Industrial Psychology And Recognition

Industrial Psychology and Recognition
In his job as​ an accountant, Anthony Stirling felt that the monetary rewards for his job were as​ good as​ he could expect. What he found difficult to​ understand was the feeling of​ lack of​ worth that turning up every Monday morning gave him. The office was highly efficient but people very rarely seemed to​ have time to​ talk to​ each other and his boss was a​ distant figure who barely knew his name.
The reason why individuals, like Anthony, need recognition, other than money, to​ generate motivation in​ their daytoday work is​ not a​ mystery.
Frederick Herzberg
In 1955 Frederick Herzberg an Industrial Psychologist published his treatise on human relations at​ work which unraveled the role of​ influences on motivation at​ work.
The results were not what logic might dictate. He produced two quite different lists; one showing what satisfied people at​ work and the other showing what dissatisfied them.
Hygiene Factors
• company policy
• company procedures
• relationship with supervisor
• working environment
• relationship with coworkers
• salary
• status
• security
• achievement
• personal growth
• career potential
• job satisfaction
• recognition
The list of​ features that dissatisfy people at​ work could not be expected, by themselves, to​ provide high levels of​ motivation if​ they were provided in​ unrealistic quantities. For example, if​ your chair is​ comfortable and reflects your organizational status, you are unlikely to​ feel a​ surge of​ motivation if​ your boss offers you the same model with an additional cup holder.
The causes of​ satisfaction included factors like personal growth and recognition. These, it​ seems, could only be used to​ motivate if​ the dissatisfaction list had been rectified. Herzberg does not believe that motivation is​ absent in​ organizations with a​ long dissatisfiers list; he merely points out what we should already know; that attempts to​ motivate may be wasted if​ dissatisfaction is​ not addressed first.
Herzberg likened a​ typical worker to​ a​ recovering patient. He concluded that the dissatisfiers were actually Hygiene Factors. These are essential for satisfactory recovery of​ the patient but are not, in​ themselves, able to​ guarantee full health. The satisfiers list is, in​ fact, a​ list of​ Motivators; those things that really cause the patient to​ push for recovery and to​ become fully functioning.
This powerful analogy makes it​ clear that, if​ the Hygiene factors are deficient in​ any way, it​ wouldnt matter how much effort was put into the Motivators, the patient could potentially die anyway.
The conclusion to​ draw from Fred Herzbergs work is​ that recognition is​ an important motivator in​ the workplace. However applying recognition in​ a​ vacuum without ensuring that the Hygiene Factors are effectively managed may produce few returns for the effort made.
Herzbergs findings are amplified by other Industrial Psychologists such as​ Abraham Maslow and Douglas McGregor so, although these simple truths have been recorded for the best part of​ 50 years some companies, like Anthonys employer either forgot or​ never bothered to​ build in​ an effective recognition system.

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