisfy them. Unions should stand up to protect employees’ rights and ensure that all workers are paid well and that they are working in favorable environments. State on the other hand should implement laws preventing child labor and addressing needs of all employees. It should prevent maltreatment of employees and low wages. By doing these, work would be made highly satisfying and participatory. In conclusion, it is extremely vital that employees are in a work environment, which is conducive for their development, as well as career growth. The employer is the one who has the ability of making work to be participatory and satisfactory. This means that they have an upper hand in making sure that the needs of employees are well catered for. Human nature involves ensuring that they can express themselves in any way possible without being restricted.
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