Theories of Motivation for Accountants

Theories of Motivation for Accountants

Motivating an organisation's employees can help create a productive and pleasant workplace environment and increase their job satisfaction. A number of motivational theories have been developed to help individuals optimise their performance and work efficiently towards the organisational goal. 

Frederick Herzberg, in 1959, proposed a two-factor theory. The Herzberg two-factor motivation theory helps identify the factors that inspire professionals to achieve high-quality work. 

Understanding and implementing Hezberg’s two-factor theory for motivation can help you be at the best of your performance. If you want to undergo ACCA training, you must thoroughly understand this theorem. This blog will discuss it in detail. 

Herzberg's Theory: A Comprehensive Overview 

Also referred to as Hezberg’s motivation-hygiene theory, this two-factor theory states that some aspects within the workplace will lead to job satisfaction while others to dissatisfaction. 

This theory was developed to understand employees' attitudes better and drive toward the job. He interviewed employees of an organisation to learn about what pleased and displeased them at work, understanding their good and bad experiences. 

Herzberg described the factors that lead to the satisfaction or dissatisfaction of an employee as motivation and hygiene factors. These factors are: 

  • Motivational factors: Professional recognition, achievements, responsibility, and career and personal growth are motivating factors for a professional. Addressing these factors can help boost the job satisfaction of the employees. 
  • Hygiene factors: These factors are related to working conditions, office policies, professional relationships, the attitude of the seniors, and rules of conduct. Addressing these factors can help decrease dissatisfaction and boost employee motivation. 

If you want to get into the ACCA course, understanding the motivational and hygiene factors can help you thrive in your job later. 

Motivational and Hygiene Factors 

There are several factors in both categories. They have been discussed below:

Motivational factors 

According to Herzberg, motivational factors have a positive effect. Addressing these factors can motivate the employees to work harder. These factors are referred to as the satisfiers. 

The motivational factors include: 

  • Achievement: People with a solid drive to create and accomplish goals enjoy their work and are willing to take calculated risks. They also want regular feedback on their progress to help them bag future achievements. This motivates them to work towards success in the workplace. 
  • The work: Employees who believe their work is important and meaningful and are made to feel the same are more likely to be motivated to do good. 
  • Recognition: Offering employees the deserved recognition makes them feel appreciated and accomplished and reinforces good performance. It encourages employees to continue repeating the actions that helped them achieve those goals. The more an employee’s behaviour is positively recognised, the more likely they are to stay motivated. 
  • Advancement opportunities: It is necessary to make the employees understand a clear progression plan within their position in the workplace. This helps motivate them to work towards a promotion, increasing employee productivity. 
  • Growth opportunities: Employees feel more motivated to work when they have opportunities for growth and professional development. Providing employees with the opportunity to add to their skills and become more efficient instils a sense of accomplishment, which is a strong motivator. 

Hygiene factors 

Hygiene factors are those that, if not present in the workplace, can lead to dissatisfaction. These factors are also known as maintenance factors or dissatisfiers. 

The ACCA certificate course will help you understand the difference between satisfiers and dissatisfiers. These factors are used for describing the job scenario/environment. The factors include:

  • Salary: Offering competitive salaries and benefits to employees can help companies maintain employee satisfaction. 
  • Peer-to-peer relationship: Encouraging a friendly atmosphere among the employees can help achieve greater job satisfaction. 
  • Working conditions: Ensuring the working conditions are safe, clean, and hygienic can help employees stay motivated. 
  • Company policies: The company’s policies should be fair and transparent. It must include flexible working hours, breaks, dress code, holidays, etc. If the company policies are not very rigid, employees feel like a part of the organisation and are motivated to contribute more to the company's good. 
  • Job security: Employees are likely to feel more satisfied when they have a sense of security in their minds. 
  • Fringe benefits: Employees must receive health care benefits for their family members. It plays a significant role in keeping the employees satisfied. 
  • Status: As an employee, performing meaningful tasks can provide a sense of status. 

How to Implement the Herzberg Theory 

Following the below-mentioned steps can help implement the two-factor theorem:

Analyse the workplace 

Analyse the work environment to identify the motivational and hygiene factors. Evaluate the peer-to-peer relation among the employees and find a correlation between their attitude and productivity. Understanding what influences the employees of the team to stay motivated can help in customising an improvement plan for the company’s benefit. 

Work on the hygiene factors 

Design a plan that will help you address the hygiene factors impacting the workplace. Implement training programmes for the managers to learn how to supervise team members efficiently and support them in projects. The organisational budget should also be checked to see if there are any chances of offering a raise to the employees. 

Reinforce motivators 

Make sure that the motivating factors are prevalent in the workplace, which will help you boost the satisfaction of the employees. Consider offering employees a chance to work towards higher-level positions. Also, try to design a protocol to publicly acknowledge a person’s achievement. 

The ACCA training includes educating accountants about the theory to apply in their organisations. 

Drawbacks of the Herzberg Theory

Even though the two-factor theory can help create a great work environment, it has limitations. These limitations are as follows: 

The Herzberg theory overlooks situational variables. 

A correlation was assumed between satisfaction and productivity by Herzberg. However, the research conducted by him focused on satisfaction and ignored productivity. 

A comprehensive measure of satisfaction was not used. Employees might be content in their job roles even though they might object to parts of their job. 

The theory is not free from bias. This is because it is based on the natural reaction of employees when enquiring about the sources of satisfaction or dissatisfaction at the workplace. 


Herzberg’s two-factor theory argues that there are separate groups of mutually exclusive factors in organisations that cause job satisfaction or dissatisfaction. This theory helps highlight the problem of motivation by addressing factors in the workplace that can often go unnoticed. 

If you want to become associated with the ACCA, you must understand the two-factor theory of motivation. Check out the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants course by Imarticus. This ACCA certificate course is ideal for anyone wanting to make an impact in the field of accounting and finance. This globally accepted qualification helps find better career opportunities. 

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