Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory

Frederick Herzberg gave the Motivation-Hygiene theory in 1959. He was a behavioral psychologist by profession, interested in the motivation and job satisfaction of people. In his theory, he explores different factors that are necessary for maintaining a job efficiently. He was a thinker of management and motivational theory.

Herzberg gave the ‘Two-factor theory’ that explains the factors resulting in satisfaction in the workplace. He gave the concept of satisfaction and dissatisfaction in the job. He explains that man has two types of needs, one to avoid pain and second the psychological needs that are the human beings ability to achieve something. Motivation deals with two factors, one with the job content and the other with the job environment.

In Two factor theory, he gives two main points that are satisfaction and dissatisfaction in the workplace. Hygiene factors lead to dissatisfaction and Motivational factors lead to satisfaction. It does not mean that they are opposites, for example, a man is working but payment is less that dissatisfies him due to the increase in workload.

Hygiene Factors:

What are the hygiene factors? These deals with the job context, to deal with the conditions of the job. Job context has nothing to do with satisfaction in the workplace, but may cause dissatisfaction. Herzberg called hygiene factor as KITA, which means ‘kick in the ass.’ Kita deals with short term movements as it provides the inducement of punishment to keep them on the track. Hygiene factors that are responsible are pay, working conditions, interpersonal relations, company policy, and fringe benefits.

Motivational Factors:

Who are motivators? What is the motivation? Motivation act as stimulation to do work thoroughly and sincerely. This is the personal growth of an individual as it requires no outside stimulation but the internal motivation of an individual to reach up to their goals. This satisfaction leads to recognition which means that workers are credited and feels appreciated. Motivational factors are the achievement, interesting work, growth, recognition, and increase responsibility.

How hygiene and motivation are interconnected? This can be analyzed in four ways:

1. High hygiene, High motivation

It is an ideal situation. In this situation, employees are satisfied and have no complaints.

2. High hygiene, Low motivation:

In this situation, employees have few complaints and they do not do their work religiously.

3. Low hygiene, High motivation:

In this situation, employees are motivated but their pay is less.

4. Low hygiene, Low motivation:

It is a state in which both salary and motivation is less, means employees have a lot of complaints.

In the end, I would sum up this theory as the dissatisfaction of employees’ have to be removed so that they would work efficiently. This removal is going to make them supportive. Organization has to make the environment comfortable and to give payments on the time so that employees can work honestly.

Appreciating employee’s abilities, his/her talents, his/her responsibility towards a task, and development opportunities leads to the factor of satisfaction among employees. This theory is prospective in nature, but the chance of its applicability is narrowed down as it only deals with the employees having higher hygiene.

Author: Naima Cheema

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