Summer 1990 // Volume 28 // Number 2 // Research in Brief // 2RIB5

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Extension Staff Satisfaction


Anthony Mallilo
Assistant Professor
Cooperative Extension Service
University of Rhode Island-Kingston

Since its inception, needs assessment has been a common practice in the first stages of program planning for the Cooperative Extension System. Needs assessment is also a valuable tool for internal organizational purposes, including answering questions relevant to staff development, working conditions, and perceptions of Extension as a place to work.

In Rhode Island, we studied job satisfaction among Extension personnel. Using the Brayfield and Rothe Job Satisfaction Index, scores for all 24 Rhode Island Extension employees level of satisfaction with their job was obtained. The overall index of job satisfaction is identified as the mean score obtained from a 20-item questionnaire as shown in Table 1.

A total score of 0-53 is interpreted as low job satisfaction, while 55-90 is considered to represent high job satisfaction.

Analysis of the Brayfield and Rothe Job Satisfaction Index for the 24 Extension employees in Rhode Island indicated a mean score of 68.3, suggesting a "moderate to high" satisfaction with Extension employment. Staff members indicated through their responses that their positions were "usually interesting," "more interesting than other jobs they could get," and in general, "enjoyable."

The index item most suggesting negative job satisfaction was salary. Over 81% of the Rhode Island Extension staff felt they weren't adequately compensated for their work.

Job satisfaction depends on a number of factors and is subject to change. Therefore, administration should conduct a periodic needs assessment to determine the level of job satisfaction of personnel and identify methods for increasing satisfaction.

Table 1. Job satisfaction index.

Job satisfaction item Means
1. My job is usually interesting enough to keep me
from getting bored.

2. Most days I am enthusiastic about my work. 2.0
3. I feel my job is more interesting than others I
could get.

4. I find real enjoyment in my work. 2.1
5. I feel that I am happier in my work than most
other people.

6. I feel fairly well-satisfied with my present job. 2.4
7. I am satisfied with my job for the time being. 2.4
8. I like my job better than the average worker does. 2.5
9. My job is like a hobby to me. 3.5
10. It seems that my friends are more interested in
their jobs.

11. My job has a fair (impartial) promotion policy. 3.6
12. I enjoy my work more than my leisure time. 3.7
13. Most of the time I have to force myself to go to work. 3.8
14. I consider my job rather unpleasant. 3.8
15. I am disappointed that I took this job. 4.0
16. My job is pretty interesting. 4.1
17. Each day of work seems like it will never end. 4.1
18. I am adequately paid for the job I do. 4.3
19. I am often bored with my job. 4.4
20. I definitely dislike my work. 4.5
Scale: 1=strongly agree; 2=agree; 3=undecided; 4=disagree; 5=strongly disagree.