According to a 2010 BlessingWhite survey, 27 percent of 2,895 North American respondents correlate job satisfaction with more opportunities to do what I do best. BelssingWhite maintains that individuals are engaged in their work if they contribute to company success and have personal satisfaction.
However, the company doesnt explain why it uses the term personal rather than job satisfaction when referring to satisfaction on the job. Sanna Coates, vice president of Technology at One Lily Inc., a web and print design company with primary operations in Carlsbad, Calif., distinguishes between the two. I believe these very much affect each other, she comments. Job satisfaction helps increase my personal satisfaction, and vice versa.
Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, says that 75 percent of job success is related not to intelligence, but to the happiness advantage (Crown Business, $25). Optimism, social support and seeing stress as a challenge raises every business outcome. Getting to do what you do best gives your brain a win, which encourages progress. This is why getting to use your strengths gives you the emotional resources to cope with or overcome the parts of your jobs you dont like or dont do as well.
Its no secret that engaged employees contribute to profitability, but its difficult to achieve job satisfaction in isolation. Speak with Coates about everything shes done for One Lily since November, 2009, and she remarks that her satisfaction comes from the tasks Im doing, knowing that Im trusted with responsibilities, which leads to more responsibilities, and the relationships in the company. In particular, she thrives on keeping a close relationship with our clients on a daily basis.
Her boss, president and creative director Angela Nielsen, has run the company for ten years, with a number of employees in the last five. Sanna dived in, Nielsen says. She learned skills after hours to make our company stronger and more profitable. She took the lead. Coates came on board as a technician, an entry-level job for her launch in the industry, requiring her to maintain websites, but opted to recode a large number of them to meet current standards. I thought it would bring the company forward and make us an important player in the market, she says. Later, for Jarupa.com, a division of the company, she developed the website, wrote the handbook and created courses.
Nielsen was listening. She was getting her work done so quickly and turning around asking, What now, What next? and How else can I help you? Nielsen recalls. She really wanted to dig in and make a difference in the company. One Friday afternoon after about two weeks, Coates said that shed like to learn WordPress. The two went to a bookstore to buy a few books. By Monday morning the new employee was saving the company $2,000 per month. She was partnering, not just being an employee.
Nielsen remarks that Coates is part-owner now, that paying more doesnt work. Its praise, connectedness, being enthusiastic about the work she does. And the beauty of it is that it isnt fake. My clients send her thank-you gifts. Their praise (tells me that) I did the right thing in hiring her. She researches. Shes never refused a task. She also dug in intellectually, asking strategy-related questions about company mission, direction, new services, target and growth.
Theres no taking a back seat if you want job satisfaction. Consider partnering with your boss.
Dr. Mildred L. Culp welcomes your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2011 Passage Media.