Content at the wheel

| February 01, 2006

Drivers, says Platter, can suffer from tunnel vision. A company that doesn’t keep them informed risks drivers thinking the worst about their situation. “A lot of drivers are unsatisfied because they think one thing when reality is another,” he says. “Marten keeps us informed of the bigger picture so if something isn’t exactly the way I wanted it I’ll know why, I can see what’s happening.”

Money is a major factor, Platter says, but not the only one. “It’s part of the mix, but so are a lot of factors. Job satisfaction in this industry is not just about one issue. Most drivers want to work for a good company, with honest people they have confidence in, who pay them well and keep then informed about what’s going on. I know what I want out of this career, and I know where I stand when it comes to getting it.”

Herzberg’s Theory
Frederick Herzberg, who came to prominence in the 1950s, is generally considered the father of motivational studies. His key work was the Two Factor Theory of Human Motivation in which he theorized that job satisfaction depended on two distinct sets of issues. One was factors which, if not met, could create unhappiness. The other set was made up of “motivators,” things that the employee could do to enhance job satisfaction. Simply put, his theory might look something like the checklists below.

So, says Herzberg, dissatisfaction and satisfaction on the job spring from different factors and not just two different sides of the same coin – that is to say that if something provides satisfaction ( e.g. recognition) the lack of it does not necessarily produce dissatisfaction, and vice versa.

Basically, the factors in the first column are essential to make sure an employee is not dissatisfied. The factors in the other column are needed in order to motivate an employee to do his best – and be more satisfied because of it.

If you have put no check marks in either column, odds are you don’t enjoy your job. A good score in the left-hand column but not in the right probably leaves you feeling “a job is a job and it pays the bills, so who cares if I’m motivated?” A high right-hand column score but a low score on the other side is likely to leave you eager to follow your career in trucking but constantly complain about the working condition at your company. The idea, of course, is to score highly in both columns.

Potential Dissatisfaction Factors (if not done right by company)

  • Company policies

  • Administration of company policies
  • Supervision
  • Salary, status, security
  • Interpersonal relations
  • Working conditions

Potential Satisfaction Factors (motivators)

  • The work itself

  • Achievements
  • Recognition
  • Responsibility
  • Interest level
  • Advancement potential

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