Herzberg was the first to show that satisfaction and dissatisfaction at work nearly always arose from different factors, and were not simply opposing reactions to the same factors, as had always previously been (and still now by the unenlightened) believed. He showed that certain factors truly motivate (‘motivators’), whereas others tended to lead to dissatisfaction (‘hygiene factors’). These hygiene factors need to be addressed and resolved before motivators can be effective.
Herzberg’s research proved that people will strive to achieve hygiene needs because they are unhappy without them, but once satisfied the effect soon wears off, therefore satisfaction is temporary.
- relationship with supervisor
- work conditions
- company car
- relationship with subordinates
- personal life
True motivators were found to be other completely different factors, notably in Herzberg’s research factors such as:
- work itself
- personal growth
Frederick Herzberg’s book ‘The Motivation to Work’, written with research colleagues Bernard Mausner and Barbara Bloch Snyderman in 1959, first established his theories about motivation in the workplace. Herzberg’s survey work, originally on 200 Pittsburgh engineers and accountants remains a fundamentally important reference in motivational study. While the study involved only 200 people, Herzberg’s considerable preparatory investigations, and the design of the research itself, enabled Herzberg and his colleagues to gather and analyse an extremely sophisticated level of data.
John is responsible for the motivation division of p&mm ltd and a Director on the board of the IPM. Specialising in developing, implementing and directing many large scale staff motivation, recognition and employee communications programmes.
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