Employee Motivation Factors To Help Managers Improve Office Morale


What does every good manager seek to find out? Motivation factors for their employees. Understanding what motivates employees as a whole and on an individual level is absolutely crucial to successful management and employee engagement. Perhaps you have heard of Herzberg’s motivation factors. Herzberg’s motivation factors are just the starting point for conducting comprehensive research on the topic. This post will provide you a quick lesson on Herzberg’s motivation factors and how you can use them to foster a productive, positive workplace environment. That way, you can do your job to the very best of your abilities.

Herzberg’s Motivation Factors

Frederick Herzberg, an American psychologist, conducted a study throughout the 50s and 60s to determine the motivation factors of American workers. His study found that the things that motivated employees were entirely different from the factors that contributed to their dissatisfaction. An individual’s success at work was surprisingly not linked to pay or any other tangible factor. These variables were listed as so-called “hygiene factors,” or factors that contribute to preventing employees from becoming dissatisfied. Herzberg, instead, found that the top motivation factors for employee success in the workplace were achievement, recognition, responsibility and advancement. Continue reading for a bit more information regarding each of these motivation factors.


Achievement may seem like a strange motivation factor. How can achievement motivate employees to achieve? Well, it is simple, really. Despite what some managers may incorrectly assume, workers typically want to work. That drive and desire is innate. So, in order to motivate employees that want to work, you must recognize their achievements. Even more importantly, you must provide opportunities and challenges for them to strive for success. When workers’ are given small challenges, it motivates them to achieve both the goals you set for them and the ones they set for themselves. Once they have reached these goals, make sure to acknowledge their achievements. Even just a quick online meeting for genuine thank you sayings or a good job will suffice. Employees need to be provided challenges and be recognized for their achievements. A good manager will remember this.


As mentioned briefly above, another one of the most important motivation factors, according to Herzberg, is recognition. A good manager will recognize his or her employees’ achievements and hard work. No one likes to be forgotten or left unnoticed. This is true in all aspects of life, and the workplace is no exception. Remember to recognize your employees. When they struggle with a difficult task and come on out top, make mention of this. Hold a meeting with them to say thank you and good job. Get to know your team to make your recognition as effective as possible. Some people may wish to be recognized in front of their colleagues. Others may prefer it be done in private. Just remember to constantly recognize your employees’ achievements. This is one of the motivation factors that will contribute to a positive, hardworking workplace.


Another one of Herzberg’s motivation factors is responsibility. Workers are motivated to work hard and succeed when they are given more responsibility. Of course, there is a limit to this. However, the more responsibility an individual takes on, the more pride they take in their work. This lends itself to a productive environment. Never overwhelm your employees. Increase their responsibilities incrementally. When they master the new tasks, recognize the job well done with an attitude of gratitude, and give them even more responsibility. This is what a good manager does, so remember this.


This is another one of Herzberg’s motivation factors that comes as no surprise. You, as a manager, need to provide advancement opportunities for your employees. That is, if you want them to be productive and motivated to achieve. When employees are able to envision the possibility for advancement, they are more motivated to work hard and achieve that goal. You job as a manager is not only to provide those opportunities, you must also demonstrate to your employees the path that is needed to achieve those advancements. If you are able to provide advancement opportunities and be transparent on how they can succeed and move forward, you will create a positive, productive workplace.

Motivation Factors At Work

In addition to Herzberg’s motivation factors, there are four other factors that exist in every business organization structure that affect staff motivation levels, even for a virtual employee. Managers can lead positive changes in these areas in order to bring out the best in every employee and maximize employee motivation and morale. These four factors are:

  • Leadership style
  • Reward systems
  • Office climate
  • Work structure

These four areas are not only motivation factors for professionals, they are also areas that can be managed and improved by managers like you, at least to some extent. Try to identify which of these areas are in need of improvement. Then, figure out a way to make them better for your team.

If you are a manager looking to do the best job you possibly can to create a productive workplace, let this post help you out in figuring out that work life balance. Study Herzberg’s motivation factors listed above. Try putting them into practice at your workplace. You will not regret it. Let us know in the comments below how implementing these motivation factors worked out for you.

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