Is Lack of Of Challenge a Hygiene Factor?

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Is Lack of Of Challenge a Hygiene Factor?
D P Deshpande, CxO / Board, India

What challenges an employee at any phase in his life is the motivator.
Sometimes, earning more money is seen as a challenge by an employee, depending on his experience and urge to cross a social strata or a barrier.
Sometimes money just works as a hygiene factor.
But the absence of a challenge in work life or personal life and the inability to see a chalenge can be great demotivators.

Achievement and Challenge as Motivating Factor
Mandulo, Manager, South Africa
There are quite number of ways to motivate your employees and the trick is that they do not work all the time. The other challenge is to know when to use them. Some common problems which I have identified in different companies:
1. Leadership
2. Unfair recognition programme
3. Lack of recognition
Most employees are motivated by achievements and it is important that these achievements are linked to company goals. This information must be shared with the employees starting from realistic company goals. There must be a reviews and share of achievements also the challenges for not achieving other goals.
Recognition can motivate and demotivate employees. If the recognition is not transparent or fair it can cause more problems. The recognition must not favour certain group or individuals so as the rewards. People want to be treated fair and once you do that you have started to unlock some of the reasons causing demotivation.

The Power of Self-Esteem
Edward Ramos, Professor, United States
Self-esteem is the result of achievement. Achievement is the successful completion of a task that has been perceived as having some level of difficulty. Challenging work and the successful completion of such an activity is definitely a motivational factor, not a hygiene factor generally speaking.
However, depending on the industry, challenging work may be perceived as a central factor (software development, new product development).
I would add that it is vital not to paint all motivational activities (reinforcers) as equally motivational to all employees. That is why I like the strengths approach. When we match what people are prewired to do best, with the right skills and knowledge, then you have a person that becomes energized with work and not depleted. The propensity for more "flow states" increases and energy is created with added innovation.
A useful tool is the path-goal theory, which accounts for these individual differences in what is motivational for each employee.



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