Motivation and Performance Management Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment

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Employees are the most important resources at every organization. Employee behavior and job performance depends on their work attitudes; how they feel about being there. The sustained growth and profitability of a company consequently, depends on the employees’ work attitudes. Work attitudes are also an indicator of the degree of solidarity between the employees and management. When the interaction between leaders and their subordinates is good, the latter will have a more positive work attitude. Work attitudes refer to employees’ opinions, beliefs, and feelings about their work environment. Two particular work attitudes, job satisfaction and organizational commitment, have the greatest influence on employee behavior and largely, their job performance (Saylor Academy, 2012). 

Job satisfaction refers to the feelings people have towards their jobs. It is a positive emotional feeling resulting from evaluation of one’s job experience and comparing between what they expect from the job and what they actually get from it (Locke, 1969). A person with a high level of job satisfaction has a pleasurable emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job or job experiences. Employees consider a number of facets when evaluating their job satisfaction. These include co-workers appreciation, pay, promotion, work conditions, and satisfaction with work itself (Colquitt, LePine, & Wesson, 2012). Job satisfaction depends on whether a person perceives their job as providing the things that they value. 

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Organizational commitment is an emotional attachment that people have towards the company for which they work. Highly committed employees feel a connection with their organizations, feel that they fit in, and strongly believe in and accept the organizations’ goals and values. Such employees tend to be more determined in their work, show relatively high productivity, and are more proactive in offering their support. There are three kinds of organizational commitment: affective, continuance, and normative. Employees with a strong affective commitment stay at their organization because of a strong desire to do so, those with a strong normative commitment stay in the organization because they feel obligated to stay, and those with a strong continual commitment feel that they need to stay for fear of the unknown. Studies have shown that affective and normative commitment is positively related to organizational outcomes while continuance commitment is negatively related (Gangai & Agrawal, 2014). 

Job satisfaction and organizational commitment are interrelated. Things that make individuals happy with their job often make them more committed to their organization. There are nevertheless differences in that whereas organizational commitment is an individual’s response to an organization, job satisfaction is an individual’s response to a specific job. Therefore, organizational commitment tends to be more consistent over time. Studies into organizational behavior have found weak correlations between job satisfaction and job performance while other has shown higher correlations. The case is similar to studies into organizational commitment and performance (Gangai & Agrawal, 2014). The link between work attitudes and job performance is therefore not very clear and varies between employees and their workplaces. 

Google goes above and beyond to ensure job satisfaction for its workforce. A recent survey by PayScale revealed that 86% of Google employees were very satisfied with their job. One of the factors that influence employee satisfaction is the remuneration. The company ensures that its employees are among the best paid in the industry while also providing other benefits. Google headquarters is every employee’s dream. Through the many services offered such as free meals, healthcare, baby day-care, and transport, they provide working conditions that ensure job satisfaction for all employees. There is a policy at Google that projects are divided into teams and each team member at one point becomes team manager. This ensures that all employees are able to bring their ideas to the company meaning that they feel valued. They employ an algorithm that identifies dissatisfied employees and they claim it can determine those who want to quit. Google, therefore, takes job satisfaction very seriously. 

Job satisfaction is determinative of organizational commitment, and by providing employee satisfaction, Google reaps the benefits of organizational commitment by having motivated and loyal employees. The first step to ensuring organizational commitment is hiring the right people. They ensure that they only hire well-qualified individuals who fit into the Google company culture through a thorough interview process. They screen new recruits for traits that indicate potential to excel at the company. The management at Google has created an environment that easily assimilates new employees into the organization culture through organizational socialization. 

Both the above work attitudes play a key role in job performance. However, the work attitude that is most strongly related to performance at Google is the organizational commitment, specifically, affective commitment. Employees who have higher affective commitment have an affection towards the organizational and feel a sense of pride at being part of the company (Gangai & Agrawal, 2014). This is reflected in their desire to see the organization succeed. Google employees see themselves as an extension of the company. They are the best brains around and share in the Google mission of gathering the world’s information and making it universally available. Highly committed and motivated employees are more productive than satisfied employees are. 

 

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  1. Colquitt, J. A., LePine, J. A., & Wesson, M. J. (2012). Job Satisfaction. In Organizational Behavior: Improving Performance and Commitment in the Workplace (pp. 96-102). Mcgraw-Hill.
  2. Gangai, N. K., & Agrawal, R. (2014). Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment: Is It important for Employee Performance/. International Journal of Management and Business Research, 269-278.
  3. Locke, E. A. (1969, November). Organizational Behavior and Human Performance. American Institutes for Research and Department of Psychology, 4(4), 309-336. 
  4. Saylor Academy. (2012). Work attitudes.
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