#183: How to Blow a Good Bonus

On Hygiene

It’s the season to be jolly and to hand out bonuses. Go ahead, but don’t expect bonuses to motivate your employees. Money does not motivate. Frederick Herzberg made that clear more than 50 years ago.

His research into job attitudes uncovered two sets of factors. Those that lead to job satisfaction, he called motivators. Those that create job unhappiness he called hygiene factors, because, like personal hygiene, they create issues when absent. Hygiene factors don’t create satisfaction, they prevent unhappiness on the job.

Here’s the interesting bit from his research. Money in the form of a good salary does not motivate. But the absence of money demotivates.

You don’t agree? How long did you feel motivated by your last salary increase? A week? Two weeks?

And then, no doubt, you returned to your old nonsense.

Welcome to my side of the nonsense divide.