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Job Satisfaction Print or save as PDF

How is it defined?

Job satisfaction is “a pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job or job experiences” (Locke, 1976). Perceptions of job satisfaction are associated with the extent to which employees enjoy components of their job (Spector, 1997), as well as reflecting a positive reaction to the workplace (Worrell et al., 2006). In the education sector, the nature of day-to-day classroom activities, supportive colleagues, and overall school climate contribute to job satisfaction (Cockburn & Haydn, 2004). However, stress from poor working conditions, including inadequate time for planning and preparation, has a negative impact on teacher job satisfaction (Liu & Ramsey, 2008).

The Learning Bar's Staff Survey framework is based on 13 core indicators designed to capture the key metrics of employee health and well-being. Together, these indicators support the development of a positive school climate.

Why is it important?

  • Positive job satisfaction is linked to job performance (Judge et al., 2001), motivation (Barnabe & Burns, 1994), and commitment or intent to leave the profession (Singh & Billingsley, 1996).
  • Poor job satisfaction is associated with absenteeism (Hanebuth, 2008), job-related stress (Klassen & Chiu, 2010), and psychological distress (Moen et al., 2013).
  • Job satisfaction among educators can impact student achievement (Banerjee & Lamb, 2016).

How do we measure it?

The OurSCHOOL Staff Survey includes two items asking respondents to indicate how effective they feel at their job and their level of job satisfaction using a 0 to 10 scale. The results are reported as “the percentage of staff with job satisfaction” and “the percentage of staff that feel effective at their job”.

References

Banerjee, P. A., & Lamb, S. (2016). A systematic review of factors linked to poor academic performance of disadvantaged students in science and maths in schools. Cogent Education, 3(1).

Barnabe, C., & Burns, M. (1994). Teachers’ job characteristics and motivation. Educational Research, 36(2), 171-185.

Cockburn, A. D., & Haydn, T. (2004). Recruiting and retaining teachers: Understanding why teachers teach. Routledge Falmer.

Hanebuth, D. (2008). Background of absenteeism. In K. Heinitz (Ed.), Psychology in organizations - issues from an applied area (pp. 115-134). Peter Lang.

Judge, T. A., Thoresen, C. J., Bono, J. E., & Patton, G. K. (2001). The job satisfaction-job performance relationship: A qualitative and quantitative review. Psychological Bulletin, 127, 376-407.

Klassen. R. M., & Chiu, M. M. (2010). Effects on teachers’ self-efficacy and job satisfaction: Teacher gender, years of experience, and job stress. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102(3), 741-756.

Liu, X. S., & Ramsey, J. (2008). Teachers’ job satisfaction: Analyses of the Teacher Follow-Up Survey in the United States for 2000-2001. Teaching and Teacher Education, 24(5), 1173-1184.

Locke, E. A. (1976) The nature and causes of job satisfaction. In M.D., Dunnette (Ed.), Handbook of industrial and organizational psychology (pp. 1297–1347). Rand McNally.

Moen, P., Kelly, E. L., & Lam, J. (2013). Healthy work revisited: Does reducing time strain promote women’s and men’s well-being? Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 18(2), 157-172.

Singh, K., & Billingsley, B. (1996). Intent to stay in teaching: Teachers of students with emotional disorders versus other special educators. Remedial and Special Education, 17(1), 37-47.

Spector, P. E. (1997). Job satisfaction: Application, assessment, causes and consequences. Sage.

Worrell, T. G., Skaggs, G. E., & Brown, M. B. (2006). School psychologists' job satisfaction: A 22-year perspective in the USA. School Psychology International, 27(2), 131–145.