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Herzberg Two Factor Theory

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Business Studies

True motivation comes from achievement, personal development, job satisfaction and recognition."

- Frederick Herzberg

Herzberg's motivation-hygiene theory argues that the two factors, motivation and hygiene, can cause either employee satisfaction or dissatisfaction. According to Herzberg, the different combinations of the two factors can lead to various outcomes in the workplace. Let's take a look.

Herzberg's Theory in Business

Herzberg's theory is the motivation theory called Herzberg's motivation-hygiene theory or Herzberg's two-factor theory.

Herzberg's theory includes two factors which are motivation and hygiene. The motivation factors are aimed to motivate and engage employees in the workplace. These factors include a sense of achievement, responsibility and interest in work.

On the other hand, hygiene factors are maintenance factors that employees expect to receive in every workplace. Hygiene factors do not necessarily add additional motivation but the absence of them can cause dissatisfaction for employees. Hygiene factors include salary, working conditions, policies, supervision, etc.

The independent factors can cause employees satisfaction or dissatisfaction at the workplace depending on their presence.

A high presence of motivation factors will satisfy employees and a high presence of hygiene factors will prevent employees from being dissatisfied.

The different combinations of motivation and hygiene factors influence employees' level of motivation and engagement towards work. These combinations are:

Herzberg Two Factor Theory: High hygiene and high motivation

This is the combination that will make employees highly engaged and motivated towards their work.

Herzberg Two Factor Theory: High hygiene and low motivation

This combination will mean that the employees will still be going to work in the company and achieve set targets to keep their job. However, employees will not be motivated to achieve targets beyond the set expectations.

Herzberg Two Factor Theory: Low hygiene and high motivation

This is not the best situation for employees to be in. Even though employees may be motivated, if the minimum working conditions are not met employees may look for another job with better working conditions.

Herzberg Two Factor Theory: Low hygiene and low motivation

This is the worst combination. This can result in high staff turnover and high work dissatisfaction.

Herzberg Two Factor Theory, Herzberg's two-factor theory of motivation model, StudySmarterHerzberg Two Factor Theory model, StudySmarter

Example of Herzberg's motivation-hygiene theory

This section will provide an example of how Herzberg's motivation-hygiene theory can be adapted and implemented in the workplace.

In the workplace, hygiene factors can be used to eliminate employees' dissatisfaction with work. Adding and improving hygiene factors may not necessarily lead employees to more motivation but it can lead to better performance and lower staff turnover.

In practice the improvement of hygiene factors in the workplace will look like this:

  • Removing or improving poor business policies

  • Show respect to all employees regardless of their position

  • Offer higher or competitive salaries

  • Implement effective and supportive supervision for all employees

  • Improve working conditions

  • Provide job security

Additionally, organizations should focus on improving employees' motivation factors suggested by Herzberg. As these are the factors that will lead to employee satisfaction, motivation and engagement towards work.

In practice the implementation and improvement of motivation factors will look like this:

  • The organization provides more growth and development opportunities for its employees
  • Recognition of employees achievements and hard work
  • Giving employees more responsibilities than they can handle
  • Assign employees to duties that they enjoy and that are fitted with their skills and experiences
  • Make work interesting and engaging so that employees are motivated towards it

Advantages and disadvantages of Herzberg's theory

This section will cover the advantages and disadvantages of Herzberg's motivation-hygiene theory.

Herzberg Two Factor Theory: Advantages

Direct focus on employees motivation - Herzberg's theory is focused on factors that cause motivation and prevent dissatisfaction for employees individually rather than concentrating on external factors. This means that by implementing Herzberg's motivation-hygiene theory organizations can improve employees' motivation and working environment directly, this will motivate employees to work more efficiently and lower the staff turnover rate.

Companies can solve problems faced by employees - The company can focus on solving the dissatisfaction problems of employees. This is because Herzberg's theory provides multiple factors that can cause dissatisfaction such as the absence of hygiene factors as well as factors that cause motivation. By eliminating factors that cause dissatisfaction and implementing satisfactory factors will make employees more motivated towards work.

Monetary factors are the secondary focus - Other theories such as Taylor's theory or managers may consider monetary benefits as a primary motivator. However, Herzberg found that monetary benefits may not be as motivational as other factors. In Herzberg's theory salary is named as a hygiene factor. Low salary may leave employees dissatisfied, on the other hand, a higher salary may not necessarily make employees more motivated towards work. Herzberg includes motivation factors other than monetary benefits such as promotion, recognition, interest in work and advancement. These factors according to Herzberg's theory will make employees more engaged and motivated to work than monetary benefits.

Herzberg Two Factor Theory: Disadvantages

Herzberg's theory does not consider differences in people's social and cultural backgrounds - People have different priorities, meaning that they are motivated by different factors.

Some people may enjoy having a lot of responsibility at work, for others, it may cause dissatisfaction and increased stress. Moreover, some people may value a higher salary than a promotion at work.

Herzberg's theory does not take that into account that people are motivated by different factors.

External factors are not considered - Herzberg's theory does not consider external factors that may have an impact on employees motivation. For example, the competitor's company may pay higher salaries to its employees in similar positions. If the organization does not consider improving this factor it can make employees dissatisfied and decrease their motivation towards work.

Employee job satisfaction and their work efficiency are not directly related - Even though all the factors of Herzberg's theory are highly implemented such as a combination of High hygiene and High motivation factors, companies can not reassure that employees will become more productive and efficient towards their work . To put it simply, the theory does not provide a direct guide on how to make employees more productive.

What is Herzberg's maintenance theory?

Herzberg's maintenance theory is the part of Herzberg's two-factor theory that focuses on maintenance/hygiene factors.

These factors do not directly motivate employees but they prevent dissatisfaction and maintain a certain level of motivation for employees. The absence of these maintenance factors can cause employees' dissatisfaction.

The maintenance/hygiene factors include:

  • Company policy

  • Effective supervision

  • Good professional relationships between employees and employers

  • Interpersonal relationships with colleagues

  • Salary

  • Job security

  • Working conditions

  • status

Herzberg suggests that maintenance factors should be followed in every workplace to create a suitable working environment for employees. Without these factors, employees will be dissatisfied and there may be a high staff turnover.

Herzberg Two Factor Theory - Key takeaways

  • Herzberg's theory can be named in two different ways: 1) Herzberg's motivation-hygiene theory 2) Herzberg's two-factor theory.
  • The main principles of Herzberg's theory are motivation and hygiene factors. Motivation factors are aimed to engage and motivate employees, while hygiene factors do not necessarily motivate employees but the absence of these factors can cause dissatisfaction for employees.

  • The best combination of factors in Herzberg's theory is high hygiene and high motivation factors which indicates their high presence and the worst combination is low hygiene and low motivation factors which indicates their low presence.

  • The business example of implementation of Herzberg's theory is to improve hygiene factors by providing job security and to improve motivation factors by providing more growth and development opportunities for employees.

  • The key advantages of Herzberg's theory are direct focus on employee motivation, the company's ability to solve problems faced by employees and monetary benefits Considered as a secondary source of motivation. The key disadvantages of Herzberg's theory are: Herzberg's theory does not consider differences in people's social and cultural backgrounds and external factors are not considered. Additionally, Herzberg's theory does not consider that employee job satisfaction and work efficiency are not directly related. s ability to solve problems faced by employees and monetary benefits considered as a secondary source of motivation.

  • The key disadvantages of Herzberg's theory are: Herzberg's theory does not consider differences in people's social and cultural backgrounds and external factors are not considered. Additionally, Herzberg's theory does not consider that employee job satisfaction and work efficiency are not directly related. s ability to solve problems faced by employees and monetary benefits considered as a secondary source of motivation. The key disadvantages of Herzberg's theory are: Herzberg's theory does not consider differences in people's social and cultural backgrounds and external factors are not considered. Additionally, Herzberg's theory does not consider that employee job satisfaction and work efficiency are not directly related.

Herzberg Two Factor Theory

The two factors of Herzberg's motivational theory are motivation and hygiene factors.

Herzberg's theory could be applied to the workplace by managers to make employees more satisfied and avoid them being dissatisfied. The workplace should add hygiene and motivation factors into practice. For example, adding hygiene factors such as job security, providing better working conditions and competitive or higher salary. The workplace can add motivation factors by recognizing employees achievements and providing growth and development opportunities.

Herzberg's two-factor theory is also called Herzberg's motivation-hygiene theory. Motivation factors are those factors that are implemented to increase employees' motivation, example of motivation factors include a sense of achievement, responsibility, interest in work etc. On the other hand, hygiene factors are implemented to prevent employee dissatisfaction, examples of these factors are salary, working conditions, policies, supervision etc.

Herzberg's maintenance theory is one part of the motivation-hygiene theory that focuses on maintenance/hygiene factors. These factors do not directly motivate employees but they prevent dissatisfaction and maintain a certain level of motivation for employees. The absence of these maintenance factors can cause employees' dissatisfaction. Examples of maintenance factors are salary, job security, working conditions etc.

Final Herzberg Two Factor Theory Quiz

Question

 What are the two ways to call Herzberg’s theory?

Show answer

Answer

Herzberg’s theory has two different names. Firstly, it can be called Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory. Secondly, it can also be named Herzberg’s two-factor theory.

Show question

Question

 What are the hygiene factors of Herzberg’s theory?


Show answer

Answer

 Hygiene factors are maintenance factors that do not necessarily add additional motivation to employees but these factors prevent employees from being dissatisfied. Example of these factors is salary, working conditions, policies, supervision, etc.

Show question

Question

 Why in Herzberg’s theory motivation factors are important?


Show answer

Answer

 Motivation factors are important as these factors add motivation and engagement to employees. According to Herzberg’s these factors will engage employees and motivate them to work harder. Example of these factors includes a sense of achievement, responsibility, interest in work etc. 



Show question

Question

 In Herzberg’s theory is salary a motivation factor?


Show answer

Answer

The answer is no, salary is a hygiene factor. In Herzberg’s theory salary is not directly related to employees’ motivation however the absence of appropriate salary can cause employees’ dissatisfaction.

Show question

Question

What is the example of the implementation of hygiene factors in the workplace?


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Answer

An example of hygiene factor implementation in the workplace is when a company removes or improves poor company policies, improves working conditions, introduces competitive or higher salaries, provides job security etc.

Show question

Question

Why should the workplace implement motivation factors?


Show answer

Answer

The workplace should implement motivation factors as these factors will engage and motivate employees towards work and make them want to work harder. These factors include growth and development opportunities for employees, making work interesting and engaging etc.

Show question

Question

 What are the key advantages of Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory?


Show answer

Answer

The key advantages of Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory are direct focus on employee motivation, the company’s ability to solve problems faced by employees and monetary benefits considered as a secondary source of motivation.



Show question

Question

How is considering monetary benefits not as a primary motivation factor an advantage?


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Answer

Other theories or managers may have a belief that monetary factors are the ones that increase employees’ motivation. However, according to Herzberg’s theory monetary benefits do not directly motivate employees and instead prevent workers’ dissatisfaction. Therefore, only focusing on implementing monetary benefits as a primary motivation factor may not be successful. Herzberg found that motivation factors other than monetary benefits such as promotion, recognition, interest in work and advancement are the ones that increase employee motivation and engagement.

Show question

Question

What are the key disadvantages of Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory?


Show answer

Answer

The key disadvantages of Herzberg’s theory are: Herzberg’s theory does not consider differences in people’s social and cultural backgrounds and external factors are not considered. Additionally, Herzberg’s theory does not consider that employee job satisfaction and work efficiency are not directly related. 



Show question

Question

 In Herzberg’s theory, how is not consideration of external factors a disadvantage?


Show answer

Answer

Herzberg’s theory does not consider that external factors can impact employees’ satisfaction and dissatisfaction at work. For example, if competitor organisations provide higher salaries for employees than your business it may cause employees to be dissatisfied and unmotivated towards work.

Show question

Question

Herzberg's Theory is callled...

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Answer

Herzberg's motivation-hygiene theory or Herzberg's two-factor theory. 

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Question

Herzberg's theory consists of two types of factors. These are...

Show answer

Answer

motivation and hygiene factors.

Show question

Question

How many factors does Herzberg's theory consist of?

Show answer

Answer

2

Show question

Question

Salary, working conditions, policies and supervision, and relationships are...

Show answer

Answer

hygiene factors.

Show question

Question

Achievement, interest in work, responsibility and advancement are...

Show answer

Answer

motivation factors.

Show question

Question

___ factors are aimed to motivate and engage employees in the workplace. 

Show answer

Answer

Motivation

Show question

Question

___ factors are maintenance factors that employees expect to receive in every workplace.

Show answer

Answer

Hygiene

Show question

Question

This is the combination that will make employees highly engaged and motivated towards their work. 


Show answer

Answer

High hygiene and high motivation

Show question

Question

This combination will mean that the employees will still be going to work in the company and achieve set targets to keep their job. However, employees will not be motivated to achieve targets beyond the set expectations.


Show answer

Answer

High hygiene and low motivation

Show question

Question

This is not the best situation for employees to be in. Even though employees may be motivated, if the minimum working conditions are not met employees may look for another job with better working conditions.


Show answer

Answer

Low hygiene and high motivation

Show question

Question

This is the worst combination. This can result in high staff turnover and high work dissatisfaction.


Show answer

Answer

Low hygiene and low motivation

Show question

Question

___ theory considers monetary benefits as a primary motivator. 

Show answer

Answer

Taylor's

Show question

Question

In Herzberg's theory salary is named as a ___ factor.


Show answer

Answer

hygiene 

Show question

Question

Herzberg's theory considers differences in people's social and cultural backgrounds.


Show answer

Answer

False

Show question

Question

___ is the part of Herzberg's two-factor theory that focuses on maintenance/hygiene factors.

Show answer

Answer

Herzberg's maintenance theory

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Question

Hygiene factors add additional motivation.


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Answer

False

Show question

Question

In Herzberg's theory, monetary factors are the ___ focus.

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Answer

secondary 

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