Hygiene factors refer to those motivation factors for an employee which if not present in an organization, can demotivate the individual & reduce their performance. Hygiene factors may include a salary, job profile, benefits, company sponsored vacations etc. Hygiene factors are included in the Fredrick Herzberg's two factor theory of motivation. In the current business content, the organizations need to keep focus on the hygiene factors and make sure that the employees are not demotivated or leaving the organization due to lack of these factors. The two factor theory talks about hygiene factors and motivators as the two factors of motivation.
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Hygiene factors are 'good to have' factors of motivation in an organization, which further motivate the employee if they are given to the employee. Lack of presence of hygiene factors, will leave the employee dissatisfied, and will reduce his/her morale to perform well.
Employees or individuals seek a good place to work in. If basic things at workplace are well taken care of then they are more comfortable and can concentrate of work. This is where basic factors or hygiene factors are important from an organization point of view. An important thing to note here is that presence of these factors may or may not lead to increased satisfaction but absence of these factors will definitely lead to employee dissatisfaction.
There can be different hygiene factors. These factors can keep changing with time as well. e.g. If a rented apartment is given by every company to the employee in a particular country, then every employee will start expecting it as given. In case it is not there then it may cause demotivation or dissatisfaction to the employee.
Some of the common hygiene factors are:
Job security can be an important hygiene factor. Everyone joining a job expects some kind of security, if that is not there employee would not feel motivated to work and will keep looking for other job.
On the contrary if job security is there, employee would be much focused as job security is expected.
A well defined profile or role is expected by every employee to focus on one's career. If the career is not well defined as per roles and job profile, the motivation would drop and employee would look for options.
An Employee is not looking just for a job these days but a complete career in the industry which can prepare him or her for the long term in the same company or the other.
Other perspective to look at it is that if an employee does not have clearly defined responsibilities then it is an issue for the company offering employment as well.
Well defined compensation structure at part with industry and job role is expected by everyone. If the compensation is not at par, employee will quickly get demotivated and again look for better opportunities.
A bonus as a hygiene factor is now expected across industries. A bonus on performing well or company's performance is now part of the job roles across industries.
Good food and campus with proper facilities are expected by employees today. Other perks like travel are fast becoming hygiene factors.
As part of the benefits package, a lot of companies offer health insurance for the employees and their families which gives a sense of security and improves motivation.
In the times of pandemic, many companies helped their employees through vaccination programs which helped in motivation and retention.
Proper allowances during travel and onsite assignments can help motivate the employees and focus on their work.
Well defined leaves policy is a hygiene factor which is expected by employees to take a break from work or address issues without losing pay. It can help the employee to be motivated and improve work life balance
For any employee, his job role is the primary factor, whereas the workplace culture, the environment, privacy etc. are the hygiene factors. The employee will witness high levels of job satisfaction only if the hygiene factors are taken into consideration along with the primary factors. If we consider an example of an employee working in a company which does not provide basic hygiene factors like job security, good pay structure and insurance, then the employee would not be motivated to be in this company for long term. These factors are expected by default.
Hence, this concludes the definition of Hygiene Factors along with its overview.
This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.
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