The 3 Dimensions of Job Satisfaction Part 1

The 3 Dimensions of Job Satisfaction Part 1

Jurek Leon - Tuesday, March 04, 2008

by Jurek Leon

If you want passion, enthusiasm, energy, caring and concern from your employees towards your customers, what do you need to do? 

You need to exhibit passion, enthusiasm, energy, caring and concern towards your employees and to everything that you do.

If you want your employees to show respect to you, your company and everything you stand for, what do you need to do?

S_ _ _  them  r_ _ _ _ _ t.

Your getting the hang of this now, aren’t you?  So, let’s take this a little further.

From the evidence that we have gathered in working with people and organisations across a range of industries, it is clear that you cannot expect a sustained emotional return from your employees if you don't look after their emotional needs.  Yet most employers expect to get this sustained emotional return by looking after their employees physical needs such as pay and conditions.  This causes frustration for both employers and employees with both parties feeling let down.

And yet it doesn't have to be that way.  My colleague Jan Collins has created a model that we feel can help you as a manager to make a difference.  It is called ‘The 3 Dimensions of Job Satisfaction’.

Jan says that work is not one-dimensional.  People's work needs fall within three distinct areas - the physical, intellectual (or mental) and emotional.

Many managers are quite comfortable meeting their team's physical and mental needs.  However it is in the emotional dimension that they struggle.

The anecdotal evidence that we have gathered suggests that if an employee’s needs are not met in each of the dimensions, productivity will fall and employee turnover will be high.

For each of these three areas, or dimensions, employers require an investment from their employees....and in return employees need a similar investment from their company.

• The physical things are at the conscious level.  They tend to be noticed by management. 
• The intellectual things are also at the conscious level.  Sometimes they are visible as in demonstrating skills, and at other times they are less obvious as when displaying initiative.
• The emotional things such as caring, commitment and concern occur often at the unconscious level and as a result are not always as visible.

We've portrayed this process in the chart below.  We call it the Collins PIE Chart.  On the left are listed the three dimensions - Physical, Intellectual and Emotional.  And across the top are the headings Investment and Return.

Our experience is that if you want a return from your employees within any of these three dimensions, there must first be an investment by management in the same dimension.

As Jan points out, “When managers say ‘I want my staff to be caring, pleasant, happy and enthusiastic’, I ask, ‘what are you giving them so they will do all of this?’  Their reply is usually, ‘They get paid.’   If you want your staff to do all the above then they need a return in the appropriate dimension - the emotional one.  This means creating an atmosphere where the staff pass on to your customers what they get from you.”

For example, if you want employees to display initiative and come up with new ideas (Intellectual) you must give them responsibility and provide interesting work and opportunities for promotion.

If you want your employees to adhere to the safety and health regulations at work you must provide them with good equipment and safe working conditions.

If you want them to show respect and empathy for other staff members and customers you in turn must show them respect and have empathy for them.

Below you will find a Collins PIE Chart with some of the factors filled in.  This will help to illustrate the point that we are making.  At this stage we don't want to give too many examples, because we want you to identify for yourself the investment that you expect your employees to make in your company and the return that your employees gain for making this investment.

Now its time to start filling in your own PIE Chart.  In the left-hand boxes list the points that you want your employees to display.  You may have a lot of points, in which case you will need to make the boxes bigger.  Then in the right-hand column list what you will give them in return.

How are they matching up?  We will be back next month with some more examples.  Meantime, if you would like us to explore with you how we could run a workshop relating to this for your management team, please e-mail us at

Jurek Leon is a storyteller, trainer and coach who presents courses and addresses seminars on word of mouth marketing, motivation, customer focussed selling and managing the customer experience. Subscribe to Jurek's FREE monthly ‘Terrific Tips’ e-newsletter at Alternatively, email

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Jurek Leon is a storyteller, speaker and trainer. Subscribe to Jurek's FREE monthly 'Terrific Tips' e-newsletter at Alternatively, email