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Product Management and the inspirations around it - a Malaysian point of view.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Motivators and Hygiene Factors

You might be familiar with Two Factor Theory (also known as Herzberg's Boby Motivation-Hygiene Theory). The theory states that there are certain factors in the workplace that cause job satisfaction, while a separate set of factors cause dissatisfaction.
In other words, the hygiene factors are those that prevent people from leaving your company, while the motivating factors are those that will keep people in your company.

For example, keeping the pantry well stocked with fancy F&B is a hygiene factor, while efforts in personal and professional development are motivating factors.
Both needs to be done, but many would agree that an organization needs to pay significantly more attention to the motivators, towards 80/20. Meeting all the hygiene factors does not mean people will stay in the organization at all.

The same theory can be applied to products. Many times we spend too much time and attention on the hygiene factors, working hard to keep customers "happy". The real question we need to ask when a product function is being developed, is "Is this going to help me sell more products to more customers?"

If the answer is no - then most likely you are only working on the hygiene factors.

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