What drives our intrinsic work motivation
Another person cannot motivate you intrinsically. Only you can. Everyone perceives the world around him and the situation he is in through the lens of his own needs and desires. And everyone is driven from within to fulfill these needs. This happens automatically. For countless generations, our biochemistry has adapted to increase our chances of survival and to create certainty with regards to our existence.
In order to cope, we all develop a personal coping strategy that is designed to achieve a series of goals that -when achieved- increases our chances of survival and thus our sense of certainty. It is the pursuit of these goals that drives our intrinsic work motivation and determines whether we engage or disengage into a situation.
Situations that fulfill our motivational drivers motivate us intrinsically
The 2 or 3 most important drivers represent the most important goals that we pursue and provide the biggest sense of certainty when achieved due to the release of dopamine in our brain. It is this chemical reaction that not only influences much of the emotions, happiness and fulfilment we experience in our work, but also influences our intrinsic motivation, our behaviour, our willingness to cooperate, and ultimately our performance. All triggered by the effect these motivational drivers have on our primitive survival mechanism; the approach and avoid response.
Situations that fulfil your motivational drivers and help you to achieve your personal goals trigger an approach response and:
- Release dopamine in your brain and increase the amount of happiness that you experience in your work
- Increase your cognitive and problem-solving capacity as well as your ability to be creative
- Stimulate you to engage and increase your willingness to take on (new) challenges
- Motivate you intrinsically to perform and cooperate to the best of your abilities
- Increase your productivity by 30%
Situations that prevent you from achieving your personal goals trigger an avoid response and stimulate you to disengage
Situations that prevent you from fulfilling your personal goals trigger an avoid response and:
- Reduce the amount of happiness that you experience in your work
- Reduce your cognitive and your problem-solving capacity as well as your creativeness
- Stimulate you to disengage and reduce your willingness to take on (new) challenges
- Decrease your intrinsic motivation to perform and to cooperate to the best of your abilities
- Lower your productivity by 30%
Not all people share the same motivational drivers.
Not all people share the same motivational drivers. The combination of our genes, experiences and the situation we are in determines which coping strategy and thus which motivational drivers we develop.
The 2 or 3 motivational drivers that resonate strongest with us represent our most deeply held beliefs and attitudes about what is most desirable. They form the rules by which we experience and label something as “good” or “bad”, and are decisive whether or not we chose to engage. They even determine how we come to this decision. Ultimately, they form the essence of our being (Rue, 2001).
By assessing our values we can retrieve our motivational drivers
The 2 or 3 motivational drivers that live strongest within us not only determine how we perceive the world and the situation around us. They also create our most deeply embedded beliefs about what feels “good” and “bad” to us. And create our own set of rules based on which we decide to do or not do something. Therefore, by assessing our values -and what we value most- we can retrieve which fundamental goals we pursue, and your strongest motivational drivers.
The Online Drive Scan is an intuitive online scan that helps you to retrieve your motivational drivers by assessing what you value most at work.
The 30 values that are presented find their origin in the value models of Maslow, Barrett, Rokeach, Schwarz, Reiss, Fransen, Van der Vorst and Vyncke, and together form a complete and valid representation of the entire scope of values that are applicable in the domain ‘work’.
Calibrated images, gamification and time prevent a potential bias
Neuroscientific research has shown that we humans are very bad at predicting our own behaviour because over 90% of our behaviour is driven by emotions that come from the innermost part of our brain which we call the limbic system. This is a part of our brain that is visually oriented and “thinks” in images. The system has no capacity for language.
To ensure participants react intuitively to the values presented in the scan and to address their limbic system, we therefore use calibrated images, time pressure and gamification techniques. Techniques that prevent an activation of the Neo Cortex and minimize the chance of providing socially desirable answers. And thus, a possible bias of the scan results.
Each value card contains 4 calibrated images that are carefully selected out of a database with over 5,000 reference images.
Both the value cards and the scan have been extensively validated based on international empirical research among over 4,500 people, and have a proven reliability of more than 95%.
Knowing and understanding your personal drivers is key to managing your intrinsic work motivation
The personal drivers that are being assessed in the Online Drive Scan or by means of the Value Cards find their origin in the Motivation Theory and the Needs Pyramid of Abraham Maslow.
Maslow stated that we are all -subconsciously- driven by the desire to fulfil the same 6 basic and universal needs:
- Control (authority)
- Collective actualization
Insight into your Social Drivers is key to managing team work and work relations
The social drivers that are being assessed in the Online Drive Scan or by means of the Value Cards match the social domains as described in the SCARF-theory of Dr. David Rock.
Using brain scan research, Dr. David Rock discovered that we have five overarching motivational drivers that – subconsciously – control our emotions and behaviour in a social context: Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness and Fairness. As the social domain ‘Autonomy’ encompasses many elements, this domain is divided into two sub-domains: Independence and Personal Growth.
The 5 Overarching drivers according to Dr. David Rock:
- Autonomy (Independence)
- Autonomy (Personal growth)