Job Satisfaction In McDonald’s And Its Relationship With Personality

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Job satisfaction, as Wood et al. (2016) mentions, represents to which extent people consider their job positively or negatively. As an emotional affiliation with the job environment or tasks, job satisfaction strongly influences the employee’s behaviour. As a result, job satisfaction plays a significant role in achieving the goals in any organization. For example, if there would be too much employee turnover due to the low job satisfaction, organization must invest a lot of money in training new crew members. Similarly, organizations are really concerned that the employees can either work with their job environment or not, how friendly they are and how agreeable they could be to the other workers, with all the factors also can be traced back to personalities. This report will discuss how McDonald’s meets the theory of job satisfaction in real life and how job satisfaction can be linked to the five hey dimensions of personality. It will focus on the significance of job satisfaction, how McDonald’s face its job satisfaction and how the researches reflect the connection between each dimension of personality and job satisfaction.

McDonalds is one of the world’s biggest fast food chains, serving nearly forty-seven million customers daily through over 31000 restaurants in 119 countries (2019). Undoubtedly, its outstanding service has earned high reputation from customers, while job satisfaction is still an inevitable challenge for McDonald’s. As Wang (2004, cited in, 2019) mentions, employee is the core of fast food restaurant. The reason why employee feel happy in their jobs can be quite different. For example, some may feel satisfaction for promotion despite the difficulty of their tasks and some may enjoy the atmosphere of teamwork and collaboration. Branham (2005) indicates that the reason that people choose to leave their job is few chances of promotion, explaining many people refuse to choose McDonald’s as a career or turn to other jobs for its low future promotion. Andrew and Suzanne (2015) claims that only 6% of employee continue their career in McDonald’s for more than 4 years, representing McDonald’s should act to provide more employee chances of promotion. In order to solve this problem, McDonald’s provides its employee a clear career path to promise their future. Andrew and Suzanne (2015) depicts the career path as a linear and standardized pathway, from crew member to trainee manager, second assistant, first assistant and finally to restaurant manager. Andrew and Suzanne (2015) also indicates that almost 80% of McDonald’s managers started their career from a crew. Promotion is an all-time motivation for employee to get high job satisfaction for them to get higher salary and higher achievement. Despite working experience, McDonald’s offer opportunities for employee to achieve goals and dreams, such as the program called ‘Archways to Opportunity’. McDonald's and its affiliates have created this project to help employee get further education and better opportunities, and McDonald's employee can participate in these programs. This project includes ‘English under the Arches, get your High School Diploma and Earn your College Degree’. Jennifer Ruska, the first employee to graduate from an American university, used the ‘Archways to Opportunity ‘to make her degree affordable. McDonald's provided her the opportunity to achieve her goals, so she takes pride in working for a company that places considerable value on education and invests in the future of its employees. Ron, who started working at the local McDonald's when he was a sophomore, received tuition assistance through the Archways to Opportunity program, enabling him to focus on school without worrying about tuition fees. All this shows that working at McDonald's gives employee many, opportunities to improve themselves.

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Job satisfaction is also associated with employee relationship, resulting directly or indirectly to the corporate and customers. McDonald’s (2012, cited in Andrew & Suzanne 2015) insist it provides fun environment with friendly team and it is an exciting way meet different people and work with friends. According to Andrew and Suzanne (2015), 66% of employee agreed that they are respected by managers and 58% enjoy the relationship between them and managers. This proves McDonald’s success in create a friendly atmosphere for employee.

Sy, Tram and O’Hara (2006) state that researchers believe emotional intelligence (EI) can predict the job satisfaction and performance of employees and managers, and the resulting impact. Higher EI employees are more likely to have higher job satisfaction than lower EI employees, because employees and managers with high EI can understand the causes of stress (Sy, Tram & O’Hara 2006). They can use their abilities to assess and manage other people's emotions. They have a keen ability to identify emotions, and then deal with these problems. Moreover, Sy, Tram and O’Hara (2006) also point out that employees can use positive and negative emotions to improve performance. Positive emotions can motivate employees to provide better customer service and complete their work tasks (Sy, Tram & O’Hara 2006). However, negative emotions need to be more complex. Employees with high EI can regulate anxiety and other emotions and promote their focus on work. On the contrary, employees with low EI have negative effects on their work. The crew trainer Delaney said, “For me, success is making sure everyone’s happy, and they are loved as well”. The guidance of good work ideas will not help employees face their work with a positive attitude, and that is going to happen at McDonald's.

Self-efficacy is peoples’ faith of achieving some task and work behaviour, which does not just mean skill itself, but the confidence degree of whether individuals can complete the work with their abilities, being the core concept of social cognitive theory and directly affecting the individuals’ thinking, motivation and behaviour (Peng & Mao 2015). In order to achieve better performance, employees need to have confidence in their work, which will improve their self-satisfaction. Luckily, in McDonalds, it is easier to achieve self-satisfaction. Because what McDonald's requires is not only knowledge and skills of waiters and managers but also how to collaborate with colleagues. In addition, recognition and respect from managers are also very important. It will promote the enthusiasm and enthusiasm of employees, just as the MacDonald’s manager James said, ’Give the respect to janitor and COE. They are all valuable’.

In order to understand the inner factors that influence job satisfaction, scientists have taken several researches on personality. Since the 1930s, researchers have made some progress in the model of personality description. In the 1940s, Raymond Cattell compiled a list of 16 personality traits. In 1987, American psychologists Costa and McCrae proposed the five-factor model of personality, which was widely supported. Goldberg (1992) claimed the five-factor model is a revolution in personality psychology. The five key dimensions of personality, as Wood et al. (2016) conclude, are conscientiousness, agreeableness, emotional stability, openness to experience and extraversion. Within each factor, a set of individual characteristics is associated with more specific aspects of personality.

Conscientiousness refers to an individual's level of organization, reliability and attention to details (Wood et al. 2016), since these characteristics are always expressed in the work situation and related to work performance, this dimension also known as the 'work' dimension. Organ and Lingl believe that conscientiousness represents an individual's general level of job involvement, affecting the individual's job return. Consequently, conscientiousness is closely related to job satisfaction (Organ D & Lingl A 1995). In the studies of subjective well-being, it is shown a positive correlation between conscientiousness and job satisfaction (Connolly J & Viswesvaran C 2000). Sense of responsibility, therefore, is a positive work tendency so conscientious people are more likely to get satisfaction. For example, salary increase, position promotion, self-realization and respect from others can all be great motivation for these people.

Agreeableness represents how individuals are complaint, friendly and reliable (Wood et al. 2016). People who scored high on agreeableness were helpful, trustworthy and compassionate, while those who scored low were hostile and suspicious. People with agreeableness are good at teamwork and often get praise from their colleagues at work, improving their job satisfaction.

Emotional stability refers to the degree to which individuals have a sense of security, adaptability and calmness compared with their anxiety responses and tendency to emotional fluctuation (Wood et al. 2016), while people who are emotionally unstable are also called neuroticism (Timothy 1999). Individuals who scored higher on the neuroticism test were more likely to feel insecure, guilty and fearful. Neurotic individuals are more fearful of abnormal circumstances and more likely to experience feelings of helplessness than emotionally stable individuals. Since neuroticism is essentially a negative emotion, emotionally unstable people experience more negative events in their lives. At work, they tend to put themselves in situations where it's easier to nurture negative emotions. In such a scenario, their job satisfaction is likely to decrease. According to Timothy's (1999) analysis of relevant data on personality and job satisfaction, the score for neuroticism was -0.29, the score for conscientiousness was 0.25, and the score for extraversion was 0.26, suggesting that the extraversion and conscientiousness and job satisfaction have significant positive correlation, while neuroticism and job satisfaction have significant negative correlation.

Openness to experience refers to the extent to which an individual's curiosity, adaptability and interest in various things are open (Wood et al. 2016). It has important relations with scientific creativity, divergent thinking and acceptance of new ideas. Those people who are openness to experience are usually not conformist, good at independent thinking and have a strong spirit of exploration. However, according to Deneuve and Cooper (1998, p 199), 'openness is a 'double-edged sword', which can make the 'good' and 'bad' experience more profound and directly affect the emotional response of individuals, such as subjective well-being and job satisfaction.

Extraversion refers to the degree to which an individual pays attention to the sociality of people, relationships and events rather than the inner world (Wood et al. 2016). Extroversion and introversion represent two extremes, in which extroverts are more likely to experience positive emotions (Costa 1980). Costa (1980) claims extroverts tend to have more friends than introverts and spend more time socializing since they are more likely to be sociable, energetic, optimistic, friendly and confident. Moreover, they are confident to afford more challenging tasks in front of their leaders and show their leadership as well. As a result, they tend to receive praise from others, get more rewards and get higher job satisfaction. As a whole, the 5 key dimensions of personality closely related to employee’s job satisfaction and their behaviour and performance.

In conclusion, job satisfaction, comes from the personalities of human, significantly influences organisations’ decision-making. Even one of the most successful fast food restaurants—McDonald’s cannot satisfy all its employee. Job satisfaction will still be the main issue for all companies to research what employee really want and how to fulfil their requirements. The 5 key dimensions of personality, as the support factors for job satisfactions, is required to be analysed as well.


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