Page 4: Herzberg's two-factor theory
Research undertaken by Frederick Herzberg in the 1950s has broadened our understanding of motivating factors and job satisfaction in the workplace. From his research he concluded that employees have two sets of needs in the workplace. He described these as hygiene and motivator factors. Hygiene factors (satisfiers) include salary and working conditions. However, these factors on their own do not lead to job satisfaction and can lead to dissatisfaction if pay and conditions are poor. Motivators are factors such as recognition, responsibility, achievement and opportunities for progression. Herzberg found that a combination of these factors increased motivation and improved individual performance.
Virgin Media has a variety of programmes that support this theory. Its established apprenticeship scheme recruits apprentices based on their behaviour as well as their ability, looking for people that show potential as it offers successful candidates mentoring, coaching and training. The company recently opened a new office in Birmingham where all apprentices are trained. Role play is an important part of the training and actors are hired to perform the role of the customer with apprentices. This approach creates a safe environment for the apprentices to learn, ensuring they are qualified before meeting Virgin Media customers. The training suite, designed to simulate a customer’s home, gives the apprentice the opportunity to see how their role is seen by the customer through watching footage back to analyse their performance.
Training and development
Within Virgin Media, support, training and development is an ongoing process for all employees. For its field based staff, the company has an online portal, IGNITE, which can be accessed remotely from home. This forms a training record for colleagues including apprentices.
‘The ability to login from home provides an engagement factor through personal development opportunities which would otherwise be either costly or logistically impossible.’
Another example of recognition at Virgin Media is its annual apprentice graduation. The event is an opportunity to celebrate the hard work of the apprentices as they successfully complete their training programme and progress their career with Virgin Media.