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career research blog

The latest career research insights to grow your career

Filtering by Tag: job satisfaction

Unexpected correlates of bullying at work

Noemi Nagy

Organizations are expected to loose approximately 6 billion $ per year because of bullying, yet there is a lack of research that explains how bullying affects employees. A recent study from France showed that workplace bullying causes a psychological contract breach between employees and employers. This in turn leads to decreased job and life satisfaction. Interestingly, the effects were the strongest for older women. Female late career employees are at especially high risk for workplace bullying.

Kakarika, M., Gonzalez, H., & Dimitriades, Z. (2017). That wasn't our deal: A psychological contract perspective on employee responses to bullying. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 100, 43-55.

The downside of helping colleagues at work

Noemi Nagy

Helping out work colleagues is usually associated with positive outcomes such as higher satisfaction and commitment at work and a better team climate. A recent study uncovered a less beneficial side of helping. Researchers from the USA found that responding to numerous help requests during the day is increasingly depleting for employees and manifests itself as reduced willpower and ability to focus, manage emotions or persist at difficult tasks. Responding to many help requests was particularly problematic for people who value helping others and who help on a regular basis. 

Koopman, J., Lanaj, K., & Scott, B. A. (2016). Integrating the bright and dark sides of OCB: A daily investigation of the benefits and costs of helping others. Academy of Management Journal, 59(2), 414-435.

Creative workers and lonely spouses?

Noemi Nagy

Creativity is most often thought of as a predominantly beneficial behavior for employees and organizations: creative workers produce new products for the organization and are generally more satisfied with their work. Recent research from the USA however explored the potential downsides of creativity. The authors found that creative work can have deleterious consequences for private relationships: creative behaviors during the work day predicted less time spent with a spouse at home. The results raise questions about the possible relational costs of creativity.

 Harrison, S., & Wagner, D. T. (2015). Spilling outside the box: The effects of individuals' creative behaviors at work on time spent with their spouses at home. Academy of Management Journal, 59(3), 841-859.

Employees are more engaged and proactive if they can use their strengths at work

Noemi Nagy

If companies give their employees opportunities to do what they are good at they enhance the engagement of workers, as researchers from the Netherlands found in their recent study. When employees are supported to engage in tasks that capitalize on their strengths they are more likely to achieve work-related goals, feel competent, and are more effective in coping with job demands.

van Woerkom, M., Oerlemans, W., & Bakker, A. B. (2015). Strengths use and work engagement: A weekly diary study. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology25(3), 384-397.





Doing what you are good at increases satisfaction with work but does not reduce exhaustion

Claire Johnston

The more individuals use their skills at work, the more positive they feel about their work each day. This is especially true for individuals who are motivated internally, for example, by self-development. However, according to the same study, using skills at work does not help to reduce feelings of exhaustion. Doing what you are good at thus can make you happier at work. However, using your skills does not necessarily mean that work feels less demanding.

Work and Stress

Interruptions at work can lead to lower satisfaction with one’s performance

Franziska Baumeler

Employees may experience lower satisfaction with their performance, increased feelings of irritability, more rumination about problems at work, and heightened distraction from work goals because of interruptions at work. According to a German study, some of the results could be explained by a higher level of time pressure and mental demands induced by interruptions. These findings caution against the frequent use of social-media during work hours or constant email checking that is prevalent among some employees.

Work & Stress

Dads involved in childcare at home experience better outcomes at work

Andreas Hirschi

Fathers who are involved in taking care of their children at home report higher job satisfaction and work-family enrichment, according to US study. Involved fathers also reported personal benefits of their child-caring experience, such as positive self-views, sense of competence, and less work-family conflict. The study helps to challenge the idea that the ideal worker is a male employee who is fully committed to his work and available 24/7 for the organization. Rather, organizations can benefit from increased job satisfaction and well-being of employees who also take their family-role seriously. 

Academy of Management Perspectives

Find a satisfying and fitting job after graduation through career planning

Franziska Baumeler

Besides job search behaviors, career planning after graduation leads to an increase in fit with one's future job and organization. This in turn increases job satisfaction, according to a study with Canadian graduates. Graduates with a plan for their career are thus more likely to find a job and organization that fits them.

Journal of Applied Psychology

Career engagement during university leads to more job and career satisfaction after graduation

Andreas Hirschi

University students who are more active in their self-directed career management report higher job and career satisfaction in their jobs several months after graduation, according to a German study. If students remain passive regarding their career while at university they have a higher change of landing in less satisfying jobs.

Journal of Career Assessment