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Frederick Herzberg and the Two-factor Theory – Content Models of Motivation

Motivation is not the opposite of de-motivation. That’s the conclusion that Frederick Herzberg came to. Rather, he recognized there are two sets of factors:

1. Motivators, and
2. Hygiene factors

I this video, we’ll examine Frederick Herzberg’s Two-factor Theory. t is one of the most important models in the psychology of motivation. So, it’s a vital model for every manager to know about and understand.

Watching this video is worth 2 Management Courses CPD Points*.
(See below for more details)

This video is part of course module number 3.7.3
Program 3: Managing and Leading Individuals
Course 7: Motivation
Section 3: Content Models of Motivation

Primary videos that precede this video include:
– Introduction to Motivation https://youtu.be/hbPGqPLv2s4
– The Fundamentals of Motivation https://youtu.be/IVjnAZ-8-dY
The Main Process Models of Motivation
– Elton Mayo and the Hawthorne Experiment https://youtu.be/jRMO43s5NGY
– Victor Vroom and Expectancy Theory https://youtu.be/WDgF7Avijlc
– John Stacy Adams and Equity Theory https://youtu.be/ksnCw96vg7M
– Douglas McGregor and Theory X & Theory Y https://youtu.be/fS5iqEf1Azs

Primary videos that follow this video include:
Content (or needs) Models of Motivation
– Abraham Maslow and The Hierarchy of Needs https://youtu.be/gz5zNx3KnrE
– Clayton Alderfer and ERG Theory https://youtu.be/a01zosRYGnk
– Frederick Herzberg and Two Factor Theory https://youtu.be/f_qyDfZYfXQ
– David McClelland and Three Motivational Needs Theory https://youtu.be/jxNhGE3gPcA

Frederick Herzberg identified two sets f factors at play in motivation:

1. Hygiene factors
These are factors that do not motivate us. But the absence of hygiene factors will de-motivate us. We complain when our employer gets these wrong, but we don’t celebrate when they get them right. We just expect hygiene factors to be fulfilled. Hygiene factors tend to be external to the work we do:
– Policies
– Administration
– Salary
– Supervision
– Working conditions
– status

2. Motivators
Motivators are things we do celebrate. When our employer or manager offers these, they motivate us. Motivators tend to be intrinsic in our relationship with our work:
– Achievement
– Recognition
– Good work
– Responsibility
– Advancement
– Growth

Herzberg also identified what he called ‘KITA’ factors – KITA standing for ‘Kick-in-the-ass’. These are things that have a sudden dramatic effect on our motivation. He labeled three types of KITA factors:

1. Negative physical KITA Factors
Direct and transparent interactions like critical feedback, reprimands, removal or resources
2. Neg psychological KITA Factors
Indirect interactions like manipulation, game-playing, dilemmas, stress
3. Positive KITA Factors
Bonuses, benefits, facilities – don’t generate motivation, but can fix demotivation

1. Survey the hygiene factors in your workplace that affect your staff. What issues are there? What can you do to fix them? (2 MC CPD Points)
2. Take action to remedy poor hygiene factors. (2 MC CPD Points)
3. Review your use of motivators. What can you do, to improve the way you motivate your team? (2 MC CPD Points)
4. Review your use of KITA factors. What can you do to reduce negative KITAs and increase your use of positive KITAs? (2 MC CPD Points)

Free Resources
– CPD Tools – https://gum.co/MC-CPD
Paid resources
– Management Courses Onboarding Kit – https://gum.co/MC-ObK ($3)

For a solid introduction to motivation:
– HBR Guide to Motivating People https://geni.us/sO2IKgn

The best of modern thinking on motivation, in accessible business books. These are all modern classics:
– Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us https://geni.us/uq3EBO
– Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action https://geni.us/vjErAN
– Lead, Motivate, Engage: How to INSPIRE Your Team to Win at Work https://geni.us/ABkZEx
– Multipliers, Revised and Updated: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smart https://geni.us/E39I
– Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations https://geni.us/uMaP
– The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work https://geni.us/tiEkeH

Management Courses Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Points
You can record your Management Courses CPD points on our free, downloadable CPD record log.
Download it here: https://gum.co/MC-CPD

Each video has two levels of MC CPD points. For this video:
– If you simply watched the video, record 2 MC CPD points
– If you also carried out all of the recommended exercises, score a total of 10 MC CPD points

Links to our book recommendations are affiliated through Amazon


How Do We Motivate People? Top Process Models of Motivation [Compilation]
What Motivates People? The Top Motivation Models [Compilation]
Porter & Lawler: Expectancy Theory on Steroids
Edward Lawler: Vroom Enhanced with Two Types of Expectancy
William Ouchi: Theory Z Organizations and Motivation
The Psychology of Motivation: Understand the Basics
Basics of Motivation: Building Morale in your Team
Basics of Motivation: Incentives – do they work?
Hackman and Oldham: Job Characteristics Model of Motivation
Work Orientation Theory: John Goldthorpe and How Attitudes affect Motivation
Edwin Locke: Goal-Setting Theory of Motivation
Daniel Pink and Motivation 3.0 – Content Models of Motivation
Ryan & Deci: Self Determination Theory (SDT) – Content Models of Motivation
Chris Argyris and the Immaturity-Maturity Model of Motivation: Treat People as Adults
Rensis Likert and High Producing Managers – Process Models of Motivation
David McClelland and Three Motivational Needs – Content Theories of Motivation
Clayton Alderfer and ERG Theory – Content Models of Motivation
Abraham Maslow and the Hierarchy of Needs – Content Model of Motivation
Douglas McGregor and Theory X & Theory Y: Process of Model of Motivation
John Stacy Adams and Equity Theory: Process of Model of Motivation
Victor Vroom and Expectancy Theory: Process of Model of Motivation
Elton Mayo and the Hawthorne Experiment: Process of Model of Motivation
The Fundamentals of Motivation – Motives, Drives, and being Blocked
Introduction to Motivation: Key Questions Answered

Mike Clayton

About Mike Clayton 

Dr Mike Clayton is a (former) Project Manager and now a management educator. Having trained thousands of people at live workshops, seminars, and conferences, he now delivers training mainly via video. He has 14 books with international publishers and runs two successful YouTube channels. He is also the founder of OnlinePMCourses.com

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