Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory of Motivation explains the effect of attitude on motivation. What do the employees want? Are they looking for growth opportunities, solid workplace relationships, higher salary, or job satisfaction are some important questions that are considered the root of motivation?
The Two-Factor Theory of Motivation was written by American psychologist Frederick Herzberg and published in his article “One More Time: How Do You Motivate Employees”. Herzberg asked people to describe situations when they felt very good and also very bad in terms of their job. He came to some extraordinary conclusions that became the basis of his Theory of Motivation.
What are the two factors in Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory of Motivation?
Herzberg’s Theory of Motivation states employees does not work only for a salary. There are job factors that result in satisfaction and some factors that prevent dissatisfaction.
Factors for Satisfaction
- The work itself
Factors for Dissatisfaction
- Organizational policies
- Work environment
- Relationship with peers and supervisor
According to the findings of Frederick Herzberg, the opposite of Satisfaction is No Satisfaction and not dissatisfaction whereas the opposite of Dissatisfaction is No Dissatisfaction and not satisfaction.
The factors leading to job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction are different from each other. Eliminating one factor will not automatically enhance the other factor or vice versa. Instead, you have to address each factor separately to achieve the desired results.
According to Herzberg, there are two types of job factors
- Hygiene factors
- Motivating factors
1. Hygiene Factors
Hygiene factors, also known as maintenance factors or dissatisfiers, refer to the elements that are necessary for the presence of motivation levels in the workplace. It does not result in long-term positive satisfaction but if absent will lead to dissatisfaction.
Herzberg in simple words states that the Hygiene factors are those which when present in a reasonable number will keep the employees pacified and will not make them dissatisfied. The hygiene factors explain the job environment and are a reflection of the psychological needs which employees want and expect to be fulfilled.
Some of the important Hygiene factors are
The pay structure must be reasonable, equal, competitive, and appropriate to those in the same domain and same industry.
b. Company policies and administrative policies
Too much rigidity can cause innumerable problems so the company and administrative policies should be fair, reasonable and clear for instance regular breaks, flexible working hours and vacation time.
c. Fringe benefits
Every organization must offer fringe benefits to its employees like health care plans, employee help programs, etc.
The status of the employee within the organization must be familiar
e. Physical working conditions
Physical working conditions are an important Hygiene factor and include a hygienic, safe, and clean workplace where the pieces of equipment are maintained and up-to-date
f. Job security
It is the responsibility of the organization to provide job security to its employees
g. Interpersonal relations
The employee’s relationship with subordinates, peers, and superiors should be appropriate without any presence of conflict or embarrassment
2. Motivating Factors
Herzberg’s Motivation Hygiene Theory categorically states that hygiene factors are not motivators. The motivating factors are inherent to work and offer positive satisfaction and motivation. These factors also known as satisfiers are related to the job and motivates people to give a better performance. Unlike Hygiene Factors, Motivating l factors prove very rewarding for an employee.
Some of them are as follows-
The management needs to recognize the work of the employees within the organization and offer verbal praise
The management needs to give the employees ownership of the work and hold them accountable for it.
c. Growth and Promotional Opportunities
An organization with growth and promotional opportunities will motivate employees to do better.
d. Sense of achievement
The people in a company must feel a sense of achievement in the job.
e. Meaningfulness of the work
If the work in itself is challenging and interesting it automatically becomes meaningful. Job enrichment has the power to motive employees
How do you use Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory Model?
1. Eliminate Job Hygiene Stressors
According to Herzberg, it was important to get rid of the causes of dissatisfaction in jobs or simply Hygiene factors by
- The management must provide supportive and effective supervision without micromanaging
- Ensure competitive wages
- The management needs to rectify the poor company policies that are hindering employee growth
- Provide meaningful work
- The management needs to create a supportive culture that gives respect to all the employees irrespective of their position
- Provide meaningful work
- The management needs to offer job security
- Provide better work conditions
All the above-mentioned steps will remove job dissatisfaction within the organization. It is not possible to motivate people until the issues are sorted. Remember if someone is not dissatisfied it does not mean he is satisfied. Job satisfaction is possible only by putting the onus on doing things that will build job satisfaction.
2. Create Conditions for Job Satisfaction
The Two-Factor Theory states that once the hygiene stressors are eliminated in jobs it is time to create conditions for job satisfaction. An organization can use the following techniques for this purpose
- Recognizing and acknowledging employee contributions
- Giving responsibility to the employees and making them accountable for their work
- Providing opportunities for achievement to all the people within the organization
- Giving complex and challenging tasks for job enrichment
- Creating rewarding and meaningful work that will prove a perfect match for the abilities and skills of the employees
- Providing opportunities for growth and advancement through internal promotions
- Giving opportunities for training and development so that people can advance further in their job positions
Limitations of Two-Factor Theory
The limitations of two-factor theory are
- Herzberg’s Motivation Hygiene Theory does not take into consideration situational variables
- Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory of Motivation is not reliable as the analysis is in the hands of raters who can make mistakes easily
- Herzberg’s theory does not use any measure of employee satisfaction
- According to Herzberg, there is a relationship between productivity and satisfaction but his research is all about satisfaction and has ignored the concept of productivity
- Herzberg’s Motivation Hygiene theory does not mention anything about blue-collar workers
- The Two-Factor theory applies only to white-collar workers
- The Two-Factor theory can be easily molded and thus is not free from bias
Apply the Two-Factor Theory to your life
According to Herzberg, the implications of the Two-Factor Theory are immense.
- It is important to make the effort and apply the theory in everyday life to reap innumerable benefits.
- Look at the people in your organization and find out whether they are satisfied or dissatisfied. Once you have a complete picture it will become easy to remove dissatisfaction and work on things that will boost satisfaction levels.
- Find out what the employees want from their jobs and what you can give them so that they can grow as individuals
- The managers must put their onus on providing rewarding and stimulating work so that the employees are motivated to work harder
- The managers must utilize the abilities and skills of people to their advantage
All these steps will prove helpful for the organization in improving job satisfaction in their company. This will lead to low employee turnover and higher employee retention.