What’s A Good Job?

What’s A Good Job?

“If you want people to do a good job, give them a good job to do.”

~ Frederick Herzberg

But what, exactly, constitutes a “good job”?

Looking at this through the frame of the Antimatter Principle, we might choose to say that a good job is one which contributes to everyone’s needs getting met. Note, not just the needs of the person holding the job, but everyone’s needs, to a greater or lesser extent.

What do we mean by “needs”? Let’s not be superficial or utilitarian. I’m talking about core human needs, needs drawn from an emotional place. Employees are, after all, human, are they not?

Here’s a brief list of such needs, to help illustrate what I’m talking about:


acceptance, affection, appreciation, belonging, cooperation, communication, closeness,
community, companionship, compassion, consideration, consistency, empathy, inclusion,
intimacy, love, mutuality, respect/self-respect, safety, security, stability, support,
to know and be known, to see and be seen, to understand and be understood, trust, warmth


air, food, movement/exercise, rest/sleep, sexual expression, safety, shelter, touch, water


authenticity, integrity, presence


joy, humor


beauty, communion, ease, equality, harmony, inspiration, order


choice, freedom, independence, space, spontaneity


awareness, celebration of life, challenge, clarity, competence, consciousness, contribution,
creativity, discovery, efficacy, effectiveness, growth, hope, learning, mourning, participation,
purpose, self-expression, stimulation, to matter, understanding

How About Your Job?

By this yardstick, how would you rate your job? And the jobs you create for others in your organisation? And what does that rating mean for folks’ engagement and motivation?

“We can provide conditions in wich employees are more likely to be motivated or demotivated, but it is a conceit to believe that managers can motivate people.”

~ John Seddon, Freedom From Command & Control

– Bob

Further Reading

One More Time: How Do You Motivate Employees? ~ Frederick Herzberg

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