Insurance Industry News from ProgramBusiness.comCAN’T GET NO (JOB) SATISFACTION
Our thanks to Emily Huling and Rough Notes for sharing this article with ProgramBusiness News:
In 1968, three years after The Rolling Stones topped the charts with their memorable song, "Satisfaction," the Harvard Business Review published a less known--but still notable--paper that continues to influence the business world. Based on research he did in the 1950s and 1960s, Frederick Herzberg wrote a paper titled "How Do You Motivate Your Employees?" Amazingly, 35 years later, his research on employee motivation continues to influence today’s business world.
Frederick Herzberg wrote that most managers want quick and easy fixes to the perpetual question: "How do I get people to do what I want them to do?" He found that those same managers answered this question with a resounding "KITA!" In other words, direct action with a good kick in the, er, pants. His studies revealed, not surprisingly, that negative KITA creates psychological damage and becomes a demotivator. Managers who come down hard on an employee may find immediate results, but long-term behavior is unlikely to change or may deteriorate even further.
What’s instructive about Herzberg’s studies is that he discovered that positive KITA, such as rewards for a job well done, will not change long-term behavior either. Positive KITA makes the person feel good in the short term, but it doesn’t motivate. That’s why many managers have found that "awards only" programs, such as $15 for writing a new line of business, fizzle out after the initial excitement wears off.
Broadly speaking, Herzberg found that all external stimulation, whether negative or positive, wears off and therefore does not change long-term performance or results. His theory on motivation suggests that the factors involved in job dissatisfaction are separate and distinct from the factors that lead to job satisfaction and motivation. Contrary to common belief, he found that eliminating job dissatisfaction does not lead to job satisfaction.
Job dissatisfaction comes from factors extrinsic to the job, such as company policy, interpersonal relationships, working conditions, salary, and security. While you may think that improving these conditions creates motivation, it does not.
Motivation and growth factors are intrinsic to the job and include achievement, recognition for achievement, the work itself, responsibility, and growth or advancement. All of these factors bring job enrichment, and that’s the motivator. Herzberg found that when a person’s internal stimulator runs, job satisfaction and performance climb. So the challenge for managers is how to get employees excited about their work, their clients, and their organization. Applying Herzberg’s principles, here are several ideas to consider which will enhance job satisfaction and performance in your agency.
Give people opportunities to grow. Job enrichment is not job enlargement. There’s no quicker way to alienate top performers than by giving them more work to do rather than assigning more challenging and satisfying work. Businesses create a culture of enthusiasm and challenge by encouraging associates to move into new positions and take on new responsibilities. In your agency, would a personal lines CSR be interested in moving into small commercial business? Could a senior CSR move to education, training, or supervisory responsibilities that would enable your business to grow even more? Is a CSR interested in new business production? Some changes may create minor productivity setbacks, but the long-term benefit of giving people a personal and professional challenge is worthwhile. Show associates that management values, believes in, and recognizes them.
Assign individuals specific or specialized tasks to enable them to become experts. When people see themselves as expert onClick for the whole story...