Herzberg two factor theory

Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory is a “content theory” of motivation” (the other main one is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs).

Frederick Irving Herzberg (17 April 1923 – 19 January 2000)

Frederick Irving Herzberg (17 April 1923 – 19 January 2000)

Herzberg analysed the job attitudes of 200 accountants and engineers who were asked to recall when they had felt positive or negative at work and the reasons why.

In 1959, Frederick Herzberg, a behavioural scientist proposed a two-factor theory or the motivator-hygiene theory. According to Herzberg, there are some job factors that result in satisfaction while there are other job factors that prevent dissatisfaction. According to Herzberg, the opposite of “Satisfaction” is “No satisfaction” and the opposite of “Dissatisfaction” is “No Dissatisfaction”.

Hygiene factors
Hygiene factors are those job factors which are essential for existence of motivation at workplace. These do not lead to positive satisfaction for long-term. But if these factors are absent / if these factors are non-existant at workplace, then they lead to dissatisfaction. In other words, hygiene factors are those factors which when adequate / reasonable in a job, pacify the employees and do not make them dissatisfied.These factors are extrinsic to work. Hygiene factors are also called as dissatisfiers or maintenance factors as they are required to avoid dissatisfaction. These factors describe the job environment / scenario. The hygiene factors symbolized the physiological needs which the individuals wanted and expected to be fulfilled. Hygiene factors include:

Pay- The pay or salary structure should be appropriate and reasonable. It must be equal and competitive to those in the same industry in the same domain.
Company Policies and administrative policies- The company policies should not be too rigid. They should be fair and clear. It should include flexible working hours, dress code, breaks, vacation, etc.
Fringe benefits- The employees should be offered health care plans (mediclaim), benefits for the family members, employee help programmes, etc.
Physical Working conditions- The working conditions should be safe, clean and hygienic. The work equipments should be updated and well-maintained.
Status- The employees’ status within the organization should be familiar and retained.
Interpersonal relations-The relationship of the employees with his peers, superiors and subordinates should be appropriate and acceptable. There should be no conflict or humiliation element present.
Job Security- The organization must provide job security to the employees.

Motivational factors
According to Herzberg, the hygiene factors cannot be regarded as motivators. The motivational factors yield positive satisfaction. These factors are inherent to work. These factors motivate the employees for a superior performance. These factors are called satisfiers. These are factors involved in performing the job. Employees find these factors intrinsically rewarding. The motivators symbolized the psychological needs that were perceived as an additional benefit. Motivational factors include:

Recognition- The employees should be praised and recognized for their accomplishments by the managers.
Sense of achievement- The employees must have a sense of achievement. This depends on the job. There must be a fruit of some sort in the job.
Growth and promotional opportunities- There must be growth and advancement opportunities in an organization to motivate the employees to perform well.
Responsibility- The employees must hold themselves responsible for the work. The managers should give them ownership of the work. They should minimize control but retain accountability.
Meaningfulness of the work- The work itself should be meaningful, interesting and challenging for the employee to perform and to get motivated.

Applying Hertzberg’s model to de-motivated workers

What might the evidence of de-motivated employees be in a business?

= > Low productivity
= > Poor production or service quality
= > Strikes / industrial disputes / breakdowns in employee communication and relationships
= > Complaints about pay and working conditions

According to Herzberg, management should focus on rearranging work so that motivator factors can take effect. He suggested three ways in which this could be done:

Maslow’s and Herzberg’s Ideas Compared
maslow hertzberg

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