The 'Hygiene-Motivation' factors of Retailing

Jagannath's take on what he encountered at Big Bazaar prompts a serious consideration of Herzberg's 2 factor theory on Human Motivation.

Herzbergs' first component in his approach to motivation involves what are known as the hygiene factors and includes the work and organizational environment. These factors do not lead to higher levels of motivation but without them there is dissatisfaction.The second component in Herzbergs' motivation theory involves what people actually do on the job and should be engineered into the jobs employees do in order to develop intrinsic motivation with the workforce. These factors result from internal instincts in employees, yielding motivation rather than movement.

Retailers too have a lot to learn from the 2 factor theory. They must be able to distinguish between those factors of retailing which, if delivered on, do not necessarily result in store loyalty but do go a long way in ensuring that the customer doesn't abandon his patronage toward that store. That is, the store brand still remains part of the 'consideration set' of the customer. A non delivery is a sure guarantee of a lost customer. Having store staff not take care of merchandising, instead seeing them chit chat between themselves, will surely send a customer away, never to return.

Any retail store has to first take care of such 'hygiene' factors before its makes an attempt on delivering on 'motivating' factors. Though, I admit, the best case scenario is when both the factors are delivered on, in tandem. An example of a motivating factor could be customer engagement, where the store goes out of its way to accommodate a special order, maybe the requirement for a particular item which is normally not stacked in the store, but is ordered and delivered to a customer as a special request. Such an action is a sure fire guarantee of 'store loyalty'.

The Big Bazaars of the world now need to be careful that they don't slip up on the 'hygiene' factors. If they do, they can expect customer abandonment and migration to competing retail stores.


Manasa said…
i think Indians (me inculded, at times:)) usually have the low price good quality mentality.. and when the Big Bazaars deliver that, I am not really sure where the theory would come into picture. Say, if at all Big Bazaar does follow the theory and gain loyal customers, what is the guarantee that the same customer won't jump to another retail outlet which provides the same stuff at a lower price and which does not really go out of it's way to make customers feel the whole experience?
Ray Titus said…
Manasa.... The 'relative comparison' by default applies. That is, if one firm were to be better than another, in delivering value to consumers, the 'better' one gets the consumer. Dunk the theory, that's by default, a taken.

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