Does job satisfaction correlate with subjective well-being for social workers?
A new study in the International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion investigates whether or not job satisfaction in US social workers correlates with subjective well-being. The quantitative correlational study examined whether motivating factors of job satisfaction predict subjective well-being. The team reports that there is indeed a significant relationship but advancement in one's job is the only factor that significantly affects the well-being of these workers.
Onick Lewis of Troy University in Troy, Alabama and Andrew Babyak of Messiah University in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, U.S., had two questions they wishes to answer in their research. The first: to what extent, if any, does general job satisfaction, as measured by the Minnesota satisfaction questionnaire (MSQ) predict subjective well-being, as measured by the satisfaction with life scale (SWLS)? The second: to what extent, if any, do the five dimensions of the MSQ (work itself, recognition, achievement, responsibility, and personal growth), together and separately, make the same prediction?
The team surveyed almost two hundred practicing social workers to collect the primary data to help them answer those two questions. They then used a regression analysis to extract from this data the requisite information with which to draw their conclusions. The team points out that job satisfaction is known to commonly imply life satisfaction for many people and vice versa and these correlations have been extensively studied for decades.
The findings from this present study, in showing that advancement in one's job is a primary factor in job satisfaction, suggest that there is much work to be done to explain why this is so. There are implications for benefiting employees and employers alike in this area if a clear understanding of how job satisfaction meshes with well-being can be gleaned from this work and follow-on studies. The bottom line might be to recommend to employers that they talk about such issues with their staff so that job satisfaction levels and employee well-being might be improved even if there is no scope for achievable personal advancement in a particular role.