Attending Fred’s “engagement” party


Did organisations miss the opportunity of attending Fed Herzberg’s party in the 1970s & 1980s?

Last week we highlighted a key hygiene need where Herzberg offered us “the quality of the technical & personal support offered to the employee by their supervisor.”

Here is a group of people who have the greatest opportunity to really practice engagement first hand.

– a group of people we often find are asked to lead by example, communicate and act/work with the organisation’s drivers of engagement.

– a group we frequently find blissfully unaware of what the organisation’s reward systems actually are.

What perils lie ahead if……………………………….

– Our reward systems are not defined and understood, particularly at front line management level.

– Our reward systems are a significant HR driver, but front line managers don’t have clear definitions of the forces that drive human behaviour (Herzberg – “I can get you to move, but its not motivation”).

– Our reward systems don’t motivate the desired behaviours and results.

What was on the menu at that party?

Well perhaps the beginnings of an understanding of those forces that drive human behaviour including:

– FOCUS ………………………………………………I know what to do

– FEEDBACK ………………………………………..I know how well I’m doing

– COMPETENCIES & CAPABILITIES ………I know how to do it

– REWARDS AND CONSEQUENCES ……. I have a reason for doing it

On reflection, the party isn’t over quite yet, there are those organisations that are re-energising their performance management process to provide a “fitting opportunity” to focus on

– competencies & accountability

– line manager & employee joint training

– rewarding brand-enhancing behaviour

– rewarding self-development

– teaching cross-functional & collaborative skills

The invitation to attend is still open, make the link between performance, results and rewards clear to first line management.

Contact us for further information.


“Re-engaging with Fred”

It’s strange how we perceive things to have changed and moved on, frequently we become anxious that we are somehow lagging behind current thinking.

I was reminded of this during the delivery of some courses for a client this month.

I was promoting what for me are the “gurus” of motivation, McGregor, Maslow, Herzberg & Seligman. This was to give the delegates some context to begin to develop their own thinking as to ways of making it “live” for their own teams.

Reflecting on Frederick Herzberg’s “quality of work life” or the quality of life at work, I was drawn again into thinking about his list of “hygiene needs”. Specifically that one about “the quality of the technical & personal support offered to the employee by their supervisor”.

Herzberg implies that motivation is essentially about movement and that both ability and opportunity are key components in securing that movement. There is still a conscious decision to be made about whether “I want to or not.”

In reality that decision is about:

  1. Do I want to do it for you? (my supervisor)
  2. Do I want to do it for you? (my team)
  3. Do I want to do it for you? (my organisation)

1 & 2 above clearly lie within a supervisor’s remit and maybe this is where a platform for engagement needs to start.

This set me thinking that when it comes to employee engagement, should the focus move away from some form of organisational engagement survey to that group of people who have the greatest opportunity to really practice engagement?

Next week, attending Fred’s “engagement” party.