Discussion 1: Understanding Job Satisfaction

Attitudes color every aspect of people’s everyday lives. Attitudes certainly affect an employee’s work life and organizational success. One of the major job attitudes is job satisfaction. The job itself may have qualities or factors that contribute to an employee’s job satisfaction or dissatisfaction; hours, pay, environment, culture, and the amount or type of work all play a role. Other factors can include the quality of social aspects of the workplace environment, such as employee relationships and support. Virtual work can have an impact on job satisfaction, as it may affect social relationships due to reduced face-to-face interaction.

In this Discussion, you will explore job attitudes at play at Walden Sports and come up with ways to measure them.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • View Introducing Walden Sports, Inc. found in this week’s media Learning Resources. Assuming the role of a consultant, identify job satisfaction problems within Walden Sports and think about data you may need to collect in order to better understand those problems.
  • Read the article “Organizational Behavior: Affect in the Workplace.” Consider the production of moods and their consequences in a workplace such as Walden Sports.
  • Read the article “Understanding Job Satisfaction in the Causal Attitude Network (CAN) Model.” Compare the measurement of job satisfaction models and how that can support your choice of data collection strategy. See Appendix B, the “Detailed Methods” section, on page 28.

Sunshine Sports Introduction Program Transcript

BENJAMIN JONES: Hi, I’m Benjamin Jones co-founder of Walden Sports. Come on in. Thank you for coming in today. As you know, I want to make some changes that will benefit our employees, and I’m really looking forward to hearing from you how you might be able to help. There’s a lot to go over. I think I’ll just start by giving you the lay of the land.

Walden Sports was founded just over 12 years ago. And we’ve expanded our product line to include everything that adventurous travelers demand from sleeping bags, to tents, to guide books, maps, even insurance. Our clothing and equipment sales are $1,420,000 per year with a gross profit of $202,400. We employ 70 people part-time and full-time distributed over a variety of departments, including finance, marketing, and operations.

And really exciting, we’ve recently started a mail order division through our website which has required our establishing a mail order fulfillment department and an IT department. Business has been so good the last few years we’re able to donate 5% of our gross profit to charity. Last year, Walden acquired an agency called Earth Travelers, one of the most respected tour operators in the market, and we began selling their services in our stores. In the six months that we’ve been selling these travel agency services we’ve sold 200 vacation packages at an average cost of $3,340. Walden Sports is 10% commission on the sales has been $66,800.

In addition, 35 insurance policies have been sold at an average price of $167 yielding $1,754 from a 30% commission. This growth which at first seemed like a blessing, has caused some major challenges for us though. In the past six months, we’ve seen a sharp decrease in productivity and an increase in turnover and absenteeism. Moreover, people don’t seem as energized and motivated as they once were. There was once a time when our employees would not only work late but reach out and offer assistance to other employees who are falling behind in their workload. We don’t see that anymore.

We used to have social activities and happy hour at least once a month to boost employee morale. Now hardly anybody comes to those activities. Until now, employees would take great pride in what they did and with whom they worked. They even took every opportunity to wear the company’s clothing as often as they could. But not anymore. And all of that is why we’ve asked you here today. We really need somebody from the outside to come in and find out what’s going on and tell us what we can do to make things better. Do you think you can help?

© 2012 Laureate Education, Inc.

©2012 Laureate Education, Inc. 1





©2012 Laureate Education, Inc. 2