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Job satisfaction - not money - is the key to workplace performance

Earning money may be an important reason for working, but it isn’t the biggest motivator.

NicolaBeatsonFeatureAccountancy and Finance lecturer Nicola Beatson studies people in accounting.

Research as part of her Masters studies shows job satisfaction is key to affecting workplace performance.

Her job satisfaction survey of a group of over 200 professionals looked at what drives people to perform. She asked people about their performance, motivation and satisfaction levels at work, looking at internal and external factors, and about their income, pay structure, and ability to earn pay increases.

From the group surveyed, money explains around 33 percent of job satisfaction. A further 15 percent is the love of the job, and the workplace environment also proved important, even to the point of having a nice office or a view.

This study clearly showed the direct supervisor to be a key factor in feeling valued, or alternatively feeling unfairly treated and being a reason to leave a position.

“Remuneration doesn’t explain job satisfaction or retention. The comments from people in the survey who felt undervalued were to do with the level of satisfaction they felt and their interactions with others, particularly their boss,” she said.

“Many organisations who strive to retain good staff therefore need to understand that the remuneration package is only one factor in human resource management; creating a positive workplace environment and a genuine culture of value is equally as important.”

To watch Nicola's presentation as part of the 2017 University of Otago Three Minute Thesis competition, please click here.