Job Satisfaction: I Can't Quit; I'm A Star

Whenever I hear the words “job satisfaction,” I think of the Country-Western singer/songwriter Roger Miller and his song Kansas City Star.

As with all good Country-Western tunes there is a simple tune and a simple story involved with the song. The song starts off telling about a letter being received, which contains a job offer. There’s more money, expense account, and a car . . . and what’s more the singer even admits that the offer is for a better job. He turns it down.

Now, think of your employees. If they were offered “better” jobs, how many would stay and work for you? What elements make up job satisfaction for that better job?

According to a 2004 survey for The Conference Board by TNS, a leading market information company (LSE: TNN):

“The survey also finds that employees are least satisfied with their companies’ bonus plans, promotion policies, health plans and pensions. The majority are most satisfied with their commutes to work and their relationships with colleagues.”

-- U.S. Job Satisfaction Keeps Falling, The Conference Board Reports Today

Note that what most workers are satisfied with is their commute and their buddies at work. That doesn’t speak well of their opinions about their jobs does it?

According to the same survey, what makes job dissatisfaction?

40% feel disconnected from their jobs

66% of workers do not identify with their employer’s goals and objectives

25% of the workforce is just showing up for work.

Job satisfaction comes in many guises. Perhaps, some workers feel connected, some receive recognition for jobs well done, some believe in what their company is accomplishing in their community, in their industry, or in the world, perhaps they have a manager who has inspired passion in their performance. In Roger Miller’s Country-Western song the story has a hero that believes his job has almost all of that. He is the host of a kid’s television show, where he has admiring viewers, he’s recognized for what he does, and he is sought after in the community.

“Better job at higher wages; expenses paid and a car; But I’m on TV here locally and I can’t quit; I’m a star.”

-- Roger Miller, Kansas City Star

Do your employees have that sort of commitment? Do they have a passion? Do they feel connected to their jobs? Do they identify with your goals and objects? Or, are they just showing up at work for a pay check . . . which they could receive at some other place of employment?

Think of what you and your employees could accomplish if you all felt like you were stars. “I can’t quit; I’m a star.” Are they? Are you?


Don Doman is a published author of self-help books on small business. He and his wife own Ideas and Training, which supplies business training products to organizations around the world. Don and Peg also own and operate PNW Video Productions, which produces video productions for distribution and internet viewing.

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