#4 How to Make Employees Miserable: Herzberg's Hygiene Factors

Let's continue with the Frederick Herzberg research from last time. Here's his list of guaranteed attitude killers. 

 Miserable Employees

Miserable Employees

Enforce policies that lack fairness.
Hire and promote incompetent managers that also have poor interpersonal skills.
Put a confusing salary structure in place.

You might recall that he calls these Hygiene factors.  They’re all about the stuff that surrounds the doing of the actual work. 

Think context or environment.  The distractions that the gossipers love to bitch about. The stuff that sucks the life out of otherwise good employees. And even worse. If you suck at these Hygiene factors, your employees will say you lack integrity.   That stings, and it seems a bit unfair, but that’s what Herzberg found.  

Fairness does NOT create motivation!
Fairness does NOT create motivation!

So these Hygiene problems are worth fixing. You don’t want your friends, family, and community thinking of you as lacking integrity. And I’ll assume that you do want to be fair with people.

Just don't mislead yourself.  Fixing these problems isn't going to get you motivated employees.  The payoff for great Hygiene is, at best, employees that are NOT DisSatisfied.

And that’s all I have to say for today...

One housekeeping note. I realize it may feel like we're off the topic of “drawing a map of how I tick”. Trust me we're not.  Once we understand the Herzberg model we’ll be bringing it all full circle. The map is right around the corner...

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