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What is Herzberg's Two Factor Motivation Theory
Herzberg's Two Factor Theory is one of the motivation theories and it suitably complements, for example, Maslow's pyramid. Herzberg named two basic factors, which are an employee’s source of satisfaction and motivation - hygiene factors and motivators.

Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory (sometimes Dual Factor Theory or Herzberg motivation theory) is one of the motivation theories and it suitably complements, for example, Maslow’s pyramid. Two-factor theory was formulated by Frederick Herzberg in 1959. Herzberg named two basic factors, which are an employee’s source of satisfaction and motivation.

  • Hygiene factors (dissatisfiers) - include those factors that cause job dissatisfaction (e.g. working conditions, interpersonal relations, salary, job security, etc.)
  • Motivators (satisfiers) - include those factors that help energize the motivation and satisfaction (e.g. achievement, recognition, professional growth, responsibility, etc.)

What is the Herzberg’s dual-factor motivation theory in practice for?

Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory is used to compile or understand the employees’ motivational factors in the organization.

Failure to meet hygiene factors causes working dissatisfaction but their fulfillment doesn’t cause the feeling of satisfaction or even anger. The worker takes them as natural and their fulfillment effect quickly evaporate. An example is unpaid salary that makes employees angry but if it is paid, it is not a direct incentive stimulus.

In contrast, the fulfillment of motivating factors is a prerequisite for motivation to higher job performance and their effect on the motivation is long-term and their non-fulfillment does not necessarily mean dissatisfaction. An example is the praise awarded.

Managers’ aim should be the fulfillment of hygiene factors and complement them with motivating factors that will drive forward the workers’ performance. For each profession hygiene and, in particular motivating factors can be different.

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Last update: 27.01.2016

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