Job Satisfaction from Herzberg's Two Factor Theory Perspective

Essay 2012 9 Pages

Business economics - Personnel and Organisation




The Herzberg's two factor theory

Two dimensions of employee satisfaction

Determinants of job satisfaction




According to Suzan M, heartfield, Employee satisfaction is a terminology used to describe whether employees are happy and contented and fulfilling their desires and needs at work. Many measures purport that employee satisfaction is a factor in employee motivation, employee goal achievement, and positive employee morale in the workplace. Whereas job satisfaction is generally positive the organization’s success, it can also be a downer if mediocre employees stay because they are satisfied with your work environment. Several factors including; treating employees with respect, providing regular employee recognition, empowering employees, offering above industry-average benefits and compensation, providing employee perks and company activities, and positive management within a success framework of goals, measurements, and expectations all contribute to an employee’s level of satisfaction. Employee satisfaction is looked at in areas such as: management, understanding of mission and vision, empowerment, teamwork, communication, and coworker interaction.

Some of the signs of lack of employee satisfaction are high levels of absenteeism and staff turnover and can affect the organization’s bottom line, as recruitment and retraining take their toll. But few organizations have made job satisfaction a top priority, perhaps because they have failed to understand the significant opportunity that lies in front of them.

Satisfied employees on the other hand tend to be more productive, creative and committed to their employers, and recent studies have shown a direct correlation between staff satisfaction and their performance. For example, employers who can create work environments that attract, motivate and retain hard-working individuals will be better positioned to succeed in a competitive environment that demands quality and cost-efficiency. In fact, employers may even discover that by creating a positive workplace for their employees, they increase their own job satisfaction as well.

The Herzberg's two factor theory

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”. 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.

Two dimensions of employee satisfaction

Frederick Herzberg theorized that employee satisfaction depends on two sets of issues: “hygiene” issues and motivators. Once the hygiene issues have been addressed, he said, the motivators create satisfaction among employees.


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satisfaction herzberg factor theory perspective




Title: Job Satisfaction from Herzberg's Two Factor Theory Perspective