Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Kick in the Arse Factor

No doubt you’ve heard of the KISS* principle - but have you heard of a KITA factor??
KITA is a term coined by Fredrik Herzberg, an American research psychologist who was interested in what motivates people to be more productive at work. Herzberg discovered that improving certain things in the workplace does not increase people’s motivation (for any more than a very short period). However, if these elements are poor or lacking in the workplace, it does demotivate people and make them less productive. These elements include:
  • Salary
  • Job security
  • Relationship with peers
  • Work conditions
  • Company policy
Hertzberg called these hygiene factors, but also referred to them as Kick-in-the-Arse factors! It would be interesting to take these into account next time a person tells you they need a pay rise to keep them motivated! Company policy is an interesting one: if a particular policy has harsh terms or is too strictly enforced ie. a kick in the arse, then it is most likely to demotivate your people.

Don’t be discouraged! Herzberg also found there are elements which, when improved or increased do lead to more motivation and productivity. These are:
  • Having goals to achieve (one of the reasons HR departments are so rabid about Performance Management systems...)
  • Being recognised for your work
  • A sense of pride in your work
  • Responsibility
  • Promotion
  • Learning and growth
Herzberg’s 1970s research has been interrogated over the years and has stood the test of time. If you want to read more on this, check out the book “First Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do” . It details a study the Gallup Organisation did to test Herzberg’s theories.

*KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid

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