Managers motivate workers

Last Updated: 27 Jul 2020
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Frederick Hertzberg came up with a two factor theory of motivation also referred to as the Hygiene theory. According to Hertzberg, there are factors in the work place that cause job satisfaction and these he called them motivators. On the other hand, there are factors whose absence causes job dissatisfaction. The factors that cause satisfaction are a complete contrast to those that cause dissatisfaction. For instance whereas recognition causes satisfaction, supervision leads to dissatisfaction.

According to Hertzberg, managers motivate their workers in the following ways:- recognition, growth, achievement job interest,  responsibility and advancement. These factors would make workers feel motivated in the work place. On the other hand factors such as salary, security, company policy, work conditions and supervision fall under hygiene factors. Their presence or lack of it does not necessarily motivate the employees rather causes dissatisfaction. (Michael, 2000)

Responsibility: - When workers feel responsible for their work, they feel motivated. They need to be in touch to their work. The best way managers can motivate their workers therefore is by giving them more authority and autonomy over their jobs. Employees with good performance should also be given more responsibilities as a way of improving their motivation levels.

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Work itself: - Employees feel motivated when they feel that the work they do is significant and relevant. Managers should try to make use of what the employees have done so that they can be able to see that whatever they are doing is meaningful.

Growth: - People desire to work more when the work is challenging as well as interesting. Managers therefore ought to make the jobs interesting and also challenging. The expected outcome of this is that the turnover rate of employees shall reduce. Failure to do this will cause demotivation on the part of the employees.
(Harris, Desimone, 1994)

Advancement: - Workers can be motivated through trainings and development. They feel motivated when something is done that improves their careers.

Managers can also use Hertzberg’s two factor theory in the following ways to motivate their workers:

Make workers specialize in doing specific tasks. This would make them become experts in their respective fields.
Make workers to be more accountable in all that they do
Come up with new and more challenging tasks

Allow workers to perform whole work units to do as opposed to piecemeal work. With this, they feel motivated when the outcome of the work is associated with them.(Alkhafaji,2003)
I do not agree with the fact that the hygienes are only associated with job dissatisfaction and not motivation. Look at remuneration/salary. Does it mean that one would not be motivated if his/her salary is increased? My answer tends to be a “yes”. It can be both a hygiene and motivational factor. The distinction of a factor being either a hygiene or motivator is not true.

My second reservation is that when a worker is given someone’s responsibility that would motivate such a worker. In my opinion, this would bring about animosity amongst the employees.

The role of a manager

a)      Manager as planner: - Managers play the role of planning the firm’s activities. They determine what is to be done, who is to do what how and when this is to be done.

b)      Control: - Managers are the ones who control the activities of the organization so that they are performed as planned with the aim of correcting any deviations from the norm.

c)      Facilitator/ Coordinator: - Managers integrate the work of employees so that each worker performs his duties and that nothing is duplicated.


1.      David M Harris, Randy L Desimone; Human Resource Development, Dryden press publishers,1994

2.      Abbas F Alkhafaji, Strategic Management: Formulation implementation and Control in a Dynamic Environment, Haworth press, 2003

3. Michael L, Understanding Business Environment; Routledge, 2000


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Managers motivate workers. (2017, Mar 16). Retrieved from

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