An Empirical Study of the Workplace Happiness of Doctors in North Bengal

 

Ms. Mamata Prasad1*, Mr. Debarshi Roy2, Dr. Palas R. Sengupta3

1Assistant Professor, University B.T. & Evening College, Cooch Behar

2PhD Scholar,  University of North Bengal

3Professor, Department of Commerce, University of North Bengal

 

ABSTRACT:

Workplace happiness has been recognized to be one of the major factors for increased productivity, enhanced quality of work  and workplace efficacy . Since workplace efficacy is of prime importance for the medical profession it is important to know if doctors are primarily happy in their workplace and with their profession .This study dwells with the levels of existing workplace happiness of doctors in North Bengal and examines the factors that affect the levels of workplace happiness. The study included a sample of 102 ( N=102) doctors from North Bengal Medical College .The study was a descriptive research study and used the Jobs Central work happiness indicator to measure happiness levels of the doctors involved in the study. The study concluded that salary and interesting nature of the work were the most important attributes that affected workplace happiness of doctors where as safety , location of work or workload were the least important factors affecting workplace happiness of doctors.

 

KEYWORDS: Work, Workplace, Happiness, Doctors, Attribute.

 

INTRODUCTION:

There has been a growing recognition of the importance of mental health in the Workplace. We spend most of the time of the day at work and, thus, work has become one of the key determinants to our health and happiness.  Happiness at work is a constituent for success for both the organizations as well as for the individuals. Happy employees are generally more motivated, engaged, committed and loyal to their employers .They are favorable and advocates for their organization and employers and are ready to put extra efforts for the benefit of customers (Sharon S. Andrew , 2011). Happiness in the work place contributes many positive outcomes such as increasing productivity, quality, customer satisfaction, creativity and innovation, flexibility, decreasing loss and improved interpersonal relationships. .On the other hand,  unhappiness  in the workplace have been associated with decreased work performance, increased risk of accidents, increased absenteeism, sick leave, short term or long term disability, burnout, increased job turnover rates, various health conditions, and increased disability and health care costs (peter war, 2009).

 

 

 


There has been a growing recognition of the importance of mental health in the Workplace. We spend most of the time of the day at work and, thus, work has become one of the key determinants to our health and happiness. Happiness at work is a constituent for success for both the organizations as well as for the individuals. Happy employees are generally more motivated, engaged, committed and loyal to their employers .They are favorable and advocates for their organization and employers and are ready to put extra efforts for the benefit of customers (Sharon S. Andrew , 2011).

 

Happiness in the work place contributes many positive outcomes such as increasing productivity, quality, customer satisfaction, creativity and innovation, flexibility, decreasing loss and improved interpersonal relationships. .On the other hand,  unhappiness  in the workplace have been associated with  decreased work performance, increased risk of accidents,  increased absenteeism, , sick leave, short term or long term disability, burnout, increased job turnover rates, various health conditions, and increased disability and health care costs (peter war, 2009). When a person joins a company he or she has high levels of happiness but with the passage of time it declines significantly (David Sirota). There is , therefore , a need  for generating and sustaining employees’ workplace happiness. The aim of this paper is to study the degree of happiness at work of medical professionals in North  Bengal and to identify the work attributes which make  them happy at work place.

 

REVIEW OF LITERATURE:

Happiness has been in the focus of attention of both psychologists and sociologists for many decades (Xanthopoulo , 2010).  Past researches have demonstrated a strong relationship between happiness and workplace success. Boehm and Lyubomirsky (2008) posited that happy and satisfied individuals are relatively more successful in the workplace; compared to their unhappy peers and if employees are happy they tend to be more productive, generate new innovative ideas, try to do the same job with different innovative methods to save time and enhance effectiveness.  Daryl S. Famacion-quinco (2012) studied workplace happiness of La Salle University administrators. The study involved the members of the President’s operations council of La Salle University for Academic Year 2010-2011.  Results showed that 50 percent of the administrators of La Salle University were happy at work. They were mostly of women in the age range of 30-39 years old who were tenured and secured with their job status. The greatest factor that affected the level of happiness of the administrators were the belief that they were doing something worthwhile and the least that affected their happiness was competitive salary.

 

Dr. Noelle Nelson , clinical psychologist in her book : Make More Money by Making Your  Employees Happy,  shows that  effective   appreciation of  employee value   return more than triple time  on equity and assets than the firms  that don’t.  Organizations, globally, therefore are focusing on making their employees happy. Dr. Nelson, in her book also states that when employees feel that the company takes care for their interest; the employees will also care for company’s interests. This may result into putting of extra efforts for the betterment of the company.

 

Studies by Iverson, Olekalns, and Erwin ( 1998) indicate that social support from colleagues and supervisors  cause people to be happy where as Cropanzano and Wright( 1999 ) in their study found that  favorable evaluations by a superior  made workers happy.V. Gupta ( 2012) and George ( 1991)  found that Helping fellow workers in the workplace causes a person to be happy. Smith, Geoffrey (1995), the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and a Spanish research company identified environment, security, lifestyle, and cleanliness as the factors of happiness for Europeans.

 

Sodikoff, Charles L (2010), showed that investment in physician service help the organization to increase job happiness. Appointment of nurse and accountant reduce doctors work load and free them from administrative work and help them to concentrate their work and hence increase happiness. Promotions of an environment of inter action with other experts doctors also help to increase happiness quotients of work place. Mr. Rajnish Ratna, Ms. Aditi Gupta and Ms. Saniya Chawla (2011) studied the level of Job Happiness Quotient (JHQ) of bank officers and make a comparative study between private and public banks in Delhi. In their exploratory research they collected data from the employees of four different banks of fifty employees (35 middle +15senior level officers) each i.e.  from 200-respondent. They used a standardized questionnaire which was taken from Test Business Today, 1996.  Researchers proved that the JHQ level in the private sector banks was higher than those in public sector and identified that sense of accomplishment, ambition; working hours, stress work environment, age and compensation have an impact on the job happiness.

 

Dr Ritika Jain (2012) surveyed the executives job Happiness Quotient in realm of Rajasthan State Mines and Minerals. The survey was conducted with the help of questionnaire which consisted of 71 questions. 14 factors and 30 sub factors. The questionnaire covered various issues that were relevant to the organization, some of which required management intervention and some of which related directly to the workgroup. The factors included company, leadership, job, reward and recognition, communication, teamwork, training and development, physical environment, social environment, job security and advancement, goal, improvement orientation, compensation, grievance redressal and conflict resolution. Her findings revealed that Executives of Mining, Mechanical, Research, Material, PandA were happy. Executives of Mining were happiest of all. Executives of Finance, Beneficiation and Electrical department were overall unhappy. Based on her analysis she suggested that to increase the executives happiness level actions should be taken for up gradation and renovation of flats and quarters allotment and construction of new flats. More doctors and nurses should be appointed in hospital and better provisions should be made to improve housekeeping, water coolers, air conditioner, urinals and washrooms and also attention should be paid to provide improved quality of food items and fresh and hot meals in canteen.

 

There should be transparency in reward system and revisit current reward and recognition system for improvement.  Indian Express survey revealed that stress had become a normal part of life of major (61 per cent) employees in Pune. The survey found that unhealthy work place  was the main reason of employee unhappiness and it was suggested that recognizing faults at work and taking corrective action were the most preferred option to cope with stress.  Over the years lot of studies have been indentified the factors of employees work place happiness of profit seeking organizations. In this study may be the first  time   an attempt is made to find out the  work attributes which are responsible for  doctors work place happiness who are serving  in the medical college under west Bengal government.

 

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES:

The present study was conducted to achieve the following objectives:

1.To identify the level of happiness at work place of doctors working in West Bengal medical colleges

2.To identify the work attributes that affect their happiness at work.

 

METHODOLOGY:

The study was a descriptive survey study with no intervention. The sample was selected through simple random sampling method.  One hundred two doctors were selected as the sample from North Bengal Medical College. In this study the primary data was collected from the doctors who are working in north Bengal medical college, thorough standardized questionnaires .  The study was carried out through Jobs Central Work Happiness Indicator to get information about doctors’ work place happiness The Jobs Central Work Happiness Indicator measured work place happiness which uses a 100-point scoring scale. Where respondents were presented with a list of twelve items common work-related attributes that they are required  to rank in the order of importance (1 for highest importanc 12 for lowest importance).Next, respondents were required to assign a satisfaction score (1 = absolutely not satisfied 10 = totally satisfied) to each of these attributes. Each work attribute is then tabulated with a weighted score and mapped into a 100-point scale. The higher the score, the happier an employer is considered to be.  The questionnaires are comprised of forced-choice and self-reported responses. The self-report questionnaire was divided into two main sections. The first section asked for demographic information including gender, age, years of experience in service and hest educational degree attained. The second section of the questionnaire requested information regarding the work place happiness.

 

DATA ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION:

This was an empirical  study  and used a a set of questionnaires  to gather and examine data to explore degree of happiness and factors of happiness of doctors at their work. The data analyses obtained from respondents were presented in table forms. These data include the frequency and percentage. The data gathered were analyzed using the descriptive statistics. The answers for the happiness questionnaire were interpreted using the following  1-20 Point= very unhappy, 21-40 Point= moderately unhappy, 41-60 Point = Neutral ,61- 80 point = Moderately  happy about work and 81-100 point = very happy at work.

Table- 1 Summary of Demographic Data (N = 102)

Variables

frequency

Percentage

Gender

Male

Female

 

Age Range 

25-30

31-40

41-50

>50

 

Education

Bachelor’s

Master’s

 

Years as Doctors

1–3

4–7

8–11

> 11

 

86
16

 

 

62

19

15

6

 

 

42

60

 

 

61

14

08

19

 

84.31

15.69

 

 

60.78

18.63

14.71

5.88

 

 

41.18

58.82

 

 

59.80

13.73

7.84

18.63

 

Demographic Data:

The demographic data in Table -1 provide the frequency and percentage. For the total sample, 86 of 102 are male and 16 are female. It reveals that there are more males respondents (84.31%) than females (15.69%).  Table 1 also reveals that there are more respondents within the ages of 25 to 30 years (60.78%) followed by those within the ages of 31 to 40 years (18.63%), while the lowest age range falls between ages 50 above (5.88%). This indicates that the majority of the doctors who participated in this study are a younger age group, as 79.41% are below the age of 40. As regards education level 58.85% of the respondents have post graduate degree. 56.25% of female doctor have post graduation degree. In addition; only 18.63% of the respondents have experience of more than eleven years.

 

Table-2 reveals the degree of happiness of medical professionals and its relation with demographic variables. We see that 40% doctors are moderately happy, these individuals lack enthusiasm and are not actively and productively engaged with the work. 32% are neutral and only ten percent doctors are satisfied with their job and actively engaged with their profession. 9.8% of the doctors are moderately unhappy but there is hope that with positive changes in the workplace the situation can improve. 7.8% do doctors are very unhappy with their profession and lack enthuses. The survey sheet shows that Out of very unhappy doctors 50% are (4/8) female and the percentage of very happy female doctor is only 6% (1/16). Male doctors (68.61) are found to be slightly happier at work as compared to female employees (44.43). Male employees are also happier than the average individual (57.85).

 


 

 

Table-2 Degree of Happiness of Doctors and demographic profile

Degree of happiness

Very unhappy

Moderately unhappy

Neutral

Moderately happy

Very happy

Percentage

7.8

9.8

32.4

40.20

9.8

Education

Bachelor

2.9

1.9

11.7

19.6

4.9

Master

4.9

7.9

20.7

20.6

4.9

Age

Upto30

1.9

6

16.8

29.4

5.9

31-40

1

1.9

8.8

4.9

1.9

41-50

4.9

0

3.9

4.9

1

>50

0

1.9

2.9

1

1

Experience

1-3

1.9

6.9

19.7

25.5

4

4-7

1

1

4.9

5.9

2

8-11

2

0

2.9

2.9

1.9

>11

2.9

1.9

4.9

5.9

1.9

 


 

 

 

Education is found not to significantly affect happiness, 4.9% doctors with bachelor and master degrees are happiest.  4.9% Doctors with master degree and 2.9% doctors with bachelor degree are very unhappy in their profession. Post graduate doctors are unhappier than bachelor doctors this may be lack of proper advancement opportunities in the profession.

 

In table-1 we see that 79% of the doctors are young and among the very happy doctors 80% doctors are below the age group of forty where as only 20% doctors are above forty years in the group of very happy doctors. The happiest age group is the under 31’s at 5.9 per cent, who are no doubt excited as they start to build a career. Younger doctors are happier than older doctors. It could be that the doctors in this age group are young, full of energy and positive outlook in life that they are able to appreciate almost anything and everything around them.  Those who are least happy are doctors in their 40’s (4.9%) who face the prospect of working for at least another 20 years. These doctors may be feeling that they are not aligning to the work assigned to them. (Sharon S. Andrew , 2011).

 

It has been found that early years’ happiness falls drastically in a person’s 40’s. The level of happiness is higher in a person’s younger years, but tends to hit bottom in the mid 40’s. This Happiness Curve, however, can be restricted by taking positive action that will keep life/work stability tipped to the upper reaches of the curve.

 

In case of work experience also junior (4%) doctors are happier than senior (1.9%) doctors. Young doctors are happier than older doctors.  This could be since they are new to the institution; they are still so full of creativity and energy to show that they are a good asset to the college. They are still on the stage of giving the college a good reason that they belong and is serving in the medicine. The table also gives information that among the very unhappy doctors 2.9% have experience of more than eleven years of service in the profession. .Among the very unhappy doctors 4.9% are having work experience above eight years and 2% are with one to seven years in profession. In this survey we find that age, education and work experience has no affect on happiness at work.

 

Table-3 the work attributes by importance

Rank

Most Important Work Attributes

Score

(out of 12)

1

Salary

8.44

2

Interesting work

8.11

3

Work life balance

7.39

4

 Positive impact to society

7.04

5

Autonomy at work

6.78

6

Job security

6.41

7

Advancement opportunities

6.24

8

Good relation with Management

5.9

9

Good relation with colleague

5.53

10

Safe working condition

5.47

11

Location Of Work

5.23

12

Acceptable Work Demand

5.08

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In table-3 we see the order of work attributes according to their importance of happiness at work as ranked by respondents. The five most important work attributes were salary, interesting work, work life balance, positive impact to society and autonomy at work. 24.5 percent of doctors  ranked Salary as the most important work attributes of happiness, giving it the highest score of 8.63 (out of a maximum score of 12) . The surveys also shows interesting work to the second position and are chosen by 23.5 percent of respondents to be their most important work attribute. Work life balance rank to 3rd place with a score of 7.39. Acceptable work demand is ranked the least important work attribute with score 5.08 out of 12.On the above score table from the next least important attribute location of work which scored 5.23 points .This means that the internal factors (salary) were more responsible for their work place happiness which they would get from service rather than the  environment that they are working in.                        

More than one quarter of doctors (30.4 percent) rated job securities (7.12 out of 10) at the highest level of satisfaction.   21.6% doctors are rated their relations with their colleagues at the highest level of satisfaction therefore placing it as the 2nd most satisfied work attribute (6.87 out of 10). Acceptable work demands and safe working condition also come among the top 5 most satisfied work attributes with 24.5 percent giving it a high satisfaction rating (6.4 out of 10).

 

While autonomy and interesting work are highly valued by doctors as most important work attributes respectively, both attributes scored the least in terms of satisfaction levels. 8.8 percent of doctors rated autonomy at the lowest level of satisfaction making it the least satisfied work attributes (score of 5.49 out of 10). Meanwhile, interesting work achieved the second lowest satisfaction score (5.68 out of 10) with 25.4% of doctors. 15.47% doctors reporting that they are not contented with the advance opportunities of their current jobs. Good relation with management ranked the 5th spot of dissatisfaction level.

 

Table-4 most satisfied to dissatisfied Work attributes

Attribute

Score

Job security

7.12

Good relations with colleagues

6.87

Acceptable work demands

6.4

Location of work

6.4

Safe working conditions

6.4

Salary

6.35

Work-life balance

6.03

Good relations with    management

5.83

Positive impact to society

5.76

Advancement opportunities

5.74

Interesting work

5.68

Autonomy at work

5.49

 

The survey sheet show that job securities, acceptable work demands, salary, good relation with colleague and interesting work are the work attributes on which female doctors happiness depends very much and advancement opportunities, safe working condition, relation with management, autonomy at work and location of work place are the attributes which they are very much dissatisfied. The results of the survey show positive levels of satisfaction with regards to interpersonal relations at the workplace. What we find in this survey is that most satisfied work attribute were different from the attributes which the doctors considered most important for their happiness at work. This means that respondents were not satisfied with important factors which they ranked important for happiness at work. This indicates that for the doctors to improve their level of happiness in their workplace, changes should be done in line to the following areas where the doctors feel that they are not satisfied currently as they answered the survey sheet.  

 

Recommendations: Following are the some measures to ensure the medical doctors happiness:-

·      A proper salary package   is the first and foremost requirement for ensuring work place   happiness of medical professionals.

·      Doctors should be provided with meaningful work with restructuring of positions if necessary and possible.

·      There should be involvement of doctors for arrangements of duty time so that they can maintain their work life balance.

·      The provision of a workplace, which is co operative and safe are essential for happiness at work.

·      An atmosphere  that gives autonomy at work should be available and  doctors are given the freedom to take action, explaining why assignments are important to the accomplishment.

·      Providing opportunities for challenging assignments, considering reassignments so that doctors’ strengths align with position requirements, should use full range of knowledge and skills.

 

Implications of the Study: 

People are spending most of their lives in their working environments. Therefore, this study is relevant because it tackles the issue of happiness in the workplace Findings of the study will help the top authority to know the problem areas which is leading to unhappiness among doctors and hence declining their performances. This study gives a scope to know and understand the happiness and satisfaction level of doctors in the medical colleges. Top Authority can use the finding of this study to develop interventions and strategies for improvement.

 

Limitations:

The study had undergone certain limitations.  Positive response ratio was very less. Due to time constrained for most of the doctors less number of doctors reply truly. Also, sample size was another major issue due to which analysis part lacked statistical tools.

 

In this study, it is not possible to say that we have had an error free sample, doctors were selected at random.

The present research is being confined to the data collection from one medical college only and hence the results obtained cannot safely be generalized. Increasing the scope of it by bringing in more medical colleges in the survey and increasing the sample size can further extend this study and give a wider application. . However, this study helps us to indentify   the factors   responsible for happiness of the doctors who are working in medical colleges of West Bengal.

 

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION:

Happiness has a great role to play in work performance. More happiness- higher satisfaction and higher satisfaction means higher performance. Besides this happiness at work also affects organizational citizenship, absenteeism and turnover and is predator of work behavior. It is observed that individuals who find their lives rewarding and fulfilling are generally more successful in the workplace. Happy individuals  are likely to be more proactive and resilient to adverse situations and less prone to stress symptoms. Happiness creates passion among individuals for their work. Happy doctors are crucial to the future success of health care institution and that building on what makes doctor in their profession is more effective than just fixing what makes them unhappy. Thus, doctors who enjoy good salary and working relationships, receive autonomy at work, balance work life and feel valued by organization are likely to be happy. The Doctors who are happy in their works likely to be contributing the most to service and would send positive message to Society and enhance institution brand. Thus it is important for authority to take care of their happiness to enhance the work efficiency and level of patients’ satisfaction.

 

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Received on 08.12.2015

Modified on 12.01.2016

Accepted on 20.02.2016

© A&V Publications all right reserved

Research J. Humanities and Social Sciences. 7(2): April - June, 2016, 75-81.

DOI: 10.5958/2321-5828.2016.00013.9