In the late 1950s, Frederick Herzberg, considered by many to be a pioneer in motivation theory, interviewed a group of employees to find out what made them satisfied and dissatisfied on the job. He asked the employees essentially two sets of questions:
1. Think of a time when you felt especially good about your job. Why did you feel that way?
2. Think of a time when you felt especially bad about your job. Why did you feel that way?
From these interviews Herzberg went on to develop his theory that there are two dimensions to job satisfaction: motivation and “hygiene”.Source
Hygiene issues, according to Herzberg, cannot motivate employees but can minimize dissatisfaction, if handled properly. In other words, they can only dissatisfy if they are absent or mishandled. Hygiene topics include company policies, supervision, salary, interpersonal relations and working conditions. They are issues related to the employee’s environment.
Motivators, on the other hand, create satisfaction by fulfilling individuals’ needs for meaning and personal growth. They are issues such as achievement, recognition, the work itself, responsibility and advancement. Once the hygiene areas are addressed, said Herzberg, the motivators will promote job satisfaction and encourage production.
In other words, hygiene should be satisficed and motivation should be maximized.
I back it overall, but that I think interpersonal relations can be a motivator rather than a hygiene issue.
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