Herzberg’s Motivation Theory model, or Two Factor Theory, argues that there are two factors that an organization can adjust to influence motivation in the workplace.
These factors are:
Herzberg’s Motivation Theory model goes by a number of different names, including Two Factor Theory, Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory, and Duel Structure Theory. We will use these terms interchangeably in this article.
Frederick Herzberg developed the model in 1959. He did this by interviewing over 200 professionals. The interviews delved into when the interviewees were at their most and least happiest with their jobs.
Other motivation theories you may want to learn about include Equity Theory and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
Herzberg’s Theory of Motivation tries to get to the root of motivation in the workplace. You can leverage this theory to help you get the best performance from your team.
The two factors identified by Herzberg are motivators and hygiene factors.
The presence of motivators causes employees to work harder. They are found within the actual job itself.
The absence of hygiene factors will cause employees to work less hard. Hygiene factors are not present in the actual job itself but surround the job.
The impact of motivating and hygiene factors is summarized in the following diagram. Note that you will often see motivators referred to as factors for satisfaction, and hygiene factors referred to as factors for dissatisfaction.
Examples of motivating and hygiene factors are shown in the following diagram.
Motivating factors include:
Hygiene factors include:
In a general sense, there are four states an organization or team can find themselves in when it comes to Two Factor Theory.
This is the ideal situation and the one which every manager should strive for. Here, all employees are motivated and have very few grievances.
In this situation, employees have few grievances but they are not highly motivated. An example of this situation is where pay and working conditions are competitive but the work isn’t very interesting. Employees are simply there to collect their salary.
In this situation, employees are highly motivated but they have a lot of grievances. A typical example of this situation is where the work is exciting and really interesting but the pay and conditions are behind competitors in the same industry.
This is obviously a bad situation for an organization or team to find itself in. Here, employees aren’t motivated and the hygiene factors are not up to scratch.
There is a two-step process to use the Two Factor Theory model to increase the motivation of your team.
The first step to enhancing the motivation of your team is to ensure that the hygiene factors are not causing dissatisfaction.
Each person will examine hygiene factors through their own unique frame of reference. Because of this, it’s important to work with each member of your team to understand their specific perspective.
Some common steps to remove hygiene stressors are:
Once you have removed hygiene stressors, the next step is to boost the job satisfaction of each team member. We can do this by improving the actual content of the job itself. Again, a unique approach for each employee will be required.
Three techniques which can be used to achieve this are:
Job enrichment means enriching a team member’s job by giving them more challenging or complex tasks to perform. These more complex tasks should make the job more interesting.
Job enlargement means giving a team member a greater variety of tasks to perform. This variety can also make a job more interesting.
Note that with job enlargement the variety of tasks is increased, but not the difficulty of those tasks. If difficulty increased then that would be job enrichment.
Employee empowerment means deligating increasing responsibility to each team member. This can be done by slowly increasing the amount of responsibility you delegate to an employee.
Learn more about how to delegate.
Some common criticisms of Herzberg’s Motivation Theory include:
Herzberg’s Motivation Theory model, or Two Factor Theory, provides two factors that affect motivation in the workplace.
These factors are hygiene factors and motivating factors. Hygiene factors will cause an employee to work less if not present. Motivating factors will encourage an employee to work harder if present.
To use the theory within your team, start by getting any hygiene issues resolved. Once you have done this, you can boost motivation by putting in place as many motivating factors as practical.
Theories of Motivation
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Self-Efficacy Theory of Motivation
Reinforcement Theory of Motivation
Locke’s Goal Setting Theory
ERG Theory of Motivation
Need Theory of Motivation (McClelland)