Is a higher salary the solution against dissatisfaction at work?

Postdate: 27 June 2017

Dissatisfied about salary
It was recent news: police and firemen are most often dissatisfied about their salary [1]. These are jobs that have a high (mental) work pressure and work shifts. End of last year it showed that half of the fifty thousands police agents in the Netherlands experienced stress complains and less work pleasure [2]. Does a link exist between lack of work pleasure, high work pressure and dissatisfaction about salary?

Quest for personal attention
A call for salary increase can mean in practice that an employee thinks his or her reward is not in balance with the work tasks (anymore), in other words, the recognition expressed in money. This can be the case with policemen and firemen, but also with other jobs. Especially at an older age the discussion rises about the reward in relation to experience, knowledge, work pressure, and work times. However, what is often skipped is the recognition in the form of personal attention.

What causes work satisfaction?
In order to see what causes dissatisfaction at work, it is interesting to look at the factors that cause satisfaction. Appreciation, autonomy and recognition are the basic needs everyone has. On the work floor this translates to a compliment, respect and a listening ear and coached leadership. This is experienced as more important than a financial bonus, which only causes temporal satisfaction [3]. Enough challenge (without a too high work pressure), control and the possibility to self-development are the most important pillars of autonomy.

A lack of this can in most instances cause dissatisfaction at work. When an employee cannot loose this frustration, he or she wants to see this compensated in different ways: for example by a higher salary or a lease car. This is only combating the symptoms, and not a solution to the problem.

Employees are also responsible
Employers have an interest to communicate with their employees, in order to find out what the real cause of dissatisfaction is. When it is not solved, the dissatisfaction can lead to decreasing results, absenteeism and high staff turnover. The employee also has responsibilities. What can he or she do to find more challenges, create more autonomy or to work at self-development? The employees take charge over their own motivation, the employer facilitates.

Measuring motivation and wellbeing with the Tsuru App
Do you want as an employer more insight in the dissatisfaction of your employees? You can get this with the Tsuru App. The Tsuru App puts employees in charge of their happiness, health and motivation. Tsuru’s Dashboard gives a daily insight in the wellbeing and motivation of the employees at that moment.

By means of daily questions about wellbeing and motivation, the employer can signal in an early stage where the pain points are, and find a solution against the dissatisfaction at work. Think that happy employees, who get enough appreciation and autonomy, also are motivated employees. No salary raise can beat this.

At the same time, an employee will be personally coached. Tsuru changes behaviour and focuses primary on internal ‘makeable’ factors. Employees can learn skills that with little adjustments in their behaviour can reach a higher satisfaction and a better motivation.

Tsuru is unique, has a personal, holistic approach and is evidence-based. The founders together with a group of medical specialists, (clinical) psychologists, and scientists, have invested more than four years in the development of a model on basis of algorithms. Both the profiling as the coaching program of Tsuru are based on techniques that can be used in psychotherapeutically settings.


[1] CBS, 2017;

[2] NRC, 2016

[3] Jaap van Duijn, 2015

attention     dissatisfaction     motivation     salary     stress     workplace    

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