I’ve gotten a lot of questions over the years about job satisfaction, specifically for attorneys. Finding new associates is an increasingly difficult task. You want to find good talent, and then when you do, you want to KEEP that good talent! Going one step further, you not only want to keep them, but you also want to bring out the best in them. You want them engaged, motivated, and productive. But this doesn’t just apply to attorneys, it applies to your entire team at every level!
Job satisfaction is so important for your team. When your team feels high levels of job satisfaction, you will not only see decreased turnover and increased engagement and productivity, but you will see increased client satisfaction and a more positive working environment at your firm. A satisfied team is a happy team, which creates a better working environment for all!
So, what is the secret recipe for high job satisfaction? Well, as usual, there is no magic pixie dust, but there actually IS a recipe that I can share with you! It’s called the Job Demands- Resources (or JD-R) Model. Simply put, this model lets us break down what the demands of a job are and weigh them against the resources an individual has available for meeting those demands. By applying this model to various positions, we can work to equalize demands versus resources, which will lead to higher job satisfaction.
According to the JD-R Model, stress and burnout occur when job demands are high and job support is low. The good news is organizational support, and other positive job factors can mitigate the impacts of high-stress workloads and increase job satisfaction.
We all seem to know an individual who works in a very high-pressure role, but instead of getting upset at the high demands, appears to thrive in that environment. Odds are this individual works for a highly supportive organization that provides the resources they need to meet the high demands of their position.
When an individual works in a position with high demands but not enough resources to meet those demands, they are more likely to become stressed and even burned out. Their overall well-being will suffer. When the resources they have are sufficient to meet the demands of their position, they will be more satisfied and productive at their jobs. Therefore, the JD-R is a simple recipe for creating a high-satisfaction environment for your team.
The model defines job elements into two categories:
- Job demands are the physical or emotional requirements of the position. These include factors such as: deadlines, workload, negative environment, emotional involvement, and work/ life role conflict.
- Job resources are the available organizational or social support systems an individual has to meet requirements and goals. Resources can include factors such as coaching and mentoring, strong work relationships, recognition/ praise, and learning and development.
Resources include both organizational and personal resources. An individual that receives resources from both their personal life and their employer will benefit the most. However, as an employer, you may have a hard time providing personal resources to your team, and it is important to remember that one team member may have more personal resources than another.