As the quote from the Work in America report indicates, people want to feel that their work matters, that what they do gives them some sense of fulfillment. Of course, other factors matter too, especially room for advancement and compensation, but the most important thing here is that work be meaningful.
But are these needs important to the organization? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. But more and more, they are becoming significant to most organizations. While employers want a good job done, the more enlightened ones also know that anyone can master their job and still lack satisfaction from it. Employees need to be happy at work, they need to know that there is room for them to advance in the organization, and that they are being adequately compensated for their efforts. They want to be assured that they are improving in life as well as in their careers. Workers will be more loyal to an organization that they think cares about them as people, not just employees.
Improving the quality of work life is one of the most important trends in personnel management in the 1980's. More and more personnel managers are reporting to the president of an organization rather than a vice-president. (Mathis and Jackson, 1985)
Organizations should endeavor to achieve a working environment conducive to job satisfaction. Why? Because employees who get satisfaction from the work they do tend to do quality work consistently, which benefits the organization. At the same time, the individual owes it to him/herself to seek work that is most fulfilling to him. Failure to do this leads to the quote from Studs Terkel's book.
All aspects of work are amenable to proper control/management, including employee satisfaction. What can an organization do to ensure that their workers are happy?
An organization can look for...