If you want people to do a good job, give them a good job to do

Essay by salipurcB+, June 2014

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The concern of productivity and efficiency of employees in the workplace is a key issue in Human Resource Management (HRM). Frederick Herzberg developed a theory analysing what factors will motivate employees. This essay will examine Herzberg's claim that "if you want people to do a good job, give them a good job to do" and assess alternative views like Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs to analyse this claim. Advice will be provided to help employers gain the most out of their employees, while balancing the need to keep employers satisfied.

Herzberg's theory refers to hygiene and motivating factors which can be used effectively. To support Herzberg's claim, he believes that by improving hygiene factors such as salary, co-worker relations, and working conditions decreases job dissatisfaction (Bryson & Ryan, 2012). He further asserts that by developing motivating factors such as recognition of employees work and achievement, developing human capital, and providing promotion opportunities will increase overall job satisfaction.

Herzberg is reluctant to assert that salary alone will not increase the productivity of employees. However good the pay is, it doesn't always buy results. Overpaying employees is often more likely to have a counterintuitive effect resulting in less productive employees (Caulkin, 2009) People consistently overestimate the significance of money for others but; for themselves, money is more likely to be a dissatisfying factor rather than a satisfier (Caulkin, 2009).

Critics argue that the theory is an over-simplification of job satisfaction and cannot be used as a reliable model. Any given factor could either drive satisfaction or drive dissatisfaction depending on particular situations in the workforce (Ssesanga & Garrett, 2005). Studies have shown that overall satisfaction is related to age and educational level, and that levels of intrinsic and extrinsic job satisfaction were not the same for different occupational...