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Principles of Good Jobs

Good jobs

A good job is not the same as an ideal job, but it is much more than good work. Not all jobs, if any, can be perfect. It is a matter of making the working conditions reasonable within the context of the job. This is a question of balance. Although people have different preferences, for the most part, most people agree on the features that make up a good job.

Job satisfaction

Job satisfaction is how people feel about their jobs and different aspects of their jobs. It is the extent to which people like (satisfaction) or dislike (dissatisfaction) their jobs.

It’s the simple things that make for good jobs


Focus on the basics: starting with open communication across the organisation, and treating workers and co-workers with respect. Workers prefer to feel they have a say in how things are run, and that management will listen. They need to feel appreciated and part of a team with a common goal. Good jobs are fair jobs. Good jobs repel an ‘us and them’ culture; working with colleagues reduces antagonism and resentment.

Good jobs come from good management


While this may be self-evident, remember that good management involves everyone: Senior Management sets the approach. Line Managers make it happen. Workers contribute to the process.

Characteristics of good jobs


Good jobs are interesting and motivating. Different people have different things that motivate and interest them. For example, some people are interested in helping customers, whereas others like solving technical problems. Alternatively, it can be the social contact with colleagues that is most important. Good jobs allow people to pursue these interests, provided they are reasonable and consistent with the work unit and organisational goals.


The content that makes up a good job includes all the characteristics of good work and includes seven additional features

  1. Balanced demands and a safe work environment

  2. Effective and supportive line management

  3. Feeling of being a valued and respected member of a team

  4. Opportunities to use and develop skills

  5. Support and opportunity for workers to solve their own problems

  6. Support to make improvements to the job

  7. Opportunities for social interaction


There are others things of course, but these are the features that people say make a job comfortable, agreeable and satisfying. Importantly, they are also the things that help people to be resilient, so they can cope at work with with common heath problems and minor injuries. Making jobs good will lead to less sickness absence.



What's in a Word? 'Good Jobs' versus 'Good Work'


The idea of good work is an important one. It goes beyond just ensuring that jobs do not injure people or make them ill. It is also about the way work is organised, including things such fair rewards, security fulfilment and appreciation by society. Initiatives to produce good work happen mostly at the level of policy, regulation, and legislation. Work that is both ‘good’ and safe has become an expected minimum standard, but it is not sufficient to fully support the health and well-being of workers. Initiatives to produce good work happen mostly at the level of policy, regulation, and legislation. However, all the features required for ‘good work’ may be in place, yet the job may still not be a good one. A good job is safe, healthy, sustainable, satisfying, rewarding, and much more. The provision of good jobs happens in workplaces. It is each person's actual job ... your job, my job, etc. To have a good job the right things must be done in this workplace, now.

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