Herzberg’s Theory

Herzberg’s Theory

Frederick Herzberg, the famous American psychologist and an authority on “Business Management”, had said that an employer is hiring a group of people to work in such a way that they manage to achieve what his goal was, then the best way to get them motivated is if they identify with the goal and see their personal achievements with it too.

Motivation is more than getting excited about your work. It’s about being the best in your work, or giving the best result. Motivation is closely related to pay and work conditions, although an increased pay and better work conditions won’t necessarily motivate an employee.

Herzberg found out that four factors matter the most while motivating an employee. Any employee would get motivation if he gets these much-needed motivators in his workplace −

  • Ownership − Employees should feel that they have ownership of their job.
  • Nature of the work − The employee must be in a job worthy of his talent.
  • Recognition − An employee must have his efforts praised and acknowledged.
  • Achievement − The outcome of the efforts must feel like achieving a goal.

Herzberg’s Theory of Hygiene Factors

Herzberg had once mentioned in an interview that to prove his theory of “hygiene factors”, which meant that certain things in the workplace might not motivate an employee to work harder, but their absence could demotivate him, he took the case of a printing company.

This company has started before two years, and was offering the most competitive salaries to its employees. However, many employees complained of the location of the company being too distant from the main town, causing inconvenience in commuting. The other issue was the improper air-conditioning facilities in the office.

The management took notice of this fact and after a year, they moved to another location. They got good air-conditioning and the office was at a location where everyone can easily arrive from across the city. In addition to that, they also reinforced their inventory and went for an interior redecoration.

It was observed that the employee productivity spiked initially, and the employees were excited to work in the new environment. However, after a few months, they were back to the same numbers. The management tried to remodel the place and offer a different look, but it didn’t make any difference.

Employee Productivity

The managers then moved on to increasing the pay and providing good performance-based incentives. This saw a growth in some people’s productivity, whereas some of the top performers kept delivering way below potential. It was at this point when the HRs stepped in and had a frank, one-one discussion with the employees.

It was found that employees had many different concerns, ranging from long working hours, time spent in commuting, work-life balance, flexible timings, etc. They realized that just ensuring that the employees get paid timely and competitively doesn’t give them motivation. To get them motivated, every employee should get his personal motivating factor addressed. They introduced policies that addressed every employee’s concerns and found that the productivity of the company rose by 35% since the time they moved to the new building.