Employee job satisfaction declines the longer people work for their employers, according to a new study.
The findings are based on 30 years of research by Sirota Consulting, including a survey of 1.2 million employees at 52 companies from 2001 to 2004.
According to Sirota's research there is a significant decline in overall job satisfaction after an employee has been working with an employers for an average of six months or more.
While there is some improvement in the overall job satisfaction of employees with more than 10 years experience with an employers, their enthusiasm never recovers to what it was when they started their jobs.
"It's hard for people to be enthusiastic about an organisation that is not enthusiastic about them," said David Sirota, chairman emeritus at Sirota Consulting.
He said the decline in the enthusiasm of new employees can be attributed to management.
Most management policies were not geared toward the 95% of employees who were good workers, he said, but towards the 5% of employees who were "allergic to work".
"These employees should never have been hired and, while at work, can be managed only with continuing close supervision," said Sirota. "A major problem is that, in many organisations, management generalises the behaviour of this small group to just about every worker, which makes the work environment oppressive for all, and suppresses the natural enthusiasm most people bring to their jobs."
He added that management was often too quick to respond to adverse business conditions with employee layoffs.
"Although companies can preach forever that 'our people are our most important asset', that means little when dismissing workers in times of economic difficulty is the first thing a company does, instead of the last. What's even worse is when people are laid off despite the business being successful," Sirota said.
How to engage staff
Management policies need to satisfy the three things that matter most to all employees:
- Equity - to be treated fairly
- Achievement - to be proud of the job and company
- Camaraderie - to have good, productive relationships with fellow employees
Source: Sirota Consulting