Dec. 18 2018 10:00 AM

Understand what drives employees using the 12 Driving Forces that define human motivation.

Understand what drives employees using the 12 Driving Forces that define human motivation.

What gets your employees up in the morning? More importantly, what drives them to do their best when they are at work? Do you know? Do you really know?

If your team members understand their purpose and how it relates to their on-the-job satisfaction, chances are you will have motivated and high performing employees. They will have less conflict with their co-workers when they understand each other’s driving forces.

Eduard Spranger first defined six primary categories to define human motivation and drive in 1928.

With TTI Success Insights’ additional research into Spranger’s original work, the 12 Driving Forces were established by looking at each motivator on a continuum and describing both ends. All of the 12 descriptors are based on six keywords, one for each continuum. The six keywords are:

1. Knowledge

2. Utility

3. Surroundings

4. Others

5. Power

6. Methodologies

When individuals are able to clarify and amplify some of the driving forces in their lives, good things can happen for them and their organizations. Let’s take a closer look at these six areas from which people derive the self motivation to do what they do and see how this can apply to the people on your team.

Number 1: Knowledge – how a person accesses and uses knowledge. This area is divided into two ends: instinctive and intellectual.

Instinctive. This type of knowledge is driven by utilizing an individual’s past experiences, intuition or gut feelings about something. The type of person who has this driver can be an integral part of your team because they have the capacity to size things up quickly and take action.

Intellectual. This type of knowledge is driven by an individual’s opportunities to acquire knowledge and discover the truth about something.

This type of person loves to learn for the sake of learning. Someone with this type of driver can be a very valuable person to have on your team because they will go the extra mile to acquire information you need for a project or customer’s requirements.

Number 2: Utility – how a person values practicality, usefulness and the ability to gain a return on all investments of time, talent and resources. This area is divided into two ends: selfless and resourceful.

Selfless. This type of utility is driven by a person’s desire for completing tasks for the sake of completion with little expectation of personal return. The type of person with this driver can be extremely important to your organization because of their belief to go the extra mile.

Resourceful. This type of utility is driven by the need for practical results, maximizing both efficiency and returns on their investments of time, talent, energy and resources. The type of person with this driver can be a valuable addition because of their desire to do more and be more with the expectation of personal returns on all their investments.

Number 3: Surroundings – the way in which beauty and sensory inputs in their surroundings impact and influence their experience.

This area is divided into two ends: objective and harmonious.

• Objective. This type of surrounding is driven by a person’s desire for functionality and objectivity of their environment. They don’t need or want any cushy surroundings. They prefer the basics. Give them a phone, a place to plug their laptop or iPad and a corner to work in, and they are good to go. They can tolerate a noisy and busy work area.

• Harmonious. This type of surrounding is driven by a person’s desire for the experience. They like subjective viewpoints and balance. Typically, this person will have pictures of their family in their work area and nice office furnishings. They dislike drama in the workplace and seek harmony. The person that has this driver as a dominant motivator can bring balance and calmness.

Number 4: Others – how a person values giving, being of service and helping. This area is divided into two ends: intentional and altruistic.

• Intentional. This type of others is driven by the desire to help others, but they do so for a specific purpose. They want to see some type of result or return on investment. The individual with this type of driver can be an important contributor to creating the kind of work environment that sets an example for keeping people accountable.

• Altruistic. This type of others is driven by the desire to help others with no expectation of a return of the favor. They love to serve others and are compassionate and caring individuals. The person with this type of driver can be an important contributor to making your culture one that people feel they belong and want to be part of.

Number 5: Power – how a person values individuality, status, renown and personal influence. This area is divided into two ends: collaborative and commanding.

• Collaborative. This type of power is driven by a desire to be in a supportive role and contribute with little need for individual recognition. This type of person likes to get things done through people. They usually like to delegate and praise others for their role in the success of a project.

• Commanding. This type of power is driven by the desire of status, recognition and control over personal freedom. When they feel strongly about a situation, they will apply the “end justifies the means” concept. They are passionate about creating something that leads to an enduring legacy.

Number 6: Methodologies – how a person locates meaningful and defined systems that align with their personal beliefs. This area is divided into two ends: receptive and structured.

• Receptive. This type of person is driven by new ideas, methods and opportunities that fall outside a defined system for living. This person may openly resist overly structured approaches and are always looking for new ways to accomplish routine tasks.

• Structured. This type of person is driven by traditional approaches, proven methods and a defined system for living. They honor systems, structure and tradition and typically will protect their principles and beliefs. They seek consistency in their life, organization and/or team.

When you and your employees are able to identify and understand their motivators and what moves them to action, you can help them tap more of their potential to perform at their best.

Imagine if you knew what motivated your team members. If you did, you could do a better job of managing their ability to perform at their best.

Tom Borg is a team performance and customer experience expert who works with small businesses and organizations in the green industry to improve customer acquisition and retention. He helps these organizations through his consulting, speaking, training and mentoring. He can be reached at 734.404.5909 or at tom@tomborg.com, or visit www.tomborgconsulting.com.