CASE 1: THE UNREASONABLE SUPERVISOR
Excel Public Relations Company is a traditional public relations company run by autocratic managers and supervisors who believe that employees are not there to work but are lazy and are only looking for the security the job provides. The company policy states that no employee is allowed to take more than three months leave; this includes maternity leave. Zainabu Mwanaisha is going to be a first time mother and is due anytime. She asks for leave and is denied. Her supervisor (Mr. Shah) tells her “If you wanted to make babies you should have stayed at home. This is not a baby factory. And please note: should you decide to take three months of leave for maternity, you will not be paid salary for those three months” Zainabu walks away in shock and disbelief. She has been slaving for the company is the best public relations officer the company has ever had. As she ponders on her situation, she realizes that she has never been rewarded for her good work. She is paid peanuts for her salary. Her salary is even lower than the one paid in the Public Relations Industry (Milagros, 2006).
CASE 2: THE CONSIDERATE SUPERVISOR
Nakhaal Public Relations Company is a company in Muscat. The supervising officer is called Mr. Rudolf. He is a people person who allocates responsibility to his juniors in the public relations department. Last quarter, Mr. Luigi Materazzi was the employee who was ranked as the highest achiever in the department. Not only was he indicted on the company’s wall of fame; he was also promoted to junior manager for his hard work. Mr. Rudolf encourages subordinates to take responsibility and has created an exciting work environment (Milagros, 2007).
In 1959, Fredrick Herzberg concentrated his studies on satisfaction at work (Herzberg, 1957. In the initial research, some two hundred engineers and accountants were asked to recall when they had experienced satisfactory and unsatisfactory feelings about their jobs. Following the interviews, Herzberg’s team came to the conclusion that certain factors tended to lead to job satisfaction, while others frequently led to dissatisfaction. The factors leading to satisfaction were called motivators. Those giving rise to dissatisfaction were known as hygiene factors. This theory was also named the two factor theory of motivation.
Excel Public Relations Company practices bad motivator factors while Nakhaal Public Relations Company practices the good factors of motivation. These are two companies in the same industry yet their methods of motivation are very different.
THE HYGIENE FACTORS PRACTISED BY EXCEL PUBLIC RELATIONS
Hertzberg asserted that the most important hygiene factors, or dissatisfiers, were as follows: company policy and administration, supervision, salary, interpersonal relations and working conditions. Herzberg noted that these factors were more related to the context, or environment, of work than its content. When in line with employee requirements, such factors could smooth the path of working life, but in a taken-for-granted way; when these factors were out of line with employees’ expectations, they could be a source of difficulty and complaint (Vroom & Deci, 1992).
Firstly, Excel Company’s policy and administration violates Zainabu’s rights because of its stringent policies and administration. The supervisor is not only rude; he is also insultive towards Zainabu. The hygiene factor of policy and administration therefore affects internal corporate relations because Excel’s policies and administration may be outdated and unfair to the well being of employees. Here, Excel policies should be revised in order to cater for employees like Zainanbu.
Mr. Shah’s supervision is a hygiene factor. He looks down upon Zainabu and has the audacity to insult her. This is a hygiene factor that belittles Zainabu. Therefore, this is a dissatisfier in the public relations company. All employees must be treated equal and well for this to cease being a dissatisfier.
Another factor that may affect internal public relations is the working conditions. The working Conditions at Excel Company are terrible. The managers and supervisors do not trust the subordinates to complete their work unsupervised. In addition, subordinates are insulted. This becomes a hygiene factor because with such conditions, employees are fearful and may not carry out their duties as required. It is recommended that a company must have favourable working conditions to have motivated workers.
Again, salary is a key hygiene factor. In Herzberg’s words “…when salary occurred as a factor in the lows (causes of dissatisfaction) it revolved around the unfairness of the wage system within the company… It was the system of salary administration that was being described… [or] it concerned an advancement that was not accompanied by a salary increase… In contrast to this, salary was mentioned in the high stories (events causing satisfaction) as something that went along with a person’s achievement on the job. It was a form of recognition; it meant more than money; it meant a job well done; it meant that the individual was progressing in his work…” Zainabu’s salary is lower than what the public relations industry pays; this is a dissatisfier in Excel Public Relations Comapany. This company should strive to compensate all employees equitably to eliminate dissatisfaction.
Employees thrive on the following motivators or satisfiers: achievement, recognition, work itself, responsibility and advancement. Herzberg pointed out that these factors were intimately related to the content of work, that is, with its intrinsic challenge, interest and the individual responses by them. This is the field Nakhaal Public Relations Company thrives in.
It is the most satisfying thing to excel. Luigi’s achievement is being the best public relations officer. This is called achievement. This is a motivating factor that Nakhaal effectively implements. This factor involved Mr. Rudolf setting goals for Luigi and all that was left was for Luigi to achieve them. Goal setting is what was done right and the employee Luigi made an achievement.
In recognizing Luigi’s achievement, Nakhaal company practiced the motivating factor; recognition. This is the secret to success in the public relations industry and a motivating factor for the company’s employees; in this case Luigi.
The work at Nakhaal is described as exciting. In the public relations industry, work must be enticing to motivate employees. The interesting job descriptions and superb working conditions are Nakhaal’s motivator for its employees. This is the right approach for a motivator.
Each employee at Nakhaal is charged with a certain responsibility. This is a motivator because employees will be working towards self and company success. Doing the right thing here involves giving each employee a duty to perform on each normal working day.
The final motivating factor is advancement. Mr. Rudolf rewarded Luigi by indicting him on the wall of and promoting him to junior public relations officers. This is the highlight of the advancement motivator as portrayed by Nakhaal.
Herzberg concludes that the key distinction between the motivators and hygiene factors is that whereas motivators can bring about positive satisfaction, the hygiene factors can only serve to prevent dissatisfaction. To put it in another way, if motivators are absent from the job, the employee is likely to experience real dissatisfaction (Cole, 1995). However, even if the hygiene factors are provided for, they will not in themselves bring about substantial job satisfaction. Hygiene, in other words, does not positively promote good health, but only acts to prevent ill health. It is safe to conclude that Mr. Rudolf’s company practiced the positive aspects of motivation while Mr. Shah’s company practiced the negative or hygiene factors.
Cole, G.A. 1995, Organizational behavior, DP Publications
Herzberg, F. 1957, The Motivation to work, 2nd Edition, John Wiley,
Milagros, S. T, 2007, Theoretical cases of management I, diss., Suerte, M 2006, 43
Milagros, S. T, 2006, Theoretical cases of management II, diss., Suerte, M 2006, 29
Skinner, B, F. 1974, About Behaviourism, Random House
Vroom, V.H. & Deci, E. L. 1992, Management And Motivation, Wiley