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Bill Bennett


Herzberg’s motivation, hygiene factors

Frederick Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory says one set of things motivates people and another set de-motivates. They are not the mirror image of each other.

Herzberg calls them motivational and hygiene factors.

Motivational factors belong to an individual. They directly effect performance. Bosses need to pay attention to motivational factors because they control them.

Being able to tick each motivational factor for everyone on your team is important, missing any motivational factors quickly leads to bad attitudes and negative thinking.

Herzberg’s motivational factors include:


The sense of successful conclusion: making a sale, reaching a target or solving a problem. Workers like to feel they do a good job. The sense of achievement is directly related to the size of the challenge. As a boss you should set reachable goals and acknowledge when employees reach them.


Appreciation of a person’s contribution by management or colleagues. It can, but doesn’t necessarily, involve a reward for merit. From a manager’s point of view, it is as simple as saying “thank you”.

Job interest:

The appeal of a particular job. In general this means one with meaning that isn’t repetitive or boring.


Workers need autonomy at work by being allowed to make decisions and being trusted. Many people get real satisfaction from being accountable for the work of others. As a manager you should remember that most employees would be pleased if you delegate important tasks.


Workers need to feel they are going somewhere. Having the opportunity for promotion in either status or responsibility is important, but the prospect of advancement is almost as important as real advancement.

Herzberg called his second group the Hygiene factors. Hygiene factors surround a job.

Companies control hygiene factors at a high level. They should not be confused with organisational culture, but the two are closely related. Hygiene elements won’t necessarily motivate people, any positive effects are modest or short-term, but if they are not present workers will be dissatisfied and un-motivated.

Company policy and administration:

Ask yourself, are policies clearly defined? Is there red tape? How efficient is the organisation? What are internal communications like?


Depends on accessibility, competence and all-round qualities of management.

Interpersonal relations:

The social life within an organisation: are people encouraged to chat around the water cooler and share lunch breaks?


How a company’s total reward package compares with similar companies. Include factors such as cars, superannuation plans, perks and amount of paid annual leave.


This is a measure of the status of people within the organisation. They look at their workspace (corner office and privacy rank highly), their job title, key to the executive washroom, car parking facilities and company credit card among other things.

Job Security:

This is not just about the likelihood of someone losing their job, but also about the possibility of losing their job.

Personal Life:

How does a person’s job affect their life outside of work? Are they expected to work long hours, move to far-flung cities or simple neglect their spouses and children for the sake of corporate goals?

Does the organisation frown on unconventional ways of life even though they have no obvious impact on a person’s work.

Working Conditions:

The physical workplace. The degree of comfort or discomfort has a major effect on satisfaction. Also look at matters like proximity to facilities such as shops, lunch bars and public transport.



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