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What motivates you?

Ruth Ollis is a Senior Programme Manager at Impact UK.

We all come to work in the morning, but have you ever considered what motivates you to enjoy being here 9-5? Money? Of course…but subconsciously there are several other defining factors, hidden beneath our psyche, which ultimately drive both us, and our motivation throughout the day. Just as we can group individuals into extrovert or introvert personalities, theoretical or practical learners, we can divide ourselves in groups based on these quirky hidden drivers.

So what’s your motivator?

If you find yourself loving the social buzz of your work environment, the banter, the gossip, or having people to discuss the topic of the day with, then your subconscious motivation will be dropping you into the group of SOCIABLE workers. You definitely enjoy participating in out of hours social activities, and could never be happy working in an environment that lacks sociable interaction. You genuinely thrive on a variety of work and the different personalities you get a chance to mix with each day.

By way of contrast, there are the TO DO workers, who get their subconscious stimulation directly from creating detailed lists of tasks, and enjoy working methodically through these. The satisfaction of detailed achievement by completion is all they need to stay motivated throughout the day. They may view the chitchat and cacophony of the sociable workers distracting, and probably prefer work related deadlines, to jokey punch lines, to help get the job done.
Of course not everyone is motivated by either of these two factors. If these do not describe you to a tee, there is always a choice of two other motivational groups waiting for your consideration…

TARGET workers thrive from reaching identifiable and measurable targets, people with this subconscious motivation usually enjoy sales or finance roles. Reaching sales targets, achieving cost savings or increasing turnover is their thing. If it can be measured, and needs achieving - then it’s what drives target workers. They like working to their full potential, flying through the day, unaware of the SOCIABLE workers and not understanding the fastidiousness of the TO DO clan.

Finally, but no less important, there is the CONSCIENTIOUS worker, taking their motivation from the benefits their work brings to others, they appreciate being part of the bigger picture and thrive on creating a positive change for people. Empathic and emotionally intelligent their true subconscious motivation comes from their work output making a genuine difference to the knowledge, lives or abilities of others.

Needless to say we are all likely to have a small part of each of these types within us, but by addressing our main motivator for being at work, and realising what really makes us tick, we can make well informed career choices, realise our strengths and improve teamwork within our current roles.

Do you recognise yourself in any of these types? What motivates you at work? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment box below.