Work Values reveals Motivators and are key to Job Satisfaction

Summary of December 2022 Professional Development Event

We were very happy to have long-time MCDA member Dean DeGroot share with us information about Work Values.  Dean is the recipient of MCDA’s Jules Kerlan Outstanding Achievement Award and is a two-time Marty Dockman Merit award winner!

For each client, Dean conducts a standard, structured interview and executes different inventories – interest, personality, and other assessments such as the FIRO-B and MBTI.  He looks for themes and things in common among all the results.

Dean’s presentation included why Work Values are important among our many assessment options, and he provided samples of values measurements.  Dean shared that he is a fan of Super’s Values Scales.  It was interesting to note that three other values instruments, in addition to his own, all had one value in common:  Authority.

Values help us identify what’s most important to us.  They focus on the Why, not necessarily the What.  They help us focus on Purpose and help identify criteria for Job Satisfaction.

The Career Compatibility Scale

Dean introduced attendees to a measure that he personally developed, the Career Compatibility Scale (CCS).  He reviewed specific benefits of the CCS instrument cited by clients and identified by career counselors.

The origins of the development of the Career Compatibility Scale involved looking back at his structured client interviews, particularly noting what kinds of things gave people job satisfaction and what contributed to dissatisfaction.  He used this information to develop nine values themes and piloted his measure in 2011.

The results allow a career counselor/coach to look at high-rated and low-rated values and the gaps showing the difference between what people ideally want and what people are actually getting in their current work situation.  This is a unique feature of his instrument – the overlaying of current job satisfaction with stated work values.

Job Satisfaction

Dean noted that job satisfaction is influenced by the degree of fulfillment of work values, E.g. Bosses – people leave or stay because of them.  His preliminary research showed some interesting findings.

  • When asked, how did you get into your job?  58% said Happenstance, they fell into it. 
  • When asked, is your work meaningful?  Only 26.9% said Yes, it was Meaningful.  Of those that reported choosing a job based on personal interests, 44% said they found their current work meaningful.
  • Top Job Satisfiers were different for men (Results) and women (People).

He provided case studies from his own client work and involved the audience in both small group conversation (“what would you do with this client?”) and large group discussion.  Here are a few nuggets from that large group:

  • Values may be influenced by family of origin
  • Some practitioners like Hogan assessments
  • The U.S. Department of Labor’s Career OneStop site has several types of online assessments

We all benefit from learning about new assessments, and how to be more effective when we work with our career clients.  The Professional Development Committee and our members thank Dean for his time and insights!

Work Values is the focus of one chapter in Dean’s recent book, Game Plan: An Insider’s Guide to Effective Career Assessment.  The book is targeted at career practitioners and offers important reminders and thoughtful additions to our thinking about career assessments.  It includes a toolkit and valuable resources, too.

Submitted by: Jennifer Rogers, Professional Development Committee member

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *