Helpful Two Factory Theory Insights To Better Understand Employees

The two-factor theory offers helpful insight into the minds of employees. It lets employers recognize factors that motivate or discourage them to manage employee engagement. By understanding what your employees want or do not want, you will be able to motivate them further.

Employees have to spend the greater part of their day at work. As a consequence, the workplace influences their attitude and performance. Accordingly, the workplace simultaneously offers reasons to be satisfied or dissatisfied. Employers can manage these reasons to enhance the performance of employees. In this post, you will learn how to use the two factor theory to motivate team members.

What Is The Two Factor Theory?

The two factor theory was coined by Frederick Hezerberg, in 1959. It is also known as motivation-hygiene theory or dual factor theory. Hezerberg, a psychologist and behavioral scientist, conducted thorough research to pin point what causes job satisfaction. He found that there is a set of factors that cause employee satisfaction and another set that causes dissatisfaction.

Two factor theory states that these two sets of factors act independently, at the same time. The factors that lead to employee satisfaction are categorized as motivators. The reasons for dissatisfaction have been listed as hygiene factors. Employers can effectively control these factors to reduce dissatisfaction and increase satisfaction. Such efforts will invariably lead to improved employee performance and greater retention.

Motivators To Enhance Employee Satisfaction

Two factor theory has brilliantly laid the groundwork for making a job more satisfying. It identifies achievement, recognition, meaningful work, responsibility, advancement and growth as motivators. These motivators are intrinsic part of the job itself, as all PR courses will tell you. Employers have to address these motivators to provide an enriching job experience. Job enrichment, in turn, will lead to employee satisfaction. When employees are satisfied, they are bound to perform better.

Praising the accomplishments of employees, rewarding their efforts, offering more meaningful work and promotion opportunities are simple tactics that lead to satisified employees. Instead of continuously directing employees, employers have to trust them with greater responsibilities. This independence will make employees feel included in company operations. By focusing on the list of motivators, employers can easily derive effective employee motivating strategies.

Hygiene Factors To Decrease Employee Dissatisfaction

Hezerberg has termed hygiene factors to describe the reasons for employee dissatisfaction. The recognized hygiene factors include status, job security, company policies, work conditions, fringe benefits, salary, relationship with management and supervision. These factors can either increase or decrease an employee’s dissatisfaction levels. As you can imagine, if employees are dissatisfied their performance will suffer dramatically. Employers can prevent this by having a good manager to help maintain business hygiene factors appropriately.


Competitive and standardized pay scale is the best tool for reducing employee dissatisfaction. Employers must provide reasonable salaries to employees, according to their skills and designation.

Company Policies

Fair company policies regarding holidays, breaks, dress code and flexible working hours help lower dissatisfaction levels. This is an incredibly easy area to make changes to. Make sure you see your employees as people and enact company policies that reflect that. When employees feel like slaves to their jobs, they will definitely be dissatisfied. Make adjustments to company policies to easily avoid that.

Work Conditions

No one wants to work in an unsafe environment. Just as they want to be safe in their homes, employees want to be safe at work, as well. Not only do they want to be safe, they want to be comfortable as well. Keep this in mind for your office design. If you have a safe, comfortable working environment, this will help to keep your employees from becoming dissatisfied.

Fringe Benefits

Fringe benefits, like health insurance for small business, additional health care for employees and family, wellness programs and similar, will help to keep your employees from becoming dissatisfied. No one can be a satisfied worker when they are afraid they will not be able to afford a doctor’s visit if their child gets sick. Wellness programs will also help workers improve their self-satisfaction which will only improve their satisfaction at work as well. Offer these programs to keep your employees from becoming dissatisfied.

Undoubtedly, controlling hygiene factors enable employers to eliminate job dissatisfaction and improve business performance. Be sure to pay extra attention to ensure that your employees do not become dissatisfied.

Two Factor Theory Support

The two factor theory model is supported by empirical data. This is important to note when discussing management theories. Many management theories do not have the empirical data to back their claims up. The two factory theory management model is one of the few that is supported by such data. That means that you can trust that this theory does what it claims to do. Ultimately, this means business owners with CISA certification can be more open to the idea of trying this management model.

Two factor theory clearly points out the reasons of employee satisfaction and dissatisfaction. Employers can utilize this theory to design effective performance enhancing strategies. These strategies can increase job satisfaction and reduce dissatisfaction. In effect, two factor theory improves the overall productivity of employees and the business organization overall.

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