Motivation and the Numerical Impact

Motivation is one of the most discussed topics in today’s business world and has been proven to have a huge effect on performance. We talk about fitting people into organizations when we hire individuals.   We can spend large budget amounts to recruit the “right individuals” but rarely do we tailor programs to suit the candidates which are already in the system. Frederick Herzberg published his findings in the 1959 book The Motivation to Work.


Herzberg “HYGIENE MOTIVATION THEORY” addresses 6 main factors that affect satisfaction and dissatisfaction within organizations.

Factors Leading to Satisfaction:

  • Achievement
  • Recognition
  • Work Itself
  • Responsibility
  • Advancement
  • Growth

Factors Leading to Dissatisfaction:

  • Company policy
  • Supervision
  • Relationship with Boss
  • Work Conditions
  • Salary
  • Relationships with Peers

Herzberg continues to write that factors causing satisfaction are different from those causing dissatisfaction; they are not opposites of each other. There are intrinsic and extrinsic factors that lead to satisfaction. To this day the Herzberg theory is routinely criticized .This criticism is based on the notion that it is natural for people to take credit for satisfaction and to blame dissatisfaction on external factors. Despite some of its downfalls there are many implications that management needs to be aware of when motivating employees.

The Numbers:

Teller Magazine and the SHL Talent Acquisition Firm in March of 2009 denoted the numerical implications to avoiding motivation and job enrichment in organizations. They are as follows:

  • 38% of males are de-motivated by poor senior management
  • 29% of males are de-motivated by poor line management
  • 37% of young workers are de-motivated by uninteresting work
  • 31% of the working population rarely or never find their manager motivational
  • 19% of females are de-motivated by poor working relationships

The statistics can have devastating effects on the workforce. It is important for everyone especially those who help form policies within the organization to consider the motivating factors for each different group. As an HR Professional there are many spectrums of alignment we must look at; alignment of HR strategy to the corporate strategy, alignment of budgets, alignment of goals and actions plans but also the alignment of the needs of Human Capital in order to foster their growth and utilize their capabilities and potential to the benefit of the organization. As the organization establishes methods of motivation and reward they will be better able to attain above average performance as outlined in a previous post.

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