Motivation factor or hygiene factor part 2

Motivation Factor or Hygiene Factor? Part -2

Written by: Zena D’souza

This is in continuation of my first blog posted a couple of days ago. Many a time I have been part of a debate that goes on and on in a loop – what is more important Motivation? or Hygiene? Here is my attempt to try and answer this

However, before I answer let’s try to understand the background and the meaning of each of the factors.

Background: The separation of these two factors was proposed by Frederick Hertzberg as early as 1959 – one of the names it is called by is the ‘Two Factor Theory’. Another name for this model is the ‘Dual Structure Theory’ which was developed after interviewing over 200 professionals as to which factors made them least or most happy with their jobs.

Definition: Motivation is defined as the force that leads people to act to achieve their objectives. Motivational factors are the activators of human behaviors to do something.

Cambridge dictionary defines hygiene factors as those which are necessary for people to work, not those that actually motivate people to work harder. The absence of a hygiene factor can cause discontent among the employees but the presence does not necessarily cause the employee to work harder.

Each of these factors has its own role to play. An employee won’t stay long in a situation where the team bonding is good but job security is not there. Conversely salary not coming on time but a promotion given in a year will also not achieve retention of employees. Both have different but equally important roles in keeping the employee satisfied and happy.

Hygiene factors make sure an employee works hard and motivational factors ensure that he is encouraged to work harder and is satisfied/happy doing his work.

The HR, the systems, and the operations should ideally handle the hygiene factors. The motivational factors are primarily the onus of the superiors – after all the highest job satisfaction comes when one feels valued, heard, and respected. What say?

Zena D'souza