If you're unhappy in your job, you can't deliver the performance you're capable of. Who would tear their proverbial "knuckles" out if the general conditions are an imposition and you have the feeling that a lot is taken and far too little is given? Dissatisfaction slows down motivation and productivity, creates a bad working atmosphere and weakens the company as a whole. This is obvious and is also supported by all studies.

But does the reverse also apply? If you're satisfied, you're committed? Not necessarily - and actually already a contradiction by definition: Duden: "satisfied - being in harmony with the given, the given circumstances, conditions and therefore inwardly balanced and not desiring any change in circumstances". Or perhaps even more aptly the explanation of the DWDS (Digital Dictionary of the German Language) -. "agreeing with the given, the circumstances and conditions, what exists and what has been achieved, without special wishes, satisfied"

That can't be what employers want: Employees who are completely fed up, who sit back and just don't want to move; whose primary goal is to keep everything exactly as it is. How is it that this direct link is made between satisfaction and performance?

Honestly, keeping employees happy is neither the employer's central concern nor its job.

Of course, there is nothing to be said against taking the needs of employees seriously and importantly and making a great effort to do so - quite the opposite. However, this is rarely done without ulterior motives - without the expectation that top performance will be delivered in return.

Behind the pursuit of employee satisfaction lies the implicit demand for commitment.

Sometimes, the very people who claim to have "happy and satisfied employees" - who want to score points with the best accommodations, the best employee meals and the highest appreciation - provide the toughest working conditions and are also offended when they are not shown the gratitude they deserve. However, the truth about work atmosphere and leadership qualities comes to light very quickly in times of social media and feedback platforms, and here a very different picture often emerges than what is propagated in recruiting. The louder the "happy staff" is touted, the greater the disillusionment when the seemingly generous offer is linked to outdated leadership methods of carrot and stick.

Postulating employee satisfaction per se as the highest premise is disingenuous and leads to mutual disappointment. This does not have to be the case if there is open communication and explicit discussion of mutual expectations from the outset.

The task as an employer is to create the optimum conditions for performance, to support employees in their self-efficacy, and to give them the opportunity and constant incentive to succeed in their jobs with all their know-how, strengths and abilities - regardless of the position.

Employee satisfaction and engagement cannot be measured independently.

The truth is: We don't want "satisfied" employees, but ambitious, dynamic and determined employees who can (and want to!) perform; whose need is to continuously develop and grow together with the company. Only with correlating increase a win-win situation can be achieved and the upward upward spiral of satisfaction and commitment is set in motion.