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Mobilization in the workplace

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Mobilisation levels by MotivAtWork

We have no control over the intentions and motivations of a company's employees. Everyone has their own reasons for doing their job.

The level of engagement represents the personal motivation that the employee invests in his or her work.

So it's important to understand which factors can increase engagement levels, and which can reduce them.

"Work satisfiers deal with factors involved in the performance of work, while work dissatisfiers deal with factors that define the work context.
Poor working conditions, bad policies and poor company administration and supervision will lead to job dissatisfaction."

- Frederick Herzberg - The motivation to work, 1959, p. 32

Based on F. Herzberg's work (bi-factorial model, 1959), we have defined the three levels of employees' mobilization (aka involvement) in their professional activities.

To understand the model, it is important to distinguish clearly between professional and para-professional activities. So, when we talk about motivation, we're talking about a motivation whose primary benefit is producing value in the context of this professional activity.

This simple three-level model is the foundation of systemic motivation, as it makes an important distinction between different sources of motivation and, even more so, between sources of motivation and sources of de-motivation.

The 3 Levels of Motivation


The first level of the model focuses on satisfaction factors.

These factors have little or no effect on professional motivation, but they influence employee demotivation.

What hinders productivity?

What limits the effects of motivation? Herzberg calls these the (mental) hygiene factors that ensure the individual's well-being at work.

  •   salary
  •   fringe benefits
  •   atmosphere
  •   human relations
  •   quality of materials.

These factors all have the same characteristic: when insufficient, they reduce productivity. But when they are in excess, they do not increase productivity. And in some cases, they can even have the perverse effect of reducing productivity.


The second level is involvement.
We're talking here about involvement in getting the job done, which can benefit the production of value.
These factors play a role in self-confidence and a sense of professional accomplishment.

In the context of Deci and Ryan's (1971) TAD theory of self-determination, updated by Deci (2002), we are talking here about intrinsic motivation and internally regulated extrinsic motivation (identified regulation + integrated regulation).

In other words :

  •   the pleasure of doing something for its own sake
  •   the pleasure of results for its own sake

Motivating factors include

  •   social recognition
  •   learning
  •   autonomy
  •   decision-making


The third level of mobilization is commitment.
This is societal involvement, a commitment that has meaning for the community and usefulness for others.

Herzberg did not consider this in his model. Perhaps because, in the '50s, the notion of societal value for a company was still insignificant.

Nowadays, this level of involvement is increasingly valued by individuals, who choose their jobs according to the role it will give them on a societal level.

Beyond the financial aspect, the human and/or ecological aspects are considered.

Commitment factors include

  •   corporate culture
  •   meaning
  •   link to civil society
  •   service