Motivation is the key to everything else. We do things for a reason. Our motivations tell us “Why” we do things in a certain fashion. In the previous article What is Your Performance DNA? I talked about how each of us has a unique performance style. Your performance style is “How” you get things done. Motivators on the other hand are “Why” you do what you do.
I like to use a model that looks at Seven Motivators that drive our actions: Economic, Altruistic, Theoretical, Authoritative, Political, Individualistic, and Creative. These are the motivators behind what we do. For example, I am economic, political, and creative. This means that I do things because I want to reach a bottom line goal (economic), I am very competitive and find ways to advance my cause (political), and like to find new ways to do things (creative). These are called my “Pull” factors. You also have “Pull” factors. You should know what they are. So should your managers, colleagues, and even family members. This way they know how to communicate with you and motivate you.
There are also “Push” Factors. These are things that deter you. These motivators do not attract you. For Example, one of my “Push” factors is “Authoritative.” This means I am not stubborn. I am willing to examine new evidence and change my ways without getting stuck on my old beliefs.
Each motivator has pros and cons. For example, if you are “Economically” motivated, then you probably would not do anything if you did not see the bottom line value in it. that means you might come across a bit selfish. You might expect a return for anything that you do. It might be tangible or intangible return.
Each of us like his “Pull” motivations, and cannot relate to people who are motivated by his or her “Push” motivations. For example, if you are economically motivated, you might not relate to those who are altruistic. Altruistic people are very helpful people. They will help anyone anywhere without even thinking. To you being economic this might not make sense. As you feel you can help others better by creating value in this world (bottom line) and that in itself will help others. Being economical you might not give people enough chances at work. However altruistic people might be too lenient and give people too many chances to fail.
Amazingly this have profound meaning and value at corporate level. If the corporate strategy is to be an organization dedicated to helping others selflessly, then you would hope that your team motivators follow suit and are mainly altruistic. Also, you would want to have some in the group who are more economic than altruistic, because otherwise nobody at the organization will be keeping an eye on the bottom line.
I did a Corporate Talent Analytics assessment for an educational organization. They pride themselves on helping others. It is in the core of their beliefs and mission. So I was happy to see that most of those they hire were consistently altruistic. However, this raised a concern for me on who is watching the economic picture. I hoped to see somewhere in the executive suite or directors, or even finance department, with an economic motivation. I only found one out of over thirty managers and directors. I raised this to the organization, and sure enough they confirmed their struggle and challenges in “economic” targets for the organization. The recommendation in this case is to bring in or promote individuals into positions where they can help the organization attend to their economic needs.
On the team level, it is important to look at motivators of team members against each other and against their managers. This brings understanding into why team members behaves the way they and how to create synergy and respect what each of the team members brings to the table.
This is also part of Talent Analytics and can be used along with performance style talent analytics.
Again, the way the analysis is done in context strategically is key to get the benefits of such an assessment at the individual, team, and corporate levels.