Employee satisfaction and its relevance to an organisation

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What does the term 'Satisfaction' imply to an employee? It simply denotes the feeling of either being contented or not contented on using a product/service while employee satisfaction is a measure of how happy workers are with their job and working environment, it could also be said to be a function of perceived performance and expectations. It is a persons' feeling of pleasure or disappointment resulting from comparing a product's outcome to his/her expectations. It's mainly how employees like their job (satisfaction) and dislike their job (dis-satisfaction). Locke (1983) states

"Job satisfaction is a pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one's job or job experiences"

The biggest asset of an organization is human capital management. As cited in Doyle 2001 by (Laffaldano and Muchinsky 1985) stating that "there is a relationship between employee satisfaction and productivity". According to Samir Brikho, (2009) Chief Executive of AMEC Plc states on the company's website that:

"… AMEC's people are our most important asset. It is the skills of our people that our customers value; in particular, our ability to deliver complex projects safely, on time and on budget."

From this perspective, employees are largely a factor of production and an expense of doing business rather than the only resource capable of turning inanimate factors of production into wealth. Employees are central to business success so it is vital for staff to be skilled, flexible and motivated which can be achieved through planned consistent training and development. Research has shown that motivated employees create higher customer satisfaction and in turn positively influence organisational performance. Employee performance is an important aspect of human management/psychology required to be managed efficiently by an organization.

There are a number of challenges in the western countries which require the serious attention of HR managers to 'find the right candidate' and build a 'conducive work environment' which will be beneficial for the employees, as well as the organization but employee satisfaction has a heavy weight on organisation performance/growth. Employees are an important aspect of an organization and should be managed properly. To bring out job satisfaction, the organization must focus on motivator factors, such as making the work more interesting, challenging, and personally rewarding According to Davidson, (2004) "employees are the most valuable assets a corporation has". The progress/success of any organization is linked to the satisfaction of its employees. Employees can make or break an organisation. "Good employees can produce extraordinary results while marginal employees can drag and keep a business down" (Deal 2005). The outstanding success of any organisation depends on the quality of employee hired to work. Satisfied employees add positive value to organisation while dissatisfied employee's action could lead to disinterest, absenteeism, low performance, turnover and possibly increase in administrative and training.

However, recent study on psychological climate supports the notion of satisfaction with overall vision affecting overall job satisfaction. James and James (1992) defined psychological climate as "an individual's interpretation of the environment in a way that is psychologically meaningful" which emphasizes the attitude of an individual to an environment. Hence, various attitude possessed by an employee in a nutshell are related to the job under condition with specific factors like wages, conditions of work, subordinates relations, prompt settlement of grievances and fair treatment by employer. Though, factors such as age, aspirations, social status and some other important factors also contribute to job satisfaction. Using Coscharis Motors Limited as a case study, this research will verify if job satisfaction of employees at Coscharis motors has got an effect on its productivity and retention of its employees. Also, I will critically examine how efficient employee satisfaction can be achieved in West Africa compared to developed countries

1.1 Organisational Background (Case study)

Coscharis group which today is a household name in the West African country of Nigeria, evolved out of a modest company called "Maduka Brothers Company" that was incorporated in 1977. The company metamorphosed from Maduka Brothers to COSDAV Motors and later to the COSCHARIS GROUP. Coscharis was derived from the names "Cosmas" and "Charity". From a modest beginning with the importation and distribution of motorcycles and its spare parts, ball and roller bearings, and original Japanese motor spare parts, the company has expanded its frontiers to include such business as sales and services of automobiles, BMW, FORD and LANDROVER, ABRO brand of auto-care products, Computer and Accessories, Medical equipment, General Air conditions; Financing/Leasing etc. Its Head Office is located at No 1-7 Coscharis Street, Kirikiri Industrial Estate, Maza-Maza, Lagos, Nigeria. COSCHARIS GROUP has got six subsidiaries namely; Coscharis motors, Coscharis auto industry, Coscharis Technologies, Coscharis Beverages, Coscharis Medical & Foods and Coscharis Finance & Investments.

Coscharis Motors Limited, the parent and the main research company comprises of the listed departments: Presidency, finance/accounts, information technology, administrative, logistics and transport, maintenance, marketing while the principal and managerial staff can be found in appendix. Coscharis Group has got 10 local branch networks in the northern and eastern part of Nigeria and an elaborate operational base in Gabon, Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire.

1.2 AUTO COMPONENTS

This division of Coscharis Motors Limited is vested with the responsibility of managing all spare parts franchises apart from Auto-care. From the inception of the company, Coscharis has established a solid relationship with overseas manufacturers of genuine spare parts, mostly from Japan and other South Asian countries as well as from Europe, and have supplied the Nigerian auto industry with a substantial share of genuine spare parts needed to sustain the repair and maintenance needs of the industry.

That the name of this company has become almost synonymous with auto spare parts in Nigeria and some parts of the Central and West Africa sub region is as a result of the vast range of spare parts supplied and marketed in these regions by Coscharis. There is little doubt that Coscharis has occupied a leadership position in the marketing and supply of genuine auto parts to Nigerian environs and the West Africa sub region in general.

Coscharis has gained the status of Sole Franchise Holder in Nigeria as well as just Franchise Holder for some of these numerous products which are categorized as follows:

• Bearings (KG and Nachi brands of roller bearings)

• Rings & Metals (NPR, TP and RIK piston rings, Taiho and NDC engine bearings)

• Suspension & Transmission parts (Tokico shock absorbers)

• Pumps & Carburettors (GMB water pumps, Kyosan fuel pump and Mitsubishi electric fuel pumps)

• Motor Electrical Parts (FD cut-outs and ignition coils, Mitsubishi/Hitachi contact points)

• Automotive batteries (Abro dry cell, Abro maintenance free, Fukuda dry cell, Coslite dry cell and maintenance free batteries etc)

The Auto components division also constitutes a unit called ASPAMDA which manages the affairs of all customers located at the Auto Spare Parts and Market Dealer Association section of the Trade Fair Market at the Fair Complex, Badagry Expressway, Lagos, Nigeria. This unit ensure that high level customer relations is facilitated and maintained at all times in respect of quick/easy facilitation of payment instruments of customers as well as prompt supply and delivery of goods to customer/consumers. This unit also ensures that the mandate of the manufacturers to prevent adulteration of their franchise brands is vigorously sustained.

1.3 Research Questions

What level of job satisfaction is operated in Coscharis Motors

What factors contribute to its current level of dissatisfaction

What is the way forward for the company?

1.4 Research Objectives

In the context of quality and within the time and resources available, particular emphasis was placed at analysing and getting a clearer understanding of employee satisfaction within the scope of this project, factors that contribute dissatisfaction, its relevance and to make recommendation in Coscharis. This research study seeks to establish the drivers behind the challenges of retaining its employees, satisfaction, and whether this decision has a negative or positive impact on the organization. Coscharis as a case study will be useful in critically examining how efficient employee satisfaction can be achieved as the findings will help deduce the feasibility of employee satisfaction as a competitive advantage mechanism in today's global economy.

1.5 Justification of the study

Looking at the way motivation affects employee's willingness to perform, backbone of employee satisfaction, areas management need to focus on, positive and negative impacts of motivation and benefits associated with employee satisfaction and what amenities management has to provide workers to improve morale. This research will justify employee satisfaction in relation to productivity at Coscharis motors and help in identifying different ways in motivating employee's bringing into focus its relevance. These relevant information and documents will be collected by questionnaires from employees. Thus data collected will be analysed to conclude the research which might improve the credibility of the company, employee's motivation, allegiant to the company, improve relationship between management and employees and finally the company will learn how to manage its employees for future occurrence.

1.6 Structure of the study

The research consists of five chapters, references and appendices.

Chapter One (Introduction) is an introduction of the research project that gives a general outlook of employee satisfaction, the objectives, justification as well as the structure of the research.

Chapter Two (Literature review) located a vast range of resources, which identifies job satisfaction, motivation, participation and an effective environment. It explains all the concepts involve in job satisfaction, the principles and relevance to an organisation and a brief overview of ways to ensure its effectiveness.

Chapter Three (Methodology) explains the research methodology used for the research.

Chapter Four (Discussion and presentation of data) is the lifeline of this research work because it contains analysis used in making assumptions.

Chapter Five (Data analysis) is a summary of the data collected by participants.

Chapter Six (Reflective learning, conclusion & recommendation for further work) is the last chapter which is a summary of the research, conclusion and recommendations made for further research.

CHAPTER TWO

2.0 Literature Review

The literature review in any research is a very important aspect that shows the researcher the right path to follow. Ticehurst and Veal (2000: 46) describe it as "being able to show how much has been done on the subject matter and also serves the purpose of stimulating ideas which are both methodological and substantive".

Job satisfaction could be traced recently to the beginning of civilization with the acclaimed Hawthorne research conducted by Elton Mayo at the Western electronic company in 1920; although since Hawthorne's research there have been a reasonable academic work to correlate job satisfaction. Job satisfaction, perhaps the most widely studied concept in organizational psychology reveals employee satisfaction could be linked to motivation as they go simultaneously while various authors have given different definitions of motivation which are reviewed as follows: Kreitner, (1995) argues that motivation is the psychological process that gives behaviour purpose and direction, while Buford et al (1995) argues it to be a predisposition to behave in a purposive manner to achieve specific unmet need while Higgins (1994) states motivation to be an internal drive to satisfy an unsatisfied need.

According to Marc Drizin, an employee loyalty specialist as cited by Modic

"...Employees are assets with feet; they are the only resources companies have that make a conscious decision to return the next day" Modic (2005).

Employee satisfaction has got massive influence to the success of an organization. Studies have shown that organizations that excel in employee satisfaction issues reduce turnover by 50% from the norm and increases customer satisfaction to a minimum average of 95%, while labour cost is been reduced by 12% and lifting pre-tax margins by an average of 4%. Carpitella, (2003). The way an organisation manages its employee's welfare it's got a lot to do with its employees been satisfied and fulfilled working in the organisation. Employees are central to business success so it is vital for staff to be skilled, flexible and motivated which can be achieved through planned consistent training and development.

According to Ed Schmitt, (2005)

" Today's workers have different expectations from the organizations they work for and are much less hesitant to leave one job from another if they don't feel those expectations are being met. Job security is less important to today's worker"

When employees are motivated and satisfied with their job and standard in an organization they feel more valuable, especially when they see the "results stemming from their actions" (Calder & Douglas, 1999)

Organisations, which give due recognition to the perceptions, attitudes, motivation and learning abilities of employees, successfully create an efficient workforce thereby giving room to motivation/satisfaction. Efficient workforces identify themselves with the organisation's mission and aid in its success. The best way to retain effective staff is to provide them with a better deal than they perceive they could get by working for another employee. There is need for provision of satisfying job along with career development opportunities and competent line management.

Motivating employee's by proving training, development and putting in place rewards and appraisal system rather than terminating employees is a major key to job satisfaction and profitability in organizations. "Companies can either invest in providing mentoring, training and growth opportunities now or pay the costs of turnover later" (Clark, 2005).

According to McKeown, (2002) Maslow once summarized his findings as follows "the unhappiness, unease and unrest in the world today is caused by people living far below their capacity" This impacts the thinking of employee satisfaction creating a model of human needs that should be met to a reasonable standard. Employee's satisfaction could come by giving employees a combination of influence, information, reward or incentives. (Hammuda and Dulaimi, 1997)

Training and development of employees does not only equip employees to perform their jobs in a satisfactory manner, it is also critical in terms of employees feeling good about working for their organisations (McClenahen, 2003)

Training and development of employees created opportunities for growth within and outside the organization thereby creating dedication and commitment to the organization, "better training is a major factor in convincing employees to continue to stay with their current employer "(Clark, 2005)

According to research carried out, workers in Japan and many European countries are smarter than U.S workers though it's got nothing to do with intelligence (Hansen, 2004). This is a result of the soft approach used by these organisations to get desired result not minding cost. Organisations that are cost conscious would use hard approach to reduce cost on expenses by not training staff, not developing and putting necessary health and safety measures in place and aims at achieving a short term goal at profit.

According to Sirgy et al (2006) the key factors in quality of working life are as follows: satisfaction based on job requirements, need based on work environment, job satisfaction based on supervisory behaviour, satisfaction based on organized programmes and organizational commitment. All these work together in achieving job satisfaction in an organization from a working environment as these need management resources, activities to be put in place in achieving positive outcome from participation in the workplace while Maslow's need were seen as relevant in understanding this broad aspect of management control through involvement.

Therefore, this research study seeks to establish a logic using Coscharis as a case study as the findings will be illustrated and able to diagnose organizations faults and recommend the way forward.

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