Job Satisfaction and Motivation Tests and Measures

Subject: Employee Management
Pages: 4
Words: 1079
Reading time:
5 min
Study level: College


Job satisfaction refers to a person’s affective, cognitive, and evaluative response to his/her occupation. Motivation refers to one’s level of readiness to work towards the realization of personal and organizational goals. Motivation and job satisfaction are correlated. Human resource managers use cognitive and psychological measures to assess motivation. On the other hand, they use facet-specific and facet-free data to measure job satisfaction. Motivation enhances efficiency and success, which contributes to job satisfaction. Employees are satisfied with careers that fulfill their needs. The fulfillment of one echelon of human needs results in the motivation to pursue other echelons.

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There exists a strong relationship between job satisfaction and motivation. Employees who are contented with their occupations are motivated to engage in activities meant to boost organizational performance. Employers have to ensure that they enhance job satisfaction to maintain a motivated workforce (Grujicic, Bata, Radjen, Novakovic, & Grujicic, 2016). Increased efficiency and better performance are some determinants of motivation. Job dissatisfaction contributes to rising employee turnover. Filho, De Souza, Elias, and Viana (2016) recommend that organizational leaders should endeavor to create optimism, enthusiasm, feelings of teamwork, and contentment to maintain a motivated workforce. The objective of this article is to examine the correlation between job satisfaction and motivation.

Job Satisfaction

Grujicic et al. (2016) define job satisfaction as “individuals’ cognitive, affective, and evaluative reactions towards their jobs” (p. 736). Job satisfaction can be classified into two groups depending on the factors that result in contentment. According to Filho et al. (2016), intrinsic and extrinsic factors influence job satisfaction. The external factors entail the nature of employment such as working conditions and remuneration. On the other hand, the natural elements refer to the psychological features of the occupation, which include ability, nature, and recognition. Extrinsic factors are mostly associated with job dissatisfaction. Nevertheless, improving the factors beyond the least acceptable degree does not guarantee sustained enhancements in job satisfaction. Paying attention to the intrinsic factors can go a long way towards enhancing job satisfaction.

Testing Job Satisfaction

As aforementioned, numerous factors contribute to job satisfaction. They include remuneration, organizational structure and culture, employee recognition, and leadership structure among others. One requires coming up with an approach that tests all these variables to obtain accurate information regarding job satisfaction. Canrinus, Helms-Lorenz, Beijaard, Buitink, and Hofman (2012) cite GalaJS Test as the instrument that organizations use to gauge job satisfaction worldwide. The test helps organizational leaders to determine the factors that contribute to job satisfaction.

Measures of Job Satisfaction

Bang, Ross, and Reio (2012) allege, “Conceptions of job satisfaction until very recently have been primarily psychological and individualistic in orientation” (p. 99). Human resource managers use facet-specific and facet-free primary data to measure job satisfaction. Facet-free primary data is gathered when employees are requested to stipulate overall contentment with their occupations and job environment without detailing the aspects considered and their correlations. They give a clear response derived from a personal set of elements with distinctive and unspecified assumptions. The evaluation uses cognitive, normative, and unconscious elements. On the other hand, the facet-specific data is obtained when employees are asked to evaluate their level of contentment based on a particular aspect of employment or job environment. Human resource managers may also use social indicators to measure job satisfaction. According to Bang et al. (2012, social indicators are derived from “mere aggregation of primary data for individuals and then an aggregation of different data for the population” (p.103).


Filho et al. (2016) define motivation as “an individual’s degree of willingness to exert and maintain an effort to achieve personal and organizational goals” (p. 2). Employee motivation contributes to enhancing organizational performance. One of the factors that contribute to employee motivation is remuneration. Poor compensation results in a small degree of motivation amid workers. Kian, Yusoff, and Rajah (2014) claim that nonfinancial factors like “availability of resources, opportunities for training and promotion, issues relating to supervision and management, and communication within the organization influence motivation” (p. 97). Kian et al. (2014) assert that it is difficult to observe motivation directly, but it contributes to employee performance.

Testing Motivation

Smith and Shields (2013) argue that motivation is a mental feature, hence the need to test it using psychological instruments. One does not require hiring psychologists to determine the factors that contribute to employee motivation. Atman’s psychometric test can go a long way towards enabling one to obtain valid, precise, and accurate information about motivation. The test measures personality features and is premised on the Big Five Theory. According to Smith and Shields (2013), Atman’s psychometric test evaluates 11 elements of personality that are classified into five groups. They include thinking structure, motivation, sociability, leadership, and resistance to stress. For one to recognize what motivates employees, he/she must understand what inspires and demotivates them. The test provides human resource managers with a clear picture of what their workforce requires to be motivated.

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Measures of Motivation

Motivation is a psychological construct that is difficult to record or examine directly. Smith and Shields (2013) maintain that human resource managers measure motivation using observable affective, cognitive, psychological, and behavioral responses. Additionally, they evaluate it in relative terms using the past or successive degrees of motivation. Toure-Tillery and Fishbach (2014) argue, “Cognitive and affective measures of motivation include the activation, evaluation, and perception of the goal-related constructs and the subjective experience they evoke” (p. 332). One can gauge motivation based on the level of which goal-related ideas are reachable in memory. Motivation triggers goal-directed behaviors. Managers use features like performance, speed, persistence, and choice to assess one’s motivation towards a particular goal.

Relationship between Job Satisfaction and Motivation

A study by Toure-Tillery and Fishbach (2014) indicates that motivation contributes to employees developing the perception of job satisfaction. According to the study, motivation results in effectiveness and efficiency, and therefore job satisfaction. Toure-Tillery and Fishbach (2014) allege, “Motivation, being the widest notion, represents the process of initiating human activities directed towards achieving particular goals” (p. 338). The realization of expected goals results in employees being contented with their work. The majority of motivation theories are premised on job satisfaction. For instance, Maslow’s Hierarchy theory holds that job satisfaction contributes to motivation. In the workplace, the fulfillment of one level of human needs results in the desire to satisfy other levels. In the process, the employees become motivated to work towards realizing the upper hierarchies of needs. In other words, the fulfillment of both intrinsic and extrinsic needs results in employee motivation.


Bang, H., Ross, S., & Reio, T. (2012). From motivation to organizational commitment of volunteers in non-profit sport organizations: The role of job satisfaction. Journal of Management Development, 32(1), 96-112.

Canrinus, E., Helms-Lorenz, M., Beijaard, D., Buitink, J., & Hofman, A. (2012). Self-efficacy, job satisfaction, motivation and commitment: Exploring the relationships between indicators of teachers’ professional identity. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 27(1), 115-132.

Filho, P., De Souza, M., Elias, P., & Viana, A. (2016). Physicians’ job satisfaction and motivation in a public academic hospital. Human Resources for Health, 14(75), 1-11.

Grujicic, M., Bata, J., Radjen, S., Novakovic, B., & Grujicic, S. (2016). Work motivation and job satisfaction of health workers in urban and rural areas. Vojnosanitetski Pregled, 73(8), 735-743.

Kian, T., Yusoff, W., & Rajah, S. (2014). Job satisfaction and motivation: What are the differences among these two? European Journal of Business and Social Sciences, 3(2), 94-102.

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Smith, D., & Shields, J. (2013). Factors related to social service workers’ job satisfaction: Revisiting Herzberg’s motivation to work. Administration in Social Work, 37(2), 189-198.

Toure-Tillery, M., & Fishbach, A. (2014). How to measure motivation: A guide for the experimental social psychologist. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 8(7), 328-341.