Chris Young of The Rainmaker Group left a comment on the syndication of my blog over at Brazen Careerist that offered an interesting perspective on what really motivates people. I wanted to share it with everyone here:
The short answer is not everyone is motivated by the same things. I have found that there are 6 major “types” of motivators. With each type of motivator, I am including an example of an activity or reward that can motivate the person more appropriately.
1. Utilitarian – motivation for money as well as efficiency. People high in this particular value are more “careful” with how they spend their time, energy, and may want to make more money. $1000 in cash may motivate.
2. Knowledge – motivation to learn, to understand the “truth” about something. People with a high knowledge “factor” may want to spend more time learning. The reward may be to actually send them to additional learning opportunities as a reward. Literally a reward for learning and completing a test may be additional learning. A $1000 learning program may motivate.
3. Social – motivation to help others. A proper reward for someone with a high Social motivator may be to give them a day off to give back to the community. A $1000 donated to a desired cause may motivate.
4. Aesthetic – motivation for nice things, surroundings, clothing, life-fulfillment. A reward for someone with a high Aesthetic may be to give them a pass to an art gallery, a gift certificate to a high-end clothing store, a home-decorating gift card, or a pass to bungee jumping. A $1000 membership to several museums may motivate.
5. Power – motivation to control one’s own destiny as well as the destiny of others. A way to motivate someone with a higher power motivation is to let them lead a project, lead others, or perhaps a gift certificate for professional career planning. A $1000 investemnt in leadership development may motivate.
6. Tradition – motivation to live one’s life according to a set standard. Depending upon one’s beliefs, a person may be motivated by their specific belief system and any type of respect of or recognition of this belief system. A $1000 donation to someone’s belief system may motivate.
The assumption that money motivates everyone is not a true assumption. In fact one person’s motivations may offend another person. There are resources one may use to identify what motivates someone. At the very least, the best thing to do is create a short survey specific to each person to identify what best motivates them. In other words – ask – do not assume.
Thank you Chris for your insightful comments.