Hackman and Oldham’s Job Diagnostic Survey (JDS) – a free way to assess job satisfaction

Some general counsel might like to try a do-it-yourself survey of employee satisfaction. Angela Stevens describes one, the Job Satisfaction Survey (JDS), in “An Examination of Job Satisfaction and Creative Work Environments,” OD Practitioner, Vol. 38, No. 3 2006 at 36. JDS is a well tested, non-copyrighted instrument that is widely used, and managers can them on their own, instead of having to hire a consultant or vendor.

The JDS measures employee perceptions of five core dimensions of their jobs: Skill Variety, Task Identity, Task Significance, Autonomy and Feedback. When you combine the scores on those five dimensions, each person has a Motivating Potential Score, which indicates satisfaction with his or her job. According to the JDS’s creators, high motivation translates into increased performance and decreased turnover and absenteeism. A general counsel might use this tool for a discussion topic at a retreat.

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