High employee performance

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Question: "Making people satisfied in and with their jobs generates high employee performance." Discuss

This essay argues whether high employee performance is a result of making people happy in and with their jobs. It will outline the points in favour and against the statement whilst referring to the different job satisfaction and performance theories that have been examined by Human Resource Management(HRM) theorists.

The different points and theories on the job satisfaction job performance models will also be highlighted to support the argument.

Job performance is formally defined as the value of the set of employee behaviors that contribute, either positively or negatively to organisational goal accomplishment (Colquit, Lepine, Wesson pg. 37). Job satisfaction on the other is defined as a pleasurable emotional state resulting from the appraisal of ones job or job experiences (Colquit, Lepine, Wesson pg. 104). In other words, it represents how you feel about your job and what you think about your job.

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There are different factors that contribute to employee satisfaction in the workplace ranging from incentives such as fringe benefits to rewards such as higher pay. One key factor that affects employee satisfaction is motivation. Motivation has been describe as the cognitive decision making process through which goal directed behaviour is initiated, energized, directed and maintained. (Andrzej, Huzynski, Buchanan).

This simply means that motivation is what drives an individual to produce an outcome.

There is a valid link between these two descriptions and research has shown that job satisfaction most times leads to high employee performance. Take for e.g. model 1 developed by ...shows a clear link between job satisfaction and performance as G Strauss(1968) commented that "early human relationists viewed the morale-productivity relationship quite simply: higher morale would lead to improved productivity. This provides a valid relationship between morale and productivity e.g. a telesales agent who is highly motivated and is happy with their job is more likely to perform better than one who is not. On the other hand expectancy theories of motivation generally stipulate that satisfaction follows from the rewards produced by performance (Naylor, Pritchard, Illgen 1980) (Vroom 1964). Lawler and Porter(1967) expectancy theorists themselves argued that performance would lead to job satisfaction through the provision of intrinsic and extrinsic rewards.

In contrast to this there are different values each employee is more commonly associated with. Some employees value money as a main objective to be satisfied by their job while others value friendship as a measure of job satisfaction, as Locke (1970) hypothesised that value attainment would moderate the performance- satisfaction relationship, such that performance is satisfying to the extent that It leads to important work values. Thus, a strong pay-performance contingency would make those who value pay satisfied because performance leads to valued rewards.

Although this is the case these theories differ depending iupon what type of profession or job you are looking at. E.g intrinsic rewards would apply more to doctors and engeeners as they are more satisfied by value of their jobs and...wheras someone working on a local store may be more satisfied by how much money thay make par day.

So if the statement that making people satisfied with their jobs generates high employee performance is solely used in a business environment and other factors are not included such as the ones above this would not prove practical as evidence shows that there are other factors that influence this.

Personality also affects job satisfaction and performance. Therefore it is very important to distinguish between the different personality traits each individual has in order to apply the correct models to increase their job satisfaction and performance.

A meta analysis conducted by, Organ and Ryan (1995) proposed that employee personality traits such as conscientiousness indirectly influence Organisational Citizenship Behaviour (OCB) through employee affect. Job satisfaction would be one indicator of this affect.

In certain job prspects such as marketing employees who score higher points on extraversion traits Mccrae and costa's (1987) would receive more attention from people in authority as those are some of the main qualities that leaders look for in marketing industry resulting in more contact and attention from leaders. This is supported by (Graen, 2003; Graen & Uhl-Bien, 1995; Lapierre, Hackett, & Taggar, 2006)'s, statetement that those in higher quality Leader Member Exchange (LMX) relationships typically receive preferential treatment, such as more discretion and autonomy at work, as well as more challenging and important responsibilities resulting in increased job satisfaction (Schriesheim, Castro, Zhou, & Yammarino, 2001).

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Clearly one can see that when employees are doing well in their job and are getting the credit and incentives they deserve they will be satisfied with their work therefore leading them to perform better in tasks allocated to them and with their overall job. However It can be argued that overall job satisfaction may not always be measured accurately as being satisfied with one aspect of work such as friendship s at work might not mean one is satisfied with their whole job as they may not be satisfied with pay. Employees may be likely to perform better with tasks that relate to a part of the job they are satisfied with and do purely with tasks related to things they are not satisfied with in their jobs. Also lazy workers although satisfied may not improve on their performance which supports the McCrae and Costa's (1987) open framework on personality.