What’s it: Herzberg’s theory of motivation outlines two important factors for satisfying and motivating us. First, we have basic needs, and when they are met, we are satisfied. And, if not fulfilled, we are disappointed. However, meeting these needs does not necessarily motivate us.
On the other hand, we have other needs to support us to grow psychologically. Fulfilling them can make us not only satisfied but also motivated.
Also known as dual-factor theory or Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory.
Why is Herzberg’s theory of motivation important in business?
Herzberg’s theory of motivation gives us insight into how your human resources program doesn’t always motivate employees. Salary, for example, only makes employees satisfied but does not motivate them. But, if it’s not available, they’re not just disappointed. But, no one will be willing to work in your company.
In other words, certain incentives introduced by the company only contribute to satisfaction but do not lead to higher motivation. On the other hand, other incentives will directly motivate employees to work harder.
Herzberg then grouped these drives into two categories:
- Hygiene factors
This theory is important because the company can develop appropriate incentives or programs by sorting out these factors. Then, as a result, they know how to satisfy and motivate employees.
What are the two factors in Herzberg’s theory of motivation?
Herzberg classified needs and how to fulfill them into two categories. The first is hygiene factors, which are related to the basic needs of employees. The second is a motivator, which plays an important role for employees to grow psychologically.
Hygiene factors represent the drives to eliminate employee dissatisfaction by meeting their basic needs. These factors must be present because it makes your employees satisfied. Otherwise, they are dissatisfied and demotivate them.
However, fulfilling these factors does not directly lead to higher motivation. In other words, they do not contribute to motivation.
Examples of hygiene factors are:
- Competitive salary
- Fair company policy
- A good relationship with coworkers
- Job security
- Work safety
Adequately providing and improving these factors will eliminate dissatisfaction among your employees. But, when they are there, they don’t motivate employees because the effect wears off quickly once your employees are satisfied.
Take the salary case. When your company offers employees a higher salary than other companies. They are satisfied and feel that working in your company is the right choice.
But, because they are used to receiving the same salary, it does not necessarily motivate them to work better. For example, some may still be late or absent. Others may be lazy and can’t reach the target you set.
Motivators make employees satisfied and motivated. As a result, companies can achieve higher output by meeting these needs because employees will be more productive and work better.
Examples of motivators are:
- Achievement recognition
- Career progress
- Work flexibility
These factors contribute to making employees grow psychologically. So, suppose the company can provide incentives or programs to satisfy these needs. In that case, employees are eager to do their jobs better.
Take promotion, for example. It can motivate your employees to improve themselves and give the best for the company. Say an employee is satisfied because the company promoted him to a higher position. But, it doesn’t stop there. He will still be motivated and work hard, hoping for a higher position. Finally, promotions motivate your employees to continue to do better to support their career advancement.
How to satisfy employees according to Herzberg’s theory?
Several efforts or programs to meet hygiene factors and minimize job dissatisfaction, including:
Fair and competitive salary. Fair means following the position and responsibility of each. Thus, those who occupy higher positions and responsibilities get commensurate compensation. Competitive means not being too low compared to other companies, enabling your employees to feel at home working at the company, and reducing their turnover.
Appropriate company policies and regulations. If policies and regulations are too strict, your employees feel pressured.
A good relationship with coworkers. A positive work environment makes your employees feel at home, supporting collaborative interpersonal relationships.
Occupational health and safety program. Employees need guarantees for their safety while working. So, working in your company does not cause injury or disability. Or, if the job is indeed risky, it at least minimizes the negative impact on employees.
Objective employee appraisal program. You evaluate employees based on their actual performance. If they perform well, they get good marks. Otherwise, they get bad grades.
Work-life balance. So, working in your company does not make them sacrifice their personal life. For example, they work at your company for eight hours a day. And, your company pays according to the hours they work. Regardless of quality, if they spend more time than that – and in the end, sacrifice their personal life -what they give to the company is greater than what your company gives them. That can lead to job dissatisfaction.
Adequate equipment and resources. Your company equips employees with the tools and resources they need to work effectively. If it is unavailable, they may have difficulty performing routine tasks, leaving them dissatisfied and possibly stressed.
How to motivate employees according to Herzberg’s theory?
There are several ways to satisfy and motivate employees to be more productive and achieve the targets you set, including:
Promotion program. Your company develops a clear career path. Thus, employees have clear goals about what they will achieve in the future with their current careers. As a result, they are motivated to excel in achieving the higher positions they desire.
Achievement recognition. For example, your company holds a special awards ceremony for exemplary employees. It not only motivates those who receive the award to maintain their superior performance. However, other employees are also eager to improve themselves to get the award.
Job enlargement. You give employees various tasks to work on. Some employees like this program because it makes their daily activities more interesting. And it also expands their skills and experience.
Job enrichment. Some employees are intrinsically motivated by new challenges because they can grow to be better. They can train and develop their abilities and skills. They can also actualize their ideas at work. Moreover, when they succeed, it gives a greater sense of accomplishment.
And job enrichment allows them to do so. Companies give them more and more complex tasks.
Job rotation. The company assigns employees to other tasks and jobs different from their current roles. It reduces boredom and provides new job challenges, allowing them to grow and develop themselves.
Empowerment program. For example, your company gives employees more autonomy and flexibility. You also delegate more authority to employees to make their own decisions regarding their work. Finally, they are internally motivated because they have control over their work.
What to read next
- Motivation: Why is it important? Theory and Types
- Why Are Well-Motivated Employees Important To Business?
- Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation: Examples and Differences
- Taylor’s Theory of Motivation: How it Works, Principles and Criticism
- Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: Importance, Order of Needs and Criticism
- McClelland’s Theory of Needs: Types and How to Satisfy
- Herzberg’s Theory of Motivation: Examples and Explanations
- McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y: Categories, Characteristics, and Implications
- Adam’s Equity Theory: How It Works and A Brief Explanation
- Pink’s Theory of Motivation: Elements and A Brief Explanation