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Drivers of Satisfaction vs. Dissatisfaction

Drivers of Satisfaction vs. Dissatisfaction
So we’ve talked about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and a lot of the research around differences in values and needs and how those shape behavior. The implication for you is how do you align your motivators, how you’re motivating people to meet those values and needs. And we’ll talk more about that as we go forward in the course. Now I want to transition to the second classic theory or model of human motives and motivation. This is Herzberg’s, what he called two-factor model. It was originally published in the Harvard Business review back in 1968, and I find this data absolutely fascinating.
What he did, was he surveyed a number of people around the world, and simply asked them what are the factors at work that are driving both your satisfaction with your job as well as your dissatisfaction with your job? And what he found was striking. That the factors that were driving why someone was satisfied at work, what he ultimately called these motivators, were fundamentally different than the factors that were causing people to be dissatisfied at work, ultimately what he called the hygiene factors. Why is this important for you? Because it requires you to use a mix of methods, a mix of motivating factors, to insure that someone is not dissatisfied at work, but that they are actually motivated at work.
So let’s focus on dissatisfaction in the hygiene factors for a moment. So you see, for example, company policy in administrative bureaucracy was the number one hygiene factor that cause people to be dissatisfied at work. This is the red tape, the bureaucracy that we often complain about or lament around, in terms of trying to get things done in organizations. The second most important hygiene factor that caused people to be dissatisfied at work was supervision, their boss. We often hear the old adage that people don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad managers. And this is one data point that would support that conclusion. Likewise, the relationship with the supervisor, the third most important hygiene factor.
And they go on down all the way from salary to relationship with peers, issues in your personal life, relationship with subordinates, lack of job security, for example. Ultimately these are factors that are not causing people to be motivated, engaged, and satisfied with their work. These are factors that if they do not exist people are dissatisfied at work. Or if there’s too much policy, administrative bureaucracy, they’re dissatisfied. If there’s poor relationship with their supervisor, they’re dissatisfied. If there’s not enough salary, they’re dissatisfied. But what Herzberg found was if you improve the relationship with the supervisor, for example, that’s not a big motivator. It’s not driving motivation. A completely different set of factors are driving motivation.
So ultimately, these hygiene factors explained around 69% of whether people were dissatisfied or not at work. But now let’s transition to what Hertzberg called the motivators, these motivating factors which in his data explained over 80%, 81% of whether people were actually satisfied, motivated, and engaged. And so you’ll see fundamental differences in the factors explained here. Achievement, recognition, the work itself, is the work itself important? Responsibility, advancement, and growth. Many of these are more intrinsic in nature as opposed to extrinsic. And it’s often about the work itself as opposed to the company, the other people around me and those sorts of things.
But again these data are really important for you to understand whether you are a team member, a manager because what causes dissatisfaction and, ultimately, people to leave your organization or leave your team or not be committed are fundamentally different than the factors that are going to drive someone to be really motivated and engaged. And so you have to take both the hygiene factors and the motivators into account as you try and think about how you motivate people.
Because you want to make sure that for example, there’s not too much bureaucracy, that the relationship with the supervisor and the peers and subordinates are healthy relationships so that people aren’t dissatisfied, which then gives you an open window to then leverage some of these motivating factors where you can give people a sense of recognition, a sense of achievement, make the work itself interesting and challenging to promote growth. And those are the things that are really gonna to motivate people to want to go above and beyond. And so you have to think about the hygiene as well as the motivating factors.
And so what I’d like you to do now is take a moment, reflect on your own experiences in your team, and.think about the impact that the hygiene factors have had you and other people relative to the impact of these motivating factors. And in your own personal experiences, are you seeing consistent themes? Are you seeing that the hygiene factors cause dissatisfaction, but not necessarily engagement or motivation? Whereas the motivating forces or factors are really the ones that are driving your motivation at work? Are you seeing something similar to what Herzberg found? If you are, why do you think that is the case? And if you are not, why do you think that is the case?
I’d like you to discuss with your fellow classmates and see what we can learn from each other’s experiences in terms of how these hygiene factors and how these motivating factors are shaping how we approach work and ultimately how motivated and engaged we are in the organization and in the teams within which we work.
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