Frederick Herzberg Essay

Frederick Herzberg’s two-factor theory, also called the motivator-hygiene theory. This theory has identifies that there are hygiene factors that can lead to job dissatisfaction but if a hygiene factor is improved it does not improve job satisfaction. Examples of these hygiene factors in the workplace are organizational policies, quality of supervision, working conditions, wage or salary, relationships with peers, relationships with subordinates, status and security. Improving one of these factors such as salary cannot make a person more satisfied with their job it just satisfies that aspect.

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The other half of Herzberg’s two factor theory is motivator factors, which are ways to achieve job satisfaction. Motivator factors are related to what people actually do in a day’s work. The presence or absence of these motivators changes an employee’s view of their job. Examples of these motivator factors are achievement, recognition, the work itself, responsibility, advancement, and growth. Job dissatisfaction can result from these when they are low.

But to enrich these factors will result in higher job satisfaction unlike in the hygiene factors.

Essentially in order to properly motivate employees improving salaries and working conditions does not work, an employer has to improve the quality of the job, the quality of the work and the quality of the goal. In the article The Best Places to Launch a Career one can see facets of Herzberg’s two-factor theory at work with big companies trying to attract the Generation Y’ers, which make up approximately 78 million people who will be entering the workforce from 2004 to 2022. The first of course is salary.

Companies have raised base salaries in order to attract prospective employees but this is not the main drawing point as shown later in the article. Higher salaries is just an example of a hygiene factor that while maintained well will continue to keep employees from becoming dissatisfied. The rest of the article addresses motivator factors. Companies have begun to appeal to the next generation of employees by “making themselves more transparent, flexible, responsive, even nurturing. ” By doing this they are drawing employees of the Generation Y traits more agreeable to the motivator factor side of Herzberg’s theory.

These traits being inherent in this generation such as having high expectations for their job and their peers, demanding meaningful work, wanting constructive feedback from their peers and employers, and most importantly they want to be in a position of influence. In order to address these traits the article addresses several companies that are rethinking the way they are handling this generation that does not shy away from discipline and who demand authenticity. For example, the article states that New York Life Insurance recently discovered that only 3% of corporate interns accepted positions with their company.

To change this they took away all the perks and instead gave them more strict expectations, gave them business etiquette classes, and a challenge to brainstorm new marketing strategies for the company which was later used in a advertising campaign. When New York Life changed its strategy they incorporated the motivating factors such as giving more meaningful work, responsibly, and recognition through the brainstorming for the company, growth through etiquette classes, and an all over enrichment of the job and their personal careers.

Another example is JPMorgan Chase & Company is changing how it attracts prospective Gen Y employees. Rather than flash money signs and bonus amounts as incentives, they are giving a more realistic view of what it means to be employed with the company. To do this, the article states, that they allowed a New York University film grad to follow three fellow Generation Y employees though their days at work in a documentary style film. The result being that prospective employees will have a realistic view of duties and the work that goes into obtaining the annual bonus.

Yet again appealing to the motivation factor of the two-factor theory but not completely ignoring the importance of the hygiene factors. In summation, the article addresses that the Generation Y does not want just money or perks such as free lunches and on-site massages like Google Inc. offers but they want a chance to grow, a chance to achieve, a chance to do something meaningful and accept all the responsibility that comes with it. Google appeals to this aspect by giving employees one day a week to brainstorm new ideas for the company.

Herzberg’s two-factor theory, while being debated by scholars on its merits because of its difficulty to be verifiable through additional research, seems to be a very viable theory that can in one way or another be applied to any work place and results of more satisfied employees will be seen. Herzberg said it all when he said “If you want people to do a good job, give them a good job to do. ” Reinforcement theory defined by the textbook is the administration of consequence as a result of behavior.

Therefore if you want a behavior to continue you positively enforce it by giving positive rewards or if you want a negative behavior to stop you administer a negative consequence. By using reinforcement strategies people can be taught a behavior or have a behavior enforced through classical conditioning by associating a behavior with a desired result. These strategies include positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is the administration of positive consequences that tend to increase the likelihood of repeating the desirable behavior in a similar setting.

In this is the law of contingent reinforcement that states for a reward to have maximum reinforcing value, it must only be delivered if the desired behavior is exhibited. Rewards can be given either continuously or intermittently and both have different results in changing a behavior. Continuous reinforcement teaches what behavior is desired more quickly than intermittent reinforcement but behaviors under intermittent reinforcement are lasts longer. Negative reinforcement is the withdrawal of negative consequences, which tends to increase the likelihood of repeating the behavior in a similar setting.

Essentially behavior is reinforced by not receiving the punishment or avoiding a negative consequence. Punishment reduces the likelihood of a person repeating the behavior but the punishment has to fit the negative behavior. Arbitrary punishment can lead to dissatisfaction in a person and therefore just increase low performance. Extinction is the withdrawal of reinforcing consequences of a given behavior resulting in the frequency of the behavior being reduced. The article RAZR’S edge is wholly an example of reinforcement theory.

A team of 20 or so people secretly toils on a new phone that will be a high end toy for the rich and ends up making a blockbuster phone that is so slim it redefines phone size for an entire industry. The resulting phone ended up being huge mass market phone that sold over 50 million units in approximately two years. The team members were then asked to appear at a meeting at company headquarters where they received not only a natural reward in the form of a standing ovation but were rewarded with a large amount of stock options.

Therefore the team members were positively rewarded with a contrived reward of stocks for a job well done. In breaking the article down, one can also see some other examples of positive consequences for behavior at Motorola. The first example being Motorola’s Geoffrey Frost, credited with coming up with the marketing campaign “Hello Moto” and bringing the company back into good standing with consumers being promoted to executive vice president. His hard work was rewarded with a contrived reward of higher pay and position in the company as well as natural rewards of compliments, special projects, and recognition.

The second example in the article is the team leader Jellicoe who had previously worked on another successful phone being given a special project to create the thinnest phone and to do it in a restricted time frame. He was positively rewarded for a previous job well done with a natural reward of being given a special project to work on. He was also rewarded by being able to assemble his own team to work on this new project and was given autonomy to work on the project in secret from the rest of the company.

The third example of positive reinforcement in the article is the team that was assembled to design the phone. It was a team of 20 engineers who had shown talent before in other projects. These engineers received a natural reward for jobs well done in the past and for continually exhibiting behaviors such as creativity and the ability to continue to innovate at Motorola by being asked to be on this special project where they would have the liberty to completely redesign a phone that would change the phone market at the time.

The fourth example of positive reinforcement is when Jellicoe sets up a competition among five of the engineers with who can come up with the best design to solve a technical challenge with a design complication. The result being Tadd Scarpelli coming up with the best solution to the problem and his reward being that his design was the one used for the phone as well as the recognition for a problem well solved, therefore reinforcing the positive behavior of thinking critically and being creative.

The article RAZR’S edge is wholly a look at positive reinforcement in the form of both natural and contrived rewards for a team who made the seemingly impossible. But when broken down there are many examples of how past behaviors were rewarded with special jobs, recognition, and compensation. As the article says, Scarpelli to this day still approaches strangers and asks them if they like “his” phone which seems to be the ultimate reward. According to the textbook, expectancy theory argues that work motivation is determined by individual beliefs regarding effort/performance relationships and work outcomes.

Breaking this theory down is that people will do what they can do when they want to do it. There are three factors that go into expectancy theory. Netflix through has set its company up to create an environment where when expectancy theory comes into play it has a high value on its ability to obtain, retain, and motivate its employees to keep innovating new strategies in order to keep it number one in on-line movie rentals. The first factor being expectancy, which is the probability that work effort will be followed by performance accomplishment.

Essentially this will have a higher value the more a person is certain that the level of performance expected can be achieved. The second is instrumentality which is the probability that performance will lead to various work outcomes. This second factor like the first is given a number the higher the number the more certain the person is that an achievement will receive various outcomes. The last is valence which is the value to the individual of various work outcomes. This factor is also given a value the higher the value the more desirable the outcome is to the person.

When these three are set up as an equation where motivation equals expectancy times instrumentality times valence as factors approach a zero value the less motivational appeal there is to do a certain task. When reading the article Netflix: Flex to the Max one can use expectancy theory to explain the success Netflix has had motivating its employees. First and foremost are the expectations and goals set by the founder Reed Hastings. He clearly states what he wants from his employees such as hard work, high performance, uniting them on one focused goal, and giving them the freedom to achieve it.

He hires the best of the best and will immediately let them go if performance is not excellent. By setting clear goals that each individual is certain that the level of performance expected can be achieved there is a high value in an individual’s expectancy factor. At Netflix an individual’s instrumentality value will also be high as once the performance is achieved the various outcomes are desirable. Secondly, Hastings offers employees high salaries, unlimited vacations, and freedom to create their own compensation packages. The third part of the equation, being valence, will also be high for an individual at Netflix.

Working for a company that not only gives them the freedom to work on their own schedule while expecting excellence but encourages them to hire three people they loved working with which creates a better workplace for all employees. While this places a positive value on why valance is high for an individual at Netflix, a negative one is that if one doesn’t live up to expectations they are swiftly shown the door. Therefore, wanting a positive outcome is more desirable in order to stay at a company that pays well and expects excellence but gives large amounts of freedom.

When all these factors in expectancy theory are so well laid out from clearly set goals, which have to be attained in order to maintain the various outcomes that range from unlimited vacation to major stock options, and the desirability to make Netflix a great work environment by bringing in people one wants to work with again. Motivation with all of these factors in place is high and the motivation to continue to be employed there is higher therefore Netflix is becoming more successful in retaining the types of employees it needs to stay ahead in the on-line movie rental business.

The textbook defines the self-concept as the view individuals have of themselves as physical, social, spiritual or moral beings. The self-concept in humans embodies several different aspects such as personality traits, values, attitudes and believes, and behavior. In order to change the self-concept there are several steps that need to be accomplished for an overall change. First being self examination, which is a self evaluation to isolate discrepancies in one’s self-concept and then having the desire to work on changing them.

The second step being a self expectation where one sets goals for themselves and places the according demands in order to reach these goals. Third, is self-direction which is taking responsibility for oneself by monitoring and adjusting through insight and growth. Lastly, is self-realization where one has reached the full potential, are willing to take risks, and will venture out to make new opportunities. When looking at General Electric’s methods for training their leaders it shows that they realize self-concept is important and that it is not easy to change and develop.

Recognizing and evaluating leadership capability on day one of employment is a new concept that they are working with also because they believe in changing and nurturing leaders earlier will create a larger pool of talented people that can only improve the company. It is because of these two important realizations that GE funds its Crotonville facility. It is from this facility that its future leaders are molded, strengthened and trained. This campus while expensive is funded through good times and bad because of their belief that human capital is the most important thing they can keep working on.

Not only because helping people learn to change their self-concept to make them the best leader possible but because, as the article states, companies that provide people with opportunities to learn and grow become talent magnets. Another practice that GE has that helps develop the self-concept besides its training facility is that they believe changing up job assignments allows people to hone and discover new talents instead of just assigning them at what they are good at. Therefore, they get more well-rounded leaders, managers, and workers.

For example, the article gives John Dineen who is in Erie, Pa. There he is learning many facets of the company, such as, how to deal with customers, labor negotiations, and the companies supply chain, Dineen is learning through GE’s idea that feedback is key so employees learn how they have performed and then mentor, support and train their employees to help them improve key skills. The article also points out that while you can try to coerce people into doing what a company wants by firing and demoting it just does not work in this day and age.

General Electric’s programs for training and improving its future leaders is very much about changing and working with self-concept. In the self-examination step, they evaluate employees early to recognize what behaviors they have as good and which ones need to be honed. Then employees accept not only feedback but mentoring, a trip to Crotonville for extensive training and courses in making them the best leaders possible. They set goals in order to work on what is weak not improve what is good. GE recognizes the importance of giving people a chance to change and work on their lesser traits rather than reinforce already strong ones.

Well-rounded employees that can think on their feet take risks, and will venture out to try new jobs and ideas, are what makes GE’s program so great. GE is not just training employees but creating strong confident talented leaders who can take on anything even if it is to be a leader in another company. The relationship between satisfaction, performance and rewards can be described in three arguments. One argument is that satisfaction causes performance which is if job satisfaction causes high levels of performance, he answer is to increase employees’ work performance to make them happy. Another argument is that performance causes satisfaction which is that if high levels of performance cause job satisfaction, the answer is to give attention to helping people achieve high performance and then job satisfaction would be high as well. The hitch in this argument is that if job performance is high but an individual feels that the reward is not equal to performance then job satisfaction will not continue to be high. The third argument is rewards cause both satisfaction and performance.

This argument states that properly rewarding employees can positively influence both performance and satisfaction. I personally believe the best overall argument is the last one, that rewards cause both satisfaction and performance. The average person does not go to a job thinking if I do my best today the reward will be greater satisfaction at the work place but I go to work for the money. While performing well may equal satisfaction on a personal level if the job well done is not recognized by a reward people become discouraged, even if the only reward is a raise.

In accordance with Herzberg’s two-factor theory rewards also may not be monetary but a new job assignment or more freedom to move about in a job unsupervised can be a reward as well. Knowing that you are trusted to do a job well done can be extremely rewarding. Therefore rewards cause satisfaction and job performance. Netflix has the best example of rewards causing both satisfaction and performance. While Netflix gives rewards more upfront than most companies the incentive to keep these rewards by hard work and above average performance.

For a Netflix employee high salaries, unlimited vacation, freedom to get the work done and do the job you were hired to do because you are good at it are all rewards. They realize if job performance does not live up to expectations they will be shown the door. The employees of Netflix have great amounts of job satisfaction because they realize that it is a great place to work because of the rewards they receive for doing the job they were hired to do exceptionally well. Also shown in the article The Best Places to Launch a Career attracting

Generation Y employees is based on the argument rewards cause both performance and satisfaction. The article touches on the fact that Generation Y does not just want to come to work, do the job, and go home. They want an opportunity to work hard, have new assignments, develop themselves and have a chance to advance in the work place. All of these being rewards to cause high performance and satisfaction. In the article Dan Black states “If you don’t make an effort to provide and environment in which this generation can do their best, they’re going to find one where they can. If a job is done well by an employee they may feel personal satisfaction but that can only be for so long before they begin looking for the benefit of their hard work. Even in a volunteer position the reward is free, it is seeing the benefit of your work reflected in others. Volunteers feel personal satisfaction of where they volunteer and perform well because the reward is high. If there was no reward to volunteering people would be less inclined to do it. All of these points continue to cause me to believe that rewards cause both satisfaction and performance.

Without being rewarded whether it be monetary or just seeing the benefit of a job well done in a volunteer aspect people will discontinue to be satisfied in the area they are working in and performance will slack. The age old question of “what’s in it for me? ” says it all. No one does anything without personal benefit. Without reward what would be the point of performing well, without reward nothing would be satisfying, and without performance and satisfaction a firm could only produce poor quality work.

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