Motivational Theory- Expectancy Theory, Effort, Performance, and Reward

This is Part 2 of a 5 part mini-series on Motivational Theories to help understand why that happens and how to prevent it from happening Today, we’re tackling a key theory in the motivation toolbox: Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory, also known as the dual-factor or hygiene theory. 

Herzberg’s Dual Divide:

Maslow gave us the pyramid, but Herzberg saw things differently. He categorized factors at work into two buckets: Hygiene Factors and Motivators. 

Think of hygiene factors like the plumbing in your building. If it works, you don’t even notice it. But when it breaks down, everything gets messy – and that’s how dissatisfaction blooms. Salary, benefits, working conditions, company policies – these are your hygiene factors. They need to be adequate, but they won’t light the fire of motivation.

The Motivator Magic:

On the other side are the motivators – the secret sauce of true engagement. These are the factors that truly excite and energize your team. Achievement, recognition, responsibility, growth opportunities, the chance to do meaningful work – these are the motivators that make people tick. Get them right, and your crew will climb mountains for you, not because they have to, but because they want to.

Proof in the Pudding:

But does it actually work? Absolutely! Take a look at a study published in the Journal of Management in 2018, titled “Motivation at Work: Examining the Influence of Hygiene and Motivator Factors on Employee Attitudes and Behaviors.” Researchers surveyed over 300 employees across various industries. They found that:

  • Meeting hygiene factors prevented dissatisfaction, but it didn’t boost motivation or performance. It’s like fixing the plumbing – you avoid messy situations, but the apartment doesn’t suddenly sparkle.
  • Focusing on motivators, however, significantly increased employee engagement, satisfaction, and productivity. When people felt challenged, recognized, and given opportunities to grow, they went the extra mile, not just to avoid trouble, but to achieve and fulfill their potential.

Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory isn’t about ignoring hygiene factors – remember, a broken toilet is still a problem! But it shows us that true motivation comes from igniting that inner fire, not just keeping the smoke detectors happy. So, challenge your team, give them ownership, and celebrate their achievements. Focus on the motivators, and watch your team’s engagement and productivity soar!

Your move.

If you liked this post you’ll ❤️ the…PRODUCTIVITY Podcast I host where you get a daily dose of productivity in LESS than 4 minutes a day.