Depicted as a pyramid, the needs of a man can be arranged in a hierarchy of importance. These needs are physiological, security, safety, social and self. When his physiological needs are met, he seeks satisfaction through a higher level i.e. security needs, and so on.
Two Factor TheoryFrederick Herzberg1966People are generally satisfied or unsatisfied based on two basic factors – Motivator and Hygiene. Motivator Factors include Achievement, Recognition, Responsibility, Promotion, Growth, etc and Hygiene factors include Pay and Benefits, Company Policy, Administration, Relationship with peers, Physical Environment, Supervision, Status, Job Security, etc.Three Needs TheoryDavid McClelland1961The motivation of a worker depends on three basic needs – Need for Achievement, Need for Power and Need for Affiliation.Equity TheoryJ.
Stacey Adams1965The productivity of an employee depends on his equity with the job input-outcome ratio of referents. In case the employee finds an inequity in outcome/ input, he will act in a manner to correct it. These actions could include – Lower Productivity, Reduced quality, Increased Absenteeism and Voluntary resignation.Expectancy TheoryVictor Vroom1964An employee or an individual acts based on his expectation of the outcome.
It will be based on his perception of the resulting performance for the effort, the reward in case he puts in the performance and the attractiveness of the reward.Theory X-Theory YDouglas McGregor1960The Theory is based on two sets of assumptions. In X assumption, employees dislike work and hence avoid performing their duties. In Y assumption, employees may be ambitious and self-motivated, hence accept greater responsibility.
htm Herzberg’s Two Factor TheoryProposed in 1966, the two factory theory of Frederick Herzberg outlined the two primary reasons or factors that influence the satisfaction and dissatisfaction of employees. An interesting observation was made by him when he had interviewed a few employees in Pittsburgh during the late 1950s. From his observation, he proposed that satisfaction and dissatisfaction could be caused by two entirely different scenarios. For instance, the presence or absence of one factor alone doesn’t determine the degree of satisfaction and dissatisfaction.
In fact, a person could be satisfied because one set of factors have been met, while dissatisfaction can be caused when a different set of factors are not met. Herzberg differentiated them as Motivators and Hygiene factors. An employee might get motivated if his needs such as achievement, recognition for his work, responsibility offered, promotion for good work, growth, etc are met. On the other hand, he could be dissatisfied if Hygiene factors like pay and benefits, company policy and administration, relationship with his peers, physical work environment, supervision, status, job Security are not met.
So, Herzberg believed that the presence of hygiene factors is essential to ensure that no dissatisfaction is present. At the same time, motivator factors also need to be present if employee satisfaction and subsequently, higher productivity needs to be achieved.Over the years, people have pointed out discrepancies in this theory. A few of them believed that these factors are applicable only in certain environments.
Moreover, there has also been a discussion about the inclusion of pay in hygiene factors. Some people believe that better pay is a cause for higher satisfaction and the perspective towards low pay is subjective and need not necessarily cause dissatisfaction.An Engineering ScenarioHygiene and Motivation factors play a significant role in the productivity of big companies. These companies form policies to ensure that the two factors are present.
Motivation drives success. It cannot be denied that a motivated employee is more productive than a moderately satisfied employee. However, motivation can at times be highly subjective. Perspectives about a work scenario vary among different people.
And this is where one finds certain loopholes in the Two-Factor theory. However, the theory does play a major role in determining the overall productivity of an individual.Most engineers are associated with an irrepressible desire to succeed. And a few seek challenging work, for which they wouldn’t mind if certain essential factors are not met.
For instance, most of the engineers start out in a low profile job. It could mean employment in a small company that doesn’t promise basic needs like job security, excellent pay, a good work environment or other additional benefits. Despite this, a majority of those who join these companies do not complain about what they are offered. However, this is applicable only when certain other needs are met.
Engineers are trained to be creative and productive. A company that promises enormous work challenges that offer these people an instrument to test their skills will undoubtedly be an employer of choice. The hygiene factors can be entirely irrelevant in this case. These employees do not crave for a $20000 paycheck, friendly peers (unless they are a part of a team) or a well-designed cubicle.
Additionally, there is little thought offered to the job security factor. In this scenario, certain motivator factors are absent as well. In the initial stages of the individual’s career, there wouldn’t be much craving for a promotion, although they might seek appreciation. Engineers would look for an environment where they can extend the boundaries of their knowledge by learning new things, applying their thought in order to identify opportunities where they can test their skills, as well as find new dimensions of problem-solving.
An emphasis must be laid to the fact that these exclusive factors do not rely on the original motivator factors specified by Herzberg for employee satisfaction.Creativity is a major aspect that defines the basic attitude of an engineer. An engineer could not have cared less for pay and convenient work timings if he were offered a chance to apply his creativity to either come up with better ideas or apply his learning to develop new methods to approach a problem with a completely different perspective. The appreciation factor that was discussed earlier pertains to the encouragement that an engineer receives in order to continue doing what he has found interesting.
A challenging work environment offers innumerable opportunities for the engineer to discover new things. It is essential that he is appreciated for the relevancy of the discovery and told how good the idea is. Moreover, there are situations where criticism could drive the employee into putting in an extra effort to either improve on his idea or develop a better one. This is a contradiction to the satisfaction theory stated by Herzberg.
In fact, the satisfaction observed here is through negative feedback, which can be detrimental in a different industry like mass production.Application of Herzberg’s TheoryAlthough certain factors do not influence the productivity to a great extent in an engineering scenario, a few motivator and hygiene factors do play an important role in motivating the employee to deliver better results.One of the most important motivator factors is ‘career advancement.’ It is true that most engineers would start out in smaller companies that offer greater challenges.
However, it has been observed that career growth is one of the top priorities in most industries, especially engineering. An engineer would look to use the learning that he has acquired in a diverse range of work profiles. As a person’s career advances, he finds new roles to play. These roles could be challenging as well as demanding.
There would be an increasing urge to overcome these challenges in one’s distinctive style of problem-solving. The importance attributed to creativity is observed in this case as well. There is a tendency to discover new avenues of growth and development.Among certain engineers, recognition could also play an important role in the satisfaction they derive out of their work.
And the recognition referred to here is not just promotion or other added perks and benefits. Engineers love it when the work they have done and the efforts they have put in are recognized by their peers as well as their superiors. The encouragement he receives will motivate the engineer to improve his productivity.Another important factor is effective supervision.
Engineers take a lot of motivation from their supervisors. Although they look to be creative, they would prefer to be told what to do. They also seek a management that encourages out-of-the-box thinking. Engineers are motivated when they have a supervisor who backs their ideas.
A supervisor who is able to not just supervise a project, but also guide, offer suggestions, critically analyze the efficiency of a design and feed the creative urge of engineers is always an influencing factor in employee productivity.Employee productivity is an indispensable aspect of any company. The theories that have been proposed so far cater to a conventional society that existed at the time of the creation of these ideas. However, the business environment is radically transforming to accommodate the ever-evolving human attitudes.
Engineers are no longer satisfied with the motivator factors, neither are they dissatisfied with the absence of certain hygiene factors. Creativity and the opportunities for independent-thinking have defined the modern-day work environment. An engineer whose mind is forced to limit itself to following conventions is never satisfied even when the hygiene and motivator factors are present. It is essential to create a new theory that covers the defining motivational factors of the current era as well as offer the scope to include future factors that would influence the productivity and satisfaction of an employee.
There is a need for a motivation concept that is not limited to defining a work-environment alone, but one which focuses more on the evolving attitudes of a working individual’s mind and the perspectives about the work environment that are formed in the process.