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Job satisfaction. How do you measure it and how do you know whether your colleagues or indeed your team has it? Is the grass always greener?
It is one of those phrases that tends to be thought of as all-encompassing, but in reality individuals judge how happy they are with their work situation in a variety of different ways. But, as in life, we should stop and ask what we mean by happiness and satisfaction.
Satisfaction levels tend to fluctuate considerably –ask anyone what they think on a particular day and they’ll give you a different answer the next– but the reality is that if someone is satisfied then they will be more motivated and more productive. It follows that the less satisfied you are the more disruptive you will be to others and the less productive. What businesses want, therefore, is a highly satisfied workforce.
Money is obviously an important factor in this and how many people judge job satisfaction. However, so too is actual work, recognition, career progression, benefits such as a pension or private healthcare even down to the location of the office that someone works in.
And it’s here that, as a function, your team is probably among the most misunderstood and most underrated. Procurement has the ability to offer global travel, an unrivalled view of industry and the value chain, roles negotiating as well as collaborating with internal and external stakeholders...you’re influential, active, dynamic and, let’s face it, not badly paid either.
In the 2016 Procurement Leaders Salary Survey, which looks to provide an insight into the earning potential of those working in roles across the function, it was found that there was a clear relationship between earnings and satisfaction. The more you earn, the survey found, the happier you tend to be. So far, so straightforward, but interestingly, the survey did also find that there was a difference here between men and women. Men’s satisfaction levels increase as their earnings rise whereas women satisfactions levels did not follow such a pattern. In fact the pattern was anything but clear for women - it’s not too far to suggest that there might be occasionally differences in what motivates executives of different genders.
But, of course there is more to it than just monetary satisfaction for procurement. Those working in the function take a lot of pride in what their team achieves and having that recognised and also understood by the business.
At the 2015 Procurement Leaders Awards, Sony Europe won the best procurement employer award and after picking up the trophy Simon Gale, the company’s director of procurement and facilities, talked with enthusiasm about what the win would mean for his team and the satisfaction they would take from that, especially knowing that their peers and the rest of Sony would know about what they had achieved.
So, yes, you need to pay your team to keep them happy but you also need to make sure that what they are doing is recognised inside and outside the business. In this age of social media, it’s amazing how far a bit of recognition from peers will go.
To enter the 2016 Procurement Leaders Awards click here
To read the 2016 Procurement Leaders Salary survey click here