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12 Driving Forces to Maximize Employee Productivity

Posted July 19, 2016by David Russell

I am often asked how to motivate employees. The answer may surprise you: You can't. Your only option is to provide an environment where they motivate themselves.

Yes, this is hard work, even with employees who are naturally self-motivated. It is a discipline of systematic power to engage them in work that is individually meaningful to them, and communicate your value to them in ways they prefer. But how do you identify specifically what motivates each employee in your organization?

The environment you develop and sustain for each individual employee needs to relate to their 1-2 (in rare cases, 3-4) strongest driving forces. Employee decisions are made according to motivators like Personal Interests, Attitudes and Values (PIAV) and in order to better understand employee behavior, you must analyze the individual driving forces behind each. So what are the different driving forces?                                           

After more than 30 years of experience studying human behavior and theorizing people's motivations, Ph.D. scientists at TTI have identified the following twelve:


1. Instinctive Driving Force

The instinctive driving force is characterized by a focus on knowledge and is a low theoretical motivator. Someone with an instinctive driving force loves to apply what they have learned. They are interested in learning more to accomplish tasks at hand, particularly if they can learn through doing and/or with a mentor. Make sure to give these employees the opportunities to build upon their past knowledge and experience, and apply it for mutual gain. 


2. Intellectual Driving Force

The intellectual driving force is characterized by a focus on knowledge and is a high theoretical motivator. Someone who falls into this category would be a lifelong student if they could afford to be. They are highly motivated to understand all available knowledge on a subject, regardless of the direct application. Make sure to give these employees the opportunity to solve problems and discover new information.


3. Selfless Driving Force 

The selfless driving force is characterized by a focus on utility and is a low utilitarian motivator. People with a selfless driving force like to work for the greater good. They complete tasks for the sake of completion rather than to get something in return. Someone who falls in this category is more of a team player rather than a catalyst for action. Give these employees opportunities that will allow them to achieve meaningful results as part of a cohesive team!


4. Resourceful Driving Force 

The resourceful driving force is characterized by a focus on utility and is a high utilitarian motivator. People with this driving force want to experience a high return on investment for their time, achieve results, and/or make money. They are high achievers who are comfortable tackling difficult problems. Give these employees the opportunity to apply their time, talent, energy, and resources to achieve significant results.


5. Objective Driving Force 

The objective driving force is characterized by a focus on surroundings and is a low aesthetic motivator. People with an objective driving force prefer to make decisions based on facts and logic, or function over form. They are not creators of office drama! They are not motivated by fancy offices and can thrive in difficult circumstances. Give them opportunities to achieve desired, logical outcomes.


6. Harmonious Driving Force

The harmonious driving force is characterized by a focus on surroundings and is a high aesthetic motivator. These people are artistic, emotional and subjective thinkers. They are very much into their work experience, beautifying the world around them, and working in harmony with others. They are motivated by nice offices and creative expression. Give these employees opportunities to be creative and develop positive, personal relationships.


7. Intentional Driving Force

The intentional driving force is characterized by a focus on others and is a low social motivator. People in this category assist others when there is a connection to their interests and a specific purpose, but do not do so just for the sake of being helpful or supportive. They typically keep emotions out of business decisions. Give these employees opportunities to apply the world around them as a toolset to achieve their goals.


8. Altruistic Driving Force

The altruistic driving force is characterized by a focus on others and is a high social motivator. These people want to make the world a better place by eliminating hate and conflict. Having a passion for life, they are generally selfless and generous with their time, talents and resources. Give these employees opportunities to apply their ideas for the benefit of others.


9. Collaborative Driving Force 

The collaborative driving force is characterized by a focus on power and is a low individualistic motivator. These employees enjoy working in the background as a good team member. They like to to contribute to a team and support a leader or cause without the need for personal recognition. Give them opportunities to work on effective teams to support company goals.


10. Commanding Driving Force 

The commanding driving force is characterized by a focus on power and is a high individualistic motivator. Eager to be in control and advance their careers, these people likes status, authority and the ability to assert control over the freedom and destiny of others. They also enjoy recognition. Give these employees the opportunity to be in a leadership role with the ability to plan and execute a winning strategy.


11. Receptive Driving Force

The receptive driving force is characterized by a focus on methodologies and is a low traditional motivator. People with this driving force believe that there is more than one way to do something and enjoy finding alternatives to the status quo. When making decisions, they tend to consider a variety of options. Give these employees opportunities to identify ideas and creative ways to achieve results outside the typical spectrum of thought.


12. Structured Driving Force

The structured driving force is characterized by a focus on methodologies and is a high traditional motivator. These people prefers to do things the "right" way. They appreciate proven methods and they enjoy implementing systems to achieve the best results and do the "right" thing. These people typically have strong spiritual beliefs. Give these employees opportunities to be involved in what's best and help others benefit from their systems.

So, at this point you must be wondering, “What are my core driving forces?” Or maybe you're curious about the driving forces of a superstar employee, or an employee in your organization who is struggling. You can guess, but it would probably be more beneficial to find out, at no cost to you.

Continuum Partners: Your company can have one free MANAGEtoWIN Talent Assessment ($348 SRP) to confirm the driving forces of an individual on your team. Just email us by midnight on July 31, 2016, requesting a sample. Include the name and email address of the person who will be taking it.

What do you do with this information once you have it? Focus your own work activities to best align with your 1-2 driving forces, and repeat the process for each individual on your team. Once you create a work environment where employees are engaged and doing work that achieves the objectives of those driving forces, the results will amaze you.  

Read more from David:

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David Russell is the author of Dave’s Charm School of soft skills training, plus CEO & Senior Consultant at MANAGEtoWIN. He’s been called the Leadership Guy for IT entrepreneurs and has spent the better part of his 43 years in business (34 in the computer channel) working with entrepreneurs to help them hire, manage, develop, and retain superstar employees. David’s mission is “No Bad Bosses.” His LEADERSHIP Essentials services and Certified LEADER programs are totally unique, 1:1 transformational learning experiences. Read more of David’s commentary on leadership, hiring, and company culture at the MANAGEtoWIN blog, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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