What Motivates People On The Job?


I believe most people take pride in what they do for a living. Yes compensation is a big factor and one must get paid in order to live, but the keys to job satisfaction are not necessarily based on pay alone. Most people look for good working conditions. They must feel safe in their working environment. The job must be satisfying and meaningful. Of course it helps if the job pays well and offers good benefits. It is good if you feel appreciated and respected for the work you do. In short people must feel motivated to do a good job and go the extra mile while at work.

Management style is important. If there is not a match here, personalities can and will clash and it does not matter how much you are getting paid if you are miserable in your job. It helps if you like what you are doing; this can help you to overcome a demanding work environment. If you are good at what you do, management style will not cause you to leave, even if there are conflicting personalities involved.

Fairness is important, this is at the top of the list. Are promotions determined fairly and the same for everyone? If you perceive that promotions are not fair, then they will be dissatisfied with the job, which will cause productivity to go down. The employee will feel more stressed and undervalued. It also helps if you work in a nurturing environment where management really does care about you, your feelings, and your opportunites for advancement in the job.

Most people have different primary needs from their jobs and if these needs are not met, they will be inclined to leave and go somewhere else. According to the the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, who conducted the 2006 General Social Survey, 27,000 people were asked questions regarding job satisfaction and general happiness. The survey found that the individual level of contentment affects the overall sense of happiness. The theory is that we are at work,more than any place else in our daily lives, so satisfaction in your work environment is key to your well being.

The survey found that firefighters, clergy and other professionals involved with helping and serving others, are more satisfied with their work and or more happier than others. This is a tall order for most companies to meet, with the high demands of share holders in the company. Trying to meet those demands can be challenging at best in today stressful work environment.

According to the survey these are the top ten most satisfying jobs.

  1. Clergy—87 percent percent

  2. Firefighters—80 percent percent

  3. Physical therapists—78 percent percent

  4. Authors—74 percent

  5. Special education teachers—70 percent

  6. Teachers—69 percent

  7. Education administrators—68 percent

  8. Painters and sculptors—67 percent

  9. Psychologists—67 percent

  10. Security and financial services salespersons—65 percent

Clearly, pay is not the most important parameter for job happiness. Unfortunately unless you have one of the above special skills, you probably are not satisfied with your job. Only 47% of those surveyed said they were satisfied with their jobs.

Given this scenario, short of job hopping; which does not work. One must come to terms with what they expect from a job, find their niche and dig in. When you find a job that you really like everything else will falls into place. In this case it’s best to follow your heart and not your pocket book.

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2 thoughts on “What Motivates People On The Job?”

  1. I kinda agree with what you say…but the list of top 10 jobs might not be entirely true….scientists and astronaughts are happy lot but maybe they were not adequately represented in the sample

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