This theory was developed by a psychologist who was recognized as Fredrick Herzberg (1923-2000). Herzberg was attempting to provide the solution for what people needs in their workplace to acquire workplace satisfaction. Herzberg became famous for his satisfaction theory. He considered the importance of the job satisfaction as the root of motivation. He believed that by providing what people need in their workplace, the members of the team are optimally engaged to the extent they can provide their paramount performance (Lindsay, 1965).
Herzberg’s theory was set to determine the impact of the attitude on motivation, by requesting employees to suggest the good situations and bad situations in their place of work. He realized that those people who are in a good situation responded differently to those people who are subjected to bad conditions. As a result, Herzberg came with a conclusion that certain traits of a job are constantly related to job satisfaction, while various factors are related to job dissatisfaction. He referred to job satisfactions as “motivators” and “hygiene” to refer to dissatisfactions.
Herzberg later argued that the factors that caused job satisfaction were different from those that cause dissatisfaction. For instance, in a hostile working condition, giving someone promotion will not make him better off. To make the worker happy and satisfied with the working environment, it requires the provision of the satisfaction factors. Similarly, the opposite of satisfaction cannot be dissatisfaction, but no satisfaction (Lindsay, 1965). Correspondingly, he argued that the opposite of dissatisfaction is no dissatisfaction. For example, by creating peace, a manager may eliminate dissatisfaction factor, but not essentially enhancing performance of the business. Such scenario, however, satisfies the workforce but not motivating workers toward the performance improvement.
According to Herzberg, the factors that led to satisfaction include achievement, responsibility, advancement, recognition, work itself and Growth. On the other hand, factors that result to dissatisfaction include supervision, salary, security, status, company policies, and relationship with supervision and peers.
How the management can use the two-factor theory to improve employee job performance
Since employee satisfaction is important for the success of an organization, the management must strive to ensure that it eliminates all the factors that contribute to job dissatisfaction. Although the absence of dissatisfaction does not necessarily imply satisfaction, the management should provide and improve the factors that contribute to job satisfaction.
The management should ensure that the wages offered are competitive and satisfactory. Offering good monetary rewards attracts employees to desire to work more and attract other job seekers into the business (Mikkelin, 2010). Money significantly makes people work more as they desire to earn more. Their personal perception and self-conscious forces them to work more to compensate for the wages received if they consider the wages offered to be reasonable. Employees need money for spending. However, after chasing material and lifestyle pleasures, they will realize that they need more to sustain the human spirit. A company like Samsung offers good remuneration for its employees. This has significantly motivated the employees to work more thus making the business perform superbly in local and international markets (Arnolds & Boshoff, 2003).
Additionally, people enjoy working under a management that provides effective, supportive and limited supervision. The management should not over-supervise the employees, as such a move will make them feel disrespected and untrusted. Employees believe that their self-conscious can guide them to do what is right. The management should support the employees physical, emotionally and psychologically but avoid over supervision. Several organizations such as Wal-Mart and Sony do not closely supervise their employees but offer the essential support. The employees feel motivated as their conscience guides them on what to do for the wellbeing of themselves as well as their employers. It triggers an increase in employee job performance.
Moreover, the management should ensure that workers contribution is recognized and awarded. Such a move will make the employees view the business as offering opportunities for achievement and would work more. The management should ensure workers are allocated duties and responsibilities that match their experience, skills and abilities as this will increase their chances of performing excellently and reduce humiliation and displeasure. Some humanitarian agencies give tablets and other gratitude awards that fit their culture to motivate their workers. These awards reflect a genuine appreciation of the staffs’ accomplishments (Arnolds & Boshoff, 2003). Furthermore, the staff is sent to areas where they can efficiently handle the prevailing challenges and most of the workers do perform outstandingly in their different settings. Those who repeatedly portray an outstanding performance are promoted, and assume more responsibilities and benefits.
The organization must also ensure that there exist good interpersonal associations between the administration and the employees. Good interpersonal relations enable the employees to address their issues to the management that will consequently strive to solve the problems. Additionally, the management must guarantee the employees of job security and physical security in the workplace. Great companies such as Coca Cola currently ensure that skilled security officers properly guard its plants and premises. Its workers are dismissed only upon disclosure of a rampant misconduct (Mikkelin, 2010). However, the dismissal procedure is comprehensive to ensure that the accused employee obtains justice. With the company’s satisfactory performance, the employees are assured of its continuity and are, therefore, motivated to performance brilliantly.
Training offers a unique opportunity for employees to advance. Training equips the employees with the necessary skills required in the current business world (Mikkelin, 2010). Microsoft understands the importance of training in boosting employees’ morale. It regularly organizes internal and external seminars and workshops where its employees are trained on numerous aspects regarding software. When these employees go back to their specific workplaces, they feel energized to perform their duties even better since they feel some perfection and contentment.
Situations in which Herzberg theory of motivation will be ineffective
Despite the effectiveness of the Herzberg theory on the motivation of the workers, there are some scenarios where the theory can be ineffective. One of the weak points of this theory is a personal bias where individuals tend to associate the positive conditions with their own achievements or behaviors and associate the adverse circumstances with the environment. It is so obvious that people take credit for job satisfaction and associate the job dissatisfactions with the external factors (McCann, 1974). Therefore, the Herzberg theory does not take into account that when things are becoming favorable, people tend to concentrate on the things they make them satisfied in the workplace. For instance, positive outcome in the working place is in most case associated with the personal achievements such as hard work, and not the improved working condition.
The other argument that makes Herzberg theory fail to motivate workers is that the theory assumes the positive correlation between job satisfaction and the output. The theory assumes that, when the workers are happy and satisfied about the job, the level of productivity increase. However, in most cases, this might not apply. Therefore, the Herzberg theory is not efficient in all scenarios since not always that the job satisfaction results to high level of productivity or output.Course of action if the theory fails
In a scenario where the Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory fails to improve the employees’ performance, the manager must be creative and come up with the best way to deal with the situation.
The best action that a manager can consider is the need for achievement, affiliation, and power as outlined in the McClelland’s need theory. The manager must motivate his employees to achieve what is outlined in the goals and objectives of the organization. He has to devise the best ways to solve the difficulties that interrupt with the desire to accomplish the set objectives. There are high expectations that the workers will excel to eliminate the risks associated with failures (Arnolds & Boshoff, 2003). The Employees will work with top achievers so that they can realize their dreams. The manager must take actions to give a challenging work to teams as long as the goals of the assignment are achievable. It creates a sense of timeframes and employees will work towards achieving the challenge given by their bosses.
The manager must also create time that will be useful to maintain social relationships amongst his employees. The social relationship intends to create strong bonds and love in the company as the workers interacts in a friendly way. The relationships improve the level of interaction in an organization thus promoting communication channels. The affiliation created will help the managers to pass information easier eliminating instances of distorting information. The affiliation is useful as it creates a team spirit and togetherness amongst the workers. The need for affiliation targets at promoting friendly customer services and this improves an organization performance (Arnolds & Boshoff, 2003).
A manager applies the need for power to his employees to boost the realization of goals in the organization. There are individuals who always have a desire to coach and influence their counterparts to achieve the set targets. The most effective method that a manager can apply is the institutional need of power. It will bring together all individuals who have inspirations to organize other employees’ efforts to achieve the objectives outlined by the organization. For individuals who seek for power, the manager is expected to allow them a free environment that will help them to manage other workers and this will yield positive outcomes. The manager must collect frequent feedbacks for the purposes of monitoring and evaluation to check whether the organization is achieving its goals.
Arnolds, C. A., & Boshoff, C. (January 01, 2003). The influence of McClelland's need satisfaction theory on employee job performance: A causal study. Journal of African Business, 4, 3, 55-81.
Lindsay, C. (1965). Job Satisfaction: An Examination and Test of a Modification of the Herzberg Theory.
McCann, T. (1974). Job Satisfaction and Work Effort: A Study Involving Use of the Herzberg Two Factor Theory.
Mikkelin ammattikorkeakoulu, A. (2010). Employee Motivation and Performance. Mikkelin ammattikorkeakoulu.