Pressures, stresses, burnout, self-esteem, depression, anxiety, the correlation between “out-sourcing” and the increasing feelings of job insecurity, the development of a “workaholic” culture, headaches, dizziness, muscle pain, digestive problems, cardiovascular disease and musculoskeletal disorders, what they all have in common? Some of them are the cause, others the effect, some are related to Mental Health and other to Physical Health but at the end, all of them have a negative impact on the level of job satisfaction.

“ A meta-analysis of almost 500 studies of job satisfaction, incorporating over 250 000 employees in a large variety of different organisations based throughout the world ”, suggested that the Mental Health and Physical Health of the employees has a significant impact on the job satisfaction level and the job satisfaction level is a good Key Success Indicator to maintain the wellbeing within the workplace.

“Correlations in excess of 0.3 are rare in this context. (…) The overall correlation combined across all health measures was r = 0.312 (0.370 after Schmidt-Hunter adjustment). Job satisfaction was most strongly associated with mental/psychological problems; strongest relationships were found for burnout (corrected r = 0.478), self-esteem(r = 0.429), depression (r = 0.428), and anxiety(r = 0.420). The correlation with subjective physical illness was more modest (r = 0.287).”

Organisations should include the development of wellness strategies to effectively identify, reduce, control or even eradicate work practices that cause most of the job dissatisfaction.

It’s important that employees diagnosed with psychological or physical problems critically evaluate their work practices and even more important is to help them to explore ways of gaining greater satisfaction from this important aspect of their life. Employers and Human Resources Managers and occupational health clinicians in those cases should considered counselling.

“Many people spend a considerable proportion of their waking hours at work. If their work is failing to provide adequate personal satisfaction—or even causing actual dissatisfaction—they are likely to be feeling unhappy or unfulfilled for long periods of each working day. It seems reasonable to hypothesise that such individuals are at increased risk of experiencing a lowering of general mood and feelings of self-worth while at work, culminating in mild levels of depression and/or anxiety. If continued unresolved for any length of time, such emotions could eventually lead to emotional exhaustion, particularly if the individual is unable to prevent their feelings from spilling over into their home/social life.”

Monday at work

Job satisfaction is generally measured by the Job Descriptive Index. How? Asking employees to rate individual facets of their work and then aggregating these into a single (global) score. The Job Descriptive Index “measures five facets of job satisfaction, specifically satisfaction with the work itself, pay, promotion, supervision, and co-workers.” Working hours, job security, supervisor support, and changes in job control levels have also been related to employee job satisfaction levels.

Keep in mind: The relationships between mental health / physical health and job satisfaction are impressive. Dissatisfaction at work can be hazardous to the wellbeing of an employee.

Reducing levels of burnout / emotional exhaustion, for example, will lead to a better organization health and consequently to happier and more motivated employees that will “bring their best selves to work” resulting in increased productivity.