In 1959, Frederick Herzberg, a behavioural scientist proposed a two-factor theory or the motivator-hygiene theory. According to Herzberg, there are some job factors that result in satisfaction while there are other job factors that prevent dissatisfaction. According to Herzberg, the opposite of “Satisfaction” is “No satisfaction” and the opposite of “Dissatisfaction” is “No Dissatisfaction”.

Herzberg classified these job factors into two categories-

Hygiene factors-Hygiene factors are those job factors which are essential for the existence of motivation in the workplace. These do not lead to positive satisfaction for long-term. But if these factors are absent / if these factors are non-existent at the workplace, then they lead to dissatisfaction. In other words, hygiene factors are those factors which when adequate/reasonable in a job, pacify the employees and do not make them dissatisfied. These factors are extrinsic to work. Hygiene factors are also called asdissatisfiers or maintenance factorsas they are required to avoid dissatisfaction. These factors describe the job environment/scenario. The hygiene factors symbolized the physiological needs which the individuals wanted and expected to be fulfilled. Hygiene factors include: " Salary Company Policies and administrative policies Fringe benefits (health care plans) Physical Working conditions (The working conditions should be safe, clean and hygienic. The work equipment should be updated and well-maintained) The employees’ status within the organization should be familiar and retained Interpersonal relations Job Security

2. Motivational factors-According to Herzberg, the hygiene factors cannot be regarded as motivators. The motivational factors yield positive satisfaction. These factors are inherent to work. These factors motivate the employees for a superior performance. These factors are called satisfiers. These are factors involved in performing the job. Employees find these factors intrinsically rewarding. The motivators symbolized the psychological needs that were perceived as an additional benefit. Motivational factors include:

Recognition - The employees should be praised and recognized for their accomplishments by the managers. The sense of achievement - The employees must have a sense of achievement. This depends on the job. There must be a fruit of some sort in the job. Growth and promotional opportunities - There must be growth and advancement opportunities in an organization to motivate the employees to perform well. Responsibility - The employees must hold themselves responsible for the work. The managers should give them ownership of the work. They should minimize control but retain accountability. The meaningfulness of the work - The work itself should be meaningful, interesting and challenging for the employee to perform and to get motivated.

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Bill Duncan


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I am a big fan of Herzberg and have been teaching his model in my course on Project Leadership and Teams for nearly 20 years.However, his model is better represented by a matrix than by your 3 arrows: it is possible to have motivated employees who are not satisfied.