How to Use Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory to Boost Worker Productivity - Deepstash
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Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory of motivation

Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory of motivation

Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory is one of the most prominent theories regarding motivation factors in the workplace. Psychologist Frederick Herzberg based his theory on some elements of Abraham Maslow's theory of motivation and needs.

Herzberg’s theory broke down workplace needs into two categories:

  1. Motivation factors ensure employee satisfaction
  2. Hygiene factors determine the basic level of stability and job security. Job dissatisfaction arises from a lack of hygiene factors.


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Job satisfaction and dissatisfaction are distinct categories

The theory holds that job satisfaction and dissatisfaction are two separate categories with very different contributing factors.

To ensure workplace harmony, employers must increase employee motivation factors and increase workplace hygiene.


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Hygiene factors in the workplace

Hygiene factors in the workplace

According to Herzberg, the two-factor theory holds that motivational factors and hygiene factors need to be addressed independently.

The primary hygiene factors:

  • Pay. Low pay will quickly cause dissatisfaction among employees.
  • Benefits. An employer should ensure that the benefits they provide are competitive.
  • Job security. Employers should let employees know they are valued and that their jobs are safe.
  • Work conditions. Employers shouldn’t cut corners when it comes to the welfare and safety of employees.


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Motivational factors

Motivational factors

Factors that motivate employees to work often have to do with giving them a greater sense of purpose and significance in their current position.

  • Recognition. Job performance improves when employees are praised and recognized for a job well done.
  • Autonomy. Employees feel motivated when they feel that they have an important job with a large degree of self-direction.
  • Meaningful work. Employers should strive to help employees see how their work contributes to a greater end product.


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How to use Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory

Give employees more autonomy. The more that employees feel that they are responsible and autonomous, the greater the sense of achievement.

Provide feedback. Let employees know how they’re doing by providing meaningful and constructive feedback.

Improve working conditions. A simple way is to provide a clean, safe, and aesthetically pleasing workspace.

Poll employees to get a sense of what motivates employees.

Take a macro view of employee welfare. Employers cannot choose between motivation or hygiene. They must strive to improve both.


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