Exploring Job Satisfaction: A Case Study of a Garment Factory

TEXT | Madusanka Polwatthage and Ossi Koskinen
Permalink http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi-fe202402218094


Job satisfaction is a multifaceted and complex concept that plays a pivotal role in the overall well-being of individuals and the success of organizations. It encompasses the feelings and attitudes employees have towards their work, colleagues, and the workplace environment. As organizations increasingly recognize the importance of a satisfied workforce, understanding the factors that contribute to job satisfaction has become a critical aspect of human resource management and overall organizational success.

In the field of management and leadership there are three generic objectives which all are interconnected with each other. The commonly acknowledged three generic goals are job satisfaction, customer satisfaction and the financial results. Satisfied employees are keener to provide high quality customer service and to support good financial results. Thus, job satisfaction is a focal corner stone of any successfully managed and lead organization.

Hoppock defined job satisfaction as any combination of psychological, physiological, and environmental circumstances that cause a person truthfully to say I am satisfied with my job (Hoppock, 1935). Job satisfaction can be defined also as the extent to which a worker is content with the rewards he or she gets out of his or her job, particularly in terms of intrinsic motivation (Statt, 2004). Intrinsic motivation refers to work itself and extrinsic factors mean external factors like colleagues, supervisor, salary and the physical premises. Vroom in his definition of job satisfaction focuses on the role of the employee in the workplace. Thus, he defines job satisfaction as affective orientations on the part of individuals toward work roles that they are presently occupying (Vroom, 1964). Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs explains job satisfaction by organizing human needs into levels. Physiological and safety needs are foundational and met through income and job security. Social needs involve positive workplace relationships, while esteem needs require recognition and skill development. Self-actualization, achieved through challenging tasks and a sense of purpose, completes the hierarchy. Recognizing and addressing these needs in the workplace is essential for creating job satisfaction, even though individual priorities may vary.

The primary challenge addressed in this study is the high rate of job vacancies and employee resignations at ABC Garment Factory. The performance of the factory is closely tied to employee satisfaction, emphasizing the interdependence of satisfaction and performance. The research seeks to identify the main factors influencing job satisfaction and proposes strategies to enhance overall employee satisfaction.

Key Components of Job Satisfaction

Next are presented five categories influencing the job satisfaction.

Working Conditions

Working conditions encompass the physical environment and facilities provided by the organization. A comfortable and safe workspace, appropriate equipment, and a well-maintained infrastructure contribute to positive working conditions. Factors such as adequate lighting, comfortable seating, and a clean atmosphere can impact an employee’s overall satisfaction and well-being.

Pay and Rewards

Compensation is a significant factor influencing job satisfaction. Employees expect fair and competitive pay for their contributions. In addition to base salaries, rewards and benefits, such as bonuses, healthcare, retirement plans, and other perks, contribute to an individual’s perception of their overall compensation package. Feeling adequately rewarded for one’s efforts can positively influence job satisfaction.

Coworker Relationships

The quality of relationships with coworkers is a crucial component of job satisfaction. A positive and supportive work culture, effective collaboration, and healthy interpersonal relationships contribute to a sense of belonging and camaraderie. Positive interactions with colleagues create a more enjoyable work environment and foster a sense of community, impacting job satisfaction positively.

Work Itself

The nature of the work an individual performs is a fundamental aspect of job satisfaction. Employees who find their tasks interesting, challenging, and aligned with their skills and interests are likely to experience higher levels of job satisfaction. Job enrichment, which involves providing employees with more challenging and meaningful tasks, can create a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment.

Responsibility and autonomy

The level of responsibility and autonomy given to employees can significantly impact job satisfaction. Individuals who feel trusted and empowered to make decisions about their work often experience higher satisfaction. Responsibility in this context refers not only to the tasks assigned but also to the extent to which employees have a say in decision-making processes.

Understanding and addressing these components is crucial for organizations aiming to enhance job satisfaction. By creating a positive work environment, ensuring fair compensation, promoting positive relationships, providing meaningful and engaging work, and allowing employees a degree of responsibility, organizations can cultivate a workplace where employees are motivated, engaged, and satisfied. This, in turn, contributes to higher productivity and employee retention.

Research Methodology and Key Findings

This study adopts quantitative methodology, and both primary and secondary data were used in this research. Primary data were gathered from 102 employees in different sections like Cutting & Drawing, Embroidery, Sewing, Iron, Quality, and Packing. A standardized questionnaire, based on the five-point Likert scale, was utilized for data collection. The response rate for the questionnaire is 87.5%. Secondary data was drawn from the information and findings documented in published materials and literature that were relevant to the research topic. These secondary sources were primarily sourced from recent literature concerning job satisfaction in both Sri Lanka and various other countries. Statistical analysis was carried out using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). According to the survey data, a significant 65.7% of the employees self-identified as female, while 34.3% identified as male. This data not only provides insightful information about the organization itself but also offers a broader perspective on the overall dynamics of the apparel industry in Sri Lanka.

Results of the Study

The Pearson correlation results reveal significant associations between various workplace factors and job satisfaction in a sample of 102 observations. Working conditions, pay and rewards, coworker’s relationship, the nature of the work itself, and responsibility all exhibit positive correlations with job satisfaction, indicating that as these factors improve, job satisfaction tends to increase. Notably, the nature of the work itself demonstrates the strongest positive correlation, suggesting a substantial impact on job satisfaction. All correlations are statistically significant, emphasizing the reliability of the observed relationships.

Conclusion and Recommendations

This study focused on addressing employee job satisfaction, particularly within the context of ABC Garment Factory in Sri Lanka. The research established the significance of the issue through practical examples from both the local and international perspectives. The study incorporated a thorough literature review, a detailed methodology, and empirical results supporting the hypotheses related to the impact of working conditions, pay and rewards, coworkers’ relationships, work itself, and responsibility on job satisfaction.

The recommendations stemming from the study emphasize crucial areas for the improvement in employee job satisfaction at ABC Garment Factory. Suggestions include a reassessment of salary packages and increments, enhancement of leadership styles, acknowledgment and motivation strategies, and a comprehensive overhaul of promotion and job performance evaluation processes. These recommendations aim to address the identified issues and foster a positive work culture, thereby contributing to long-term employee satisfaction and organizational success. The significance of the study lies in its potential to guide decision-making in organizational management, contribute to employee well-being, influence policy formulation, raise industry awareness, and promote economic efficiency in the manufacturing sector.

However, the study acknowledges its limitations, such as the focus on a single organization, potential respondent limitations, and regional constraints. One main limitation of this study was that the influence of supervisors was not studied albeit that previous studies emphasize the importance of good management. Further research needs to be conducted by expanding the scope, validating measurement scales, and addressing gaps in understanding employee satisfaction within the garment industry. Despite these limitations, the research maintains its significance and sets the stage for future endeavors with a more comprehensive conceptual framework and theoretical background.

  • McLeod, S., 2007. Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Simply psychology, 1(1-18).

  • Hoppock, R. (1935). Job Satisfaction, Harper and Brothers, New York, p. 47

  • Statt, D. (2004). The Routledge Dictionary of Business Management, Third edition, Routledge Publishing, Detroit, p. 78

  • Vroom, V.H. (1964). Work and motivation, John Wiley and Sons, New York, p.99

  • Guides, Handwritten Help, (2003) Job Satisfaction: Definition, Importance, and Examples https://www.handwrytten.com/resources/job-satisfaction/

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