Employee satisfaction and retention have always been important issues for physicians. After all, high levels of absenteeism and staff turnover can affect your bottom line, as temps, recruitment and retraining take their toll. But few practices (in fact, few organizations) have made job satisfaction a top priority, perhaps because they have failed to understand the significant opportunity that lies in front of them. Satisfied employees tend to be more productive, creative and committed to their employers, and recent studies have shown a direct correlation between staff satisfaction and patient satisfaction.1 Family physicians who can create work environments that attract, motivate and retain hard-working individuals will be better
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Hygiene issues, according to Herzberg, cannot motivate employees but can minimize dissatisfaction, if handled properly. In other words, they can only dissatisfy if they are absent or mishandled. Hygiene topics include company policies, supervision, salary, interpersonal relations and working conditions. They are issues related to the employee's environment. Motivators, on the other hand, create satisfaction by fulfilling individuals' needs for meaning and personal growth. They are issues such as achievement, recognition, the work itself, responsibility and advancement. Once the hygiene areas are addressed, said Herzberg, the motivators will promote job satisfaction and encourage production.
TWO DIMENSIONS OF EMPLOYEE SATISFACTION
Frederick Herzberg theorized that employee satisfaction depends on two sets of issues: “hygiene” issues and motivators. Once the hygiene issues have been addressed, he said, the motivators create satisfaction among employees.
Hygiene issues (dissatisfiers) Motivators (satisfiers)
Company and administrative policies Work itself
Interpersonal relations Responsibility
Working conditions Advancement
Applying the theory
To apply Herzberg's theory to real-world practice, let's begin with the hygiene issues. Although hygiene issues are not the source of satisfaction, these issues must be dealt with