A comparative study on pharmacist job satisfaction in the private and public hospitals of the North–West Province
Pharmacists experience high levels of stress at work, especially from factors intrinsic to their jobs and management roles. In South Africa, the public sector is confronted with situational difficulties such as a shortage of staff and poor working conditions. Accordingly, a comparative survey was conducted using a self–constructed questionnaire to obtain individual responses from the pharmacists in the public, as well as the private sector. The focus population was the pharmacists in the public, as well as the private hospitals in the North–West Province. The public sector consists of 30 hospitals and the private sector of 20. By using the convenient sampling method, 100 samples were taken. The questionnaire measured six factors of job satisfaction, namely: job design, salary/remuneration satisfaction, performance management, working arrangements, organisational climate, and professional development. The questionnaire was distributed to 100 pharmacists in total, and a response rate of 66% was obtained. The only medium practical significance shown in the results was between the averages of the private sector (2.89) in contrast with the public sector (3.38). This indicates that the public sector demonstrates less satisfaction with their performance management than the private sector. The data also indicated that the public sector pharmacists are less satisfied with job design, performance of management, professional development, and their working arrangements. The private sector showed only a small difference in the means, when compared to the public sector. It is clear that both sectors illustrate a moderate level of job satisfaction. Recommendations, therefore, included the revisiting of the job design by increasing job rotation and task identity. The need for self–actualization has to be acknowledged and the opportunity for promotion needs to be provided. The link between the actual activity and the bonus, with regards to performance management, has to be re–established, and there has to be transparency throughout. Decision–making control is extremely important and seeing that 82% of the pharmacists were female, the employer can consider accommodating family responsibilities, compressed working weeks, flexible working hours, job sharing, and part–time work. Professional development is also very important within any company and it is vital that the employer deposits time, money and skill into the staff.