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Herzberg's theory is about the hygiene factors needed to stop people from being demotivated and the factors which, if the hygiene factors are taken care of, will provide an environment to motivate people.
The hygiene factors included in the job environment encompass the company, its policies and its administration, the kind of supervision which people receive while on the job, working conditions interpersonal relations, salary, status and security. These factors do not lead to higher levels of motivation but without them there is dissatisfaction.
Herzberg's motivation theory involves what people actually do on the job. The motivators are achievement, recognition, growth or advancement and interest in the job.
Care has to be taken with processes and policies. Processes and policies which are in contradiction of people's motivators will depress motivation. A study of Herzberg dis-satisfiers reveals that administration and policy has the highest impact on motivation being a dis-satisfier on 36% of occasions. However, processes and policies which motivate individuals may not be aligned to an organisation's strategy and objectives.
Further, a robust performance management system that recognises and rewards people in a way that fits their motivators is necessary for developing an environment that allows individuals and groups to motivate themselves.
Developing an environment that improves employee's motivation is hard work. There is no one size fits all solution, as motivation is driven by "what's in it for me".
Herzberg (1959) constructed a two-dimensional paradigm of factors affecting people's attitudes about work. He concluded that such factors as company policy, supervision, interpersonal relations, working conditions, and salary are hygiene factors rather than motivators. According to the theory, the absence of hygiene factors can create job dissatisfaction, but their presence does not motivate or create satisfaction.
In contrast, he determined from the data that the motivators were elements that enriched a person's job; he found five factors in particular that were strong determiners of job satisfaction: achievement, recognition, the work itself, responsibility, and advancement. These motivators (satisfiers) were associated with long-term positive effects in job performance while the hygiene factors (dissatisfiers) consistently produced only short-term changes in job attitudes and performance, which quickly fell back to its previous level.
In summary, satisfiers describe a person's relationship with what she or he does, many related to the tasks being performed. Dissatisfiers, on the other hand, have to do with a person' relationship to the context or environment in which she or he performs the job. The satisfiers relate to what a person does while the dissatisfiers relate to the situation in which the person does what he or she does.