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Theories of Motivation – Practical Application of the Two-Factor Theory Within the Ngo Sector

University of Montenegro Faculty of Economics Vladimir Skuta (an exchange student) Theories of Motivation: Practical Application of the Two-factor Theory within the NGO Sector Dr. Maja Bacovic 18th May, 2011 Table of Contents 1. 2. Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………………. 3 Motivation………………………………………………………………………………………………. 3 2. 2. 2. 3. Factors of motivation ………………………………………………………………………………… Theories of motivation ………………………………………………………………………………. 4 2. 3. 1. Content theories………………………………………………………………………………………………. 4 2. 3. 1. 1. Hierarchy of needs (Maslow) …………………………………………………………………… 5 2. 3. 1. 2. ERG theory (Alderfer)…………………………………………………………………………….. 5 2. 3. 2. Two-factor theory (Herzberg) ………………………………………………………………………….. 2. 3. 3. Process theories……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 6 2. 3. 3. 1. VIE Theory (Vroom)……………………………………………………………. …………………. 7 2. 3. 3. 2. Goal-setting theory (Latham, Locke) ……………………………………………………….. 7 2. 3. 3. 3. Equity theory (Adams) ……………………………………………………………………………. 8 3. Herzebreg’s two-factor theory in the NGO sector ………………………………………. 3. 1. 3. 1. 1. 3. 1. 2. 3. 1. 3. 3. 1. 4. 3. 1. 5. 3. 1. 6. Motivators………………………………………………………………………………………………… 9 Work itself ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 9 Achievement ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 10 Recognition……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 0 Responsibility ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 11 Career advancement………………………………………………………………………………………. 11 Personal growth …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 12 3. 2. 3. 2. 1. 3. 2. 2. 3. 2. 3. 3. 2. 4. 3. 2. 5. 3. 2. 6. Hygiene factors……………………………………………………………………………………….. 2 Interpersonal relations …………………………………………………………………………………… 12 Working conditions ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 13 Company policies, its administration and job security …………………………………….. 13 Status and supervision……………………………………………………………………………………. 14 Personal life …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 4 Salary ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 14 4. Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………………………. 15 Bibliography………………………………………………………………………………………………… 17 1. Introduction To ensure that the success and productivity of any organization is as high as possible, there has been a significant interest in having a stable and well-motivated workforce.

It is argued that the growth of such interest historically origins in the post-war period in the western societies, where there was a relatively full employment. Employees started to have higher expectations and they could much more easily find a new job in case they were not satisfied with the current one. Even nowadays, many employers have difficulties attracting and maintaining a stable workforce, especially in case of professionals. Therefore they need to understand and properly use the concepts of motivation, which can have practical implications on productivity and labour turnover.

Thus, the general aim of this essay is to summarize and analyze important points about motivation with the emphasis on a description of some of the most influential motivation theories. Since I have some current practical experience with working in the NGO sector, in the second part of this paper I will more specifically focus on how motivation processes can be utilized in practice of a non-profit non-governmental organization according to one of the presented theories – the Herzberg’s two factor theory. 2. Motivation 2. 1. What is motivation and why is it important?

At first, it might be useful to look at what motivation is and why it is important. Motive can generally be understood as a reason to do a specific action. Motivation then is the driving force for such person to want to do such action. It refers to factors that influence the person to behave in a certain way. When you are motivating someone, you are simply fostering and producing motivation for them to act in the way you want. Each organisation wants to achieve certain goals and it also has employees that are there as its ‘tool’ in such efforts.

Management of the organisation thus has expectations of how their employees should act, how productive they should be. By producing and fostering motivation for each employee in the right way, organisation increases the chance that the employees will really act in the way that it supports the organisation’s goals and the expectations of the management. 2. 2. Factors of motivation Motivation factors are usually divided into two categories, as initially introduced by Frederick Herzberg, as will be further explained in one of the following chapters.

Those are intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation factors. The first one, intrinsic motivation includes such factors, that are generated by people in within themselves and which influence them to behave and act in a specific direction. We can recognize the following intrinsic motivation factors: responsibility, autonomy, opportunity to use and develop own skills and abilities, interesting and inspiring tasks and the opportunity for career advancement. On the other hand, extrinsic motivation refers to all what can be done from outside to motivate people.

This includes various rewards, coercion and threat of punishment. 2. 3. Theories of motivation There has been a lot of research conducted, especially in the past hundred to years, to explain more precisely the motivational processes and to define what the best attitude to motivate workers is. Unfortunately, there has been no common consensus among all the researchers reached. Therefore, it is important to take into consideration at least several of the theories of motivation when analyzing the topic.

This sub-chapter tries to explain some of the most influential theories that were developed over the years. To make the complex more transparent, the theories are divided into the following groups: content theories (also referred to as needs theories), two-factor theory (which is sometimes included in the forenamed group) and process theories (or cognitive theories). 2. 3. 1. Content theories Content theories are based on the assumption that people possess the same set of needs which they are forced to accommodate or satisfy. Unsatisfied needs create tension and imbalance for an individual.

For restoring equilibrium it is necessary to identify what would satisfy the need and to act in the way that would lead to the satisfaction of it. This means that motivation for our behaviour is primarily based on accommodating of our needs. The variance between the understandings of content theories is in the question of what people’s set of needs actually consists of and by which principal are they accommodated. 2. 3. 1. 1. Hierarchy of needs (Maslow) Maslow outlined that there is a concrete hierarchy of needs present in all people, up which they progress.

In the very bottom level of the hierarchy, there are physiological needs, which are necessary for human survival (needs for breathing, food, water, warmth and sex). On the second level Maslow identified the security needs which include need for safety and freedom from fear. On the next level we find the social needs (need for satisfactory and supportive relationship with others). Altogether, Maslow termed these three groups of needs as the deficiency needs. Up on them he finds so called higher-order needs.

Those are on the fourth level of the hierarchy the self-esteem needs, and the self-actualization needs on the fifth level. The forenamed refers to the need of recognition and a belief in oneself, and the latter is basically a need to develop one’s full potential. Important fact here is that Maslow’s theory of motivation states that only in the event of successful satisfaction of the needs at a lower level their motivational effect fades out and a person starts to get motivated mainly by the needs on the level following on the instant.

Therefore, only the unsatisfied need can fully motivate a person’s behaviour. He also points out that in civilized societies satisfaction of the deficiency needs comes quite easily but what usually plays the most important role in our motivation are the higher-order needs. And thus the self-esteem and self-actualization needs become the key motivator, where the latter can never be fully satisfied. Maslow’s theory is widely respected but also commonly criticised for not being empirically supported and elastic enough for practical application.

Its criticism usually points out that different people might have different priorities and that human needs don’t actually develop in such a rigorous hierarchy. 2. 3. 1. 2. ERG theory (Alderfer) Alderfer proposes what is known as the ERG theory. He divided individual needs into the following three groups. Existence needs include nutritional and material requirements, such as working conditions and pay. Relatedness needs refers to interpersonal relationships and growth needs represent our desire for personal development.

In contrast with Maslow, Alderfer claims that our needs don’t always progress hierarchically but can move among them in either direction. Already accommodated needs can have for an individual a higher importance than those that are difficult to satisfy. The relatedness and growth needs according to him are becoming more important and thus motivating even when already satisfied. 2. 3. 2. Two-factor theory (Herzberg) Herzberg theory was developed on the base of interviews with accountants and engineers, who where asked to express what makes them in their jobs satisfied and dissatisfied.

It was revealed, that the usual enunciations of positive feeling about their job was connected with the content of their work, especially their achievements, recognition, promotion, given responsibility and the tasks performed themselves. On the other hands, the negative connotations usually originated from the circumstances and context of their jobs, such as organisation policies, management and supervision, salary, working environment and relationship with colleagues. According to Herzberg’s research, job satisfaction and dissatisfaction thus appeared to be caused by different sets of factors.

That is concluded in the two-factor theory. The first group of elements, which were mentioned as positive for the workers, was termed motivators or satisfactors (these work for the intrinsic motivation) and the other, negative aspects, were labelled as hygiene factors or dissatisfactors (extrinsic motivation elements). The increased presence of motivators is fostering the employees’ motivation and satisfaction, but in case they do not happen to appear at the workplace the eminent dissatisfaction of workers doesn’t occur and their motivation is not necessarily decreasing.

In parallel, absence of hygiene factors causes job dissatisfaction and a lowered motivation, but their presence doesn’t always increase employees’ satisfaction or motivation to work. Herzberg’s theory attracted a great deal of interests from managers but it was also significantly criticized. It is argued, that a wider sample of different occupations involved in the study might have indicated a different data. It is also being mentioned by Herzberg’s theory critics that people usually externalize explanations of failure and internalize explanations of success and therefore the theory simply reflects such tendency. . 3. 3. Process theories In process theories, the emphasis is given to individual psychological processes and forces which influence motivation as well as to basic human needs. Such theories are focused much more on the how people perceive their working environment and how they understand and interpret it. 2. 3. 3. 1. VIE Theory (Vroom) Vroom’s VIE theory is based on the general observations, that people won’t get attracted by rewards which they don’t find valuable, or get motivated to do things that they are unlikely to be successful with.

VIE theory explains that the condition of an individual’s motivation is a certain level of valence, instrumentality and expectancy. Here, expectancy is the probability that the person’s effort will lead to performance, instrumentality is the perceived connection between successful performance and the reward, and valence stands for the value that the person finds in the reward. The motivation is than the multiplication of all those three variables (M = V ? I ? E) and thus the higher is any of those three elements, the higher will be the motivational force. Conclusion of Vroom’s heory is that to enhance motivation it is essential to make sure that the abilities of a worker are sufficient for completing a given task as well as making a clear connection between the successful operating and a reward that the worker wants to obtain. 2. 3. 3. 2. Goal-setting theory (Latham, Locke) The theory framed by Latham and Locke asserts that motivation and performance is increasing when there are specific goals assigned to individuals, when these goals are demanding enough but still acceptable and when there is an appropriate feedback for the worker’s performance.

It is argued to be significantly important that especially the high demanding goals are consulted or preferably chosen by the workers themselves. Participation of employees on the goal-setting has positive effects because it increases the individual’s perception of control and autonomy in their jobs. The well maintained feedback system is the way to provide the employees with an adequate knowledge of results. Feedback, if not used thoughtfully, can on the other hand affect the relationship between employees and management, but clear and reasonably frequent feedback, particularly when positive, will foster the employee’s motivation. . 3. 3. 3. Equity theory (Adams) Adam’s initial argument within the equity theory is that we perceive the connection between effort and award not in absolute but in relative terms. This is cognitive process when an individual observes what effort other people are putting into their work, what rewards follow for them and compare this ratio with his or her own. When an individual compares such own ratio with other within the same organisation, feeling of internal equity or inequity occurs, whereas when compared to groups outside the organisation generates perception of external equity / inequity.

Such a social comparison process is driven by the general concern of humans with equity and fairness. The equity theory declares that people are more satisfied and can be better motivated to performance if they feel that they are treated in equity with others and they will lose motivation if they are not. It doesn’t mean that all workers should be rewarded equally, because in case of workers that deserve differential treatment such forced equality would paradoxically lead to inequity. The most usual case of perceived inequity at work is underpayment.

This is quite important for each organisation to avoid since a feeling of underpayment shared by enough people in a workplace might end up with collective industrial action. 3. Herzebreg’s two-factor theory in the NGO sector As already mentioned above, Herzebreg’s theory is based on the existence of two sets of factors – so called satisfactors (or motivators), which are the real motivators for job performance. On the other hand, dissatisfactors (also known as hygiene factors) are not directly motivating the work behaviour, but they serve to avoid employees’ dissatisfaction at work.

In the following part of this paper, I will further analyze both of these factors with the emphasis on its application in a non-governmental non-profit organisation. It might seem that hygiene factors are not so important for the workers’ motivation. However, I’d like to present that motivating job performance is a complex process. Thus, prevention of work dissatisfaction itself is not a motivating component but it does influence the motivation in its complexity.

Firstly, many of the hygiene factors are external components, which means that they occur from outside of the work itself and they are rather related to the work environment and the organization. As such we can understand them as elements that co-generate the sense of belonging to the team, to the organisation, its aims and goals. Secondly, I presume that many of the means to satisfy hygiene factors overlap or tie together with the means to satisfy the motivators so they indirectly contribute toward motivation. 3. 1. Motivators 3. 1. 1.

Work itself According to Herzberg, the most important motivator is the stock of the work. Alan Fairweather also indicates that for most employees the biggest motivator is the work itself. If they are happy with their work and find it appealing, it is probable that they will be better carrying it on – they will wake up in the morning with a view of going to work and being there useful. It can be argued, that if an individual enjoys its work it gets much easier to arouse his or her interest for a long-term, motivate to higher and better quality outputs and foster the overall performance.

In my opinion, workers’ satisfaction with the content of their job is the crucial motivator especially in the non-profit sector. This arises from the fact that for many NGOs it can be quite difficult in practice to support workers’ motivation with other motivators or hygiene factors such as salary or career advancement, especially in case of motivating volunteers, who often play an important role in an NGO’s human resources. Thus, for many workers in the non-profit sector can be the content of their work itself understood as the main (sometimes even the only) motivator.

One of the ways, how to make the work content more attractive, is to widen the scale of tasks involved. Another motivating element related to this issue can be to manifestly support new ideas and suggestions about the work content from the workers so that they sense a high importance of their job. According to Forsyth, the work content itself can get more appealing to the employee when they are provided with valuable tools and accessories such as mobile phone or laptop that they could use also for personal purposes.

He also mentions that the attractiveness of the job is influenced by many other aspects from outside, such as the work environment. This clearly illustrates our forenamed correlation between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation elements – work environment is an apparent hygiene factor, but in case of an appropriate application it can effect on a motivator (work itself) and thus indirectly increase the motivation. In spite of the often quite limited resources of NGOs, there are some practical steps which can help making the work of an individual more appealing to him or her.

It can include for example trainings, seminars and other possibilities of further education, invitations to participate at the steering committee meetings, and (most importantly) attentive delegating of appropriate tasks between workers according to their individual preference. 3. 1. 2. Achievement According to Herzberg, achievement is another important motivator. Achievement can be understood as something that a person evaluates as well-done job which was enjoyable and which generated satisfaction and self-esteem.

In other words, a person always seeks such activities that have previously brought pleasure during its process as well as after being finished in form of satisfaction from good results. Forsyth states that for the sense of achievement to appear it is necessary to preset both formal and informal goals of any job. This is important for the workers in order to be able to measure their actual results and recognize the achievement. There are several indicators that can be used to measure the results, e. g. the time spent with the task, cost savings, productivity benchmark, clients’ satisfaction and many others.

Indicators of success that can be used specifically within an NGO are for example the accomplishment of a project, measurable project results in general or qualitative project results’ elements, such as the satisfaction of the clients. Setting a measurable goals and a continuous control of their fulfilment plays an important role in measuring the success. Forsyth points out to the importance of setting measurable goals to evaluate the project’s success because otherwise the employees tend to create their own criteria of success that might not be vital. 3. 1. 3.

Recognition Another motivator closely connected with achievement is recognition. We can say that recognition is a visible response to achievement. There are many kinds of recognition; Forsyth divides them into two groups. First of them are small and fleeting, such as verbal non-formal appreciation of good work. The second group includes recognitions bigger and tangible, for example an increased salary or job advancement. Recognition can also be expressed by a reward or perks. Those might be an acquisition of a company car, wage bonus, share of the company’s profit, flexible working hours and so on.

In the non-profit sector we would probably rather find some non-material forms of recognition, such as all sorts of formal and nonformal appreciation and compliment. Forsyth also mentions the actualities that can contribute to fostering of the motivating effects of recognition. He particularly mentions compliments given rather publicly than in private, conferred by the higher management visibly (e. g. in an organization’s newsletter or on a bulletin board). Other good examples of that can be the announcement of an employee of the month, awarding an employee with a certificate, prize, symbolic gifts etc. 3. 1. 4.

Responsibility Responsibility is another motivator. The feeling of responsibility is an important factor of motivation; besides making the work content itself more attractive, it also supports the sense of belonging to the organization and the consciousness of the employee’s importance in it. Various methods are used for increasing the feeling of responsibility in the workers, such as delegating the company’s management tasks. The factor of responsibility is commonly utilized in the NGO sector. Workers in the non-profit organisations are usually delegated the whole projects to coordinate them from the very beginning until its end.

Each employee is usually responsible for an individual project or set of projects that they manage on their own. They are also being sent to particular seminars or trainings related to their projects, where they can gain the necessary competences for the projects’ coordination and they also network with other people who work on similar tasks elsewhere. There are many training courses offered to the NGOs’ employees for free (or shared costs) by the public institutions of the state, EU or CoE and thus it can get very easy and efficient for the management of an NGO to make any person from its staff responsible for leading an actual project. . 1. 5. Career advancement Herzberg analyzes another motivator – the vision of career advancement. It is based on the fact, that people usually do not want to stagnate, which applies in their careers as well. That’s why the perspective of raising up to a better salaried or more prestige position which is higher in the company’s hierarchy occurs to be a vital motivator. I assume that this can be operated with even in the non-profit sector. In fact, as in any other organization, it depends a lot on the format and the size of the NGO itself.

However, even in the very small ones, which have a rather flat structure, the management should care about giving their employees the perspective of advancement in their careers. If the organization is not capable of providing vertical career advancement, I suggest allocating the employees tasks with gradually increased rights, duties and perspective outcomes so that the stimulating effect of the motivator of career advancement is not suppressed. 3. 1. 6.

Personal growth The last commonly mentioned motivator is the personal growth. It might seem to be similar to the previously mentioned career advancement perspective. Although in this case it is not necessarily about growing vertically within the company’s hierarchy but it stands for the perceived growth of the individual within himself. Unlike in other businesses, in the non-profit sector it is more distinct and useable factor of motivation then the career advancement.

Employees in an NGO usually have the chance to spend a bigger part of their working hours learning new things, brainstorming ideas, gaining practical experiences and obtaining new skills and competences, which can be fostered by the already mentioned training courses, seminars and other opportunities for personal and social development that many NGOs offer to their workers. 3. 2. Hygiene factors Herzberg recognizes the following hygiene factors: company policies and its administration, supervision, working conditions, salary, interpersonal relations, personal life, status, and job security. 3. 2. . Interpersonal relations Let me first mention the interpersonal relations. The crucial aspect of it lies in communication. For reinforcement of communication within the organization it can be recommended to use wide range of means of communication. Some of the less obvious one can be newsletters and bulletins, dashboards or email conferences. To improve interpersonal relations it is useful to stimulate that people within an organization meet and communicate not only in sake of their jobs, but that they have some other more laid-back occasions to build positive relationship within each other.

Team-building activities are very well know and their positive contribution are undoubted, but even a very small and simple cultural and social events organized by the management can have a significantly positive effect. It can include sporting events, celebrations, excursions etc. NGOs are often those, where people easily establish good informal relations because the team usually consists of individuals who prioritize other values then high income and rivalry between employees is not so commonly present.

When the NGO’s management is looking for a new employee, they should pay special attention to selecting a candidate that would be more likely to get along easily with others in the team. Having very good interpersonal relations in the organization is the crucial hygiene factor in the non-profit sector since the other factors are often very difficult to fulfil with a limited budget of an NGO. 3. 2. 2. Working conditions Another significant hygiene factor is the working conditions.

This includes the office setting and equipment and tools provided by the organization, such as mobile phones, computers and many others. For many NGOs it can be quite problematic to provide their employees with these as they are usually quite costly. I argue that if an organization doesn’t have the potential to secure a high-quality working conditions, it should concentrate on solving this problem by focusing on stimulating other motivators and hygiene factors, such as the content of the work itself, recognition, personal growth (motivators) or interpersonal relations (hygiene factor). 3. 2. . Company policies, its administration and job security Job security indicates the extent of which the employees are ensured about keeping his job on a certain position for a longer period of time. This correlates also with the transparency of the company’s rules, policies and administration. In fact, many NGOs are forced to employ workers only for a short-term period of time according to the process of implementing a project for which it received funding which can significantly impair their employees’ job security. Setting clear organization policies and rules should be a standard procedure.

However there are many NGOs where this is cared of insufficiently. I claim that all organizations should devote more attention to defining transparent policies of employment, simplifying the administrative processes and avoiding bureaucratic obstacles to avoid the employees’ dissatisfaction and the thread of labour turnover. 3. 2. 4. Status and supervision Status is another motivator examined by Herzberg. It is based on the presumption that all people want to be treated and treat themselves as important, according to what they deserve.

This coheres with expression of respect to their age, experience, achievement and the duration of employment. It is closely connected also with the level of control over the employees and their supervision. There are several attitudes towards supervision; some managers prefer more authoritative style and some would be much more benevolent. From my own experience, it appears that none of those extremes are efficacious for the employees’ motivation to work. Therefore I suggest keeping trying to apply a style of supervision that would be a good compromise of those two. . 2. 5. Personal life Employee’s personal life and the management’s concernment about it is another hygiene factor. Undoubtedly, the personal life and our satisfaction or dissatisfaction with it influences also our satisfaction at work at thus indirectly even our motivation. Again, it depends on the management of the organization to decide to what extent they will take the personal issues of their employees into consideration. Too eminent interest in the personal life of an employee might have negative consequences as well as its ignorance.

Therefore it’s again about finding the golden mean between those two. 3. 2. 6. Salary Last of the hygiene factors examined by Herzberg is salary. The question of hygiene and motivation effects of a salary is commonly discussed. Forsyth claims that the current salary level is rarely motivating. Increasing the pay for work indeed is motivating, but only in a short term because higher income is quickly perceived as a standard rate. However, apparent inequity in remuneration of an employee in contrast with other workers within or outside of an organization can have a highly discouraging effect.

We can see that the mass majority of employees in the non-profit sector are absolutely not overpaid. Since Hertzberg questions and even criticizes the emphasis given to the influence of the salary level to the employees’ motivation, we can suppose that a certain deficiency in this issue is not such a hot problem as we would initially expect. However, to secure the hygiene effects of this factor NGOs should be trying to provide their workers with such salary which would ensure that they are not financially destitute.

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