Drivers – Work Values and Motivations

Motivation is one of the most researched topics in the field of Organisational Psychology (Robbins & Judge, 2019). Motivation is the psychological force that starts, maintains, or stops behaviour in individuals. Consequently, it is what keeps organisations going. Motivation is not simply about working hard. We recognise that people can be motivated by different aspects of the work-life environment. It is the job of the leaders in an organisation to motivate their staff. Knowing how to motivate your employees can help ensure they put in their best effort each day and help the organisation meets its goals.

Research into motivation increasingly focusses on methods that associate workplace interventions with motivational concepts.

Drivers is Podium’s measure of personal work values, drivers, and motivations. It considers the aspects of the work-life space that are more likely to motivate individuals. It focuses on the eight areas of organisational culture and work motivation identified by Edgar Schein (1985), in addition to financial compensation. These work drivers are described in the following chart.

Drivers provides information about the aspects of work that are likely to motivate or demotivate employees at work. The reports generated from the assessment identify employees’ top drivers and provide self-reflection questions to help managers or coaches explore work drivers and the types of environments, teams, roles, or incentives that are most likely to motivate employees.

Drivers can be used to help improve engagement, job satisfaction, and performance. This can be facilitated by considering the motivational characteristics of the environment or role in relation to employees’ drivers. Once this is understood, changes to the role or environment can be considered to align more closely to their drivers. It can also be used to support employees’ career decisions if they are looking for a change.

Optimising Engagement, Job Satisfaction and Performance

Research into motivation increasingly focusses on methods that associate workplace interventions with motivational concepts. Hackman and Oldham (1976) were some of the first researchers to recognise that jobs could be redesigned to fit individuals’ needs through their Job Characteristic Model. Rather than tell a participant “these are your values and here is how you can make them better so they are aligned with the company’s values”, Podium’s reports offer self-reflection questions and suggestions to redesign organisational strategies, roles or incentives to better motivate employees.

For example, you may consider the following structural or job redesign suggestions for each of the work drivers.


The freedom and discretion to schedule one’s work and how the work is carried out.

  • Explore job enrichment activities with your participant. Such activities can increase the degree to which employees feel in control over the planning, execution, and delivery of their work.
  • Discuss areas of your participant’s job or even dedicated projects where they can have a sense of ownership.
  • Consider areas where you can provide your participant with the freedom to choose how they carry out their work.


The need for stimulation, challenge and variety in one’s work.

  • Explore job rotation programs with your participant. Such programs allow employees to periodically shift focus onto different tasks and duties.
  • Discuss the possibility of cross-training your participant so that they are able to take on other tasks and support other parts of the business.
  • Job rotation and cross-training can help break boring routines and help employees better understand other functions within the organisation and how they contribute to the work of the organisation.
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The freedom to seek opportunities, take risks and push boundaries.

  • Discuss providing employees with networking opportunities such as attending trade shows or conferences with clear objectives for business growth and development.
  • Consider involving employees in product focus groups, brain-storming sessions, or, even, providing them with the opportunity to directly contribute or lead the development of a product or service.
  • Review your organisation’s core values, mission statement, and recognition programs to ensure they address healthy risk-taking attitudes and promote a preparedness to try the unknown.


The need for stability, continuity and job security.

  • Increase the frequency of regular check-ins which provide employees with an opportunity to be heard and where they can express their concerns and state their needs.
  • The need for security can be heightened during times of uncertainty. Review your organisation’s communication to address employees’ sense of security.
  • Confidence in the organisation can be built by sharing good-news stories, company successes and plans of action with clear milestones for overcoming turbulent times.


The need to use one’s talents to help others and make a difference.

  • Make sure your organisation has clearly stated values that all levels of management believe in and work towards.
  • Employees’ performance can be affected by knowing what to do and what not to do. Ensure your organisation has clear ethical guidelines to help reduce employee dissatisfaction.
  • If your organisation’s values are not aligned with your employees’ values then emphasise the positive impacts of your organisation and explore ways they can affirm their values while supporting your organisation’s values.
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The need for power and control over others ‘to give directions and instructions to others’.

  • If your employees are not in a leadership position then explore concepts of participative management, where employees can share decision-making powers with their immediate superiors.
  • Consider involving employees in decision-making committees.
  • Explore enrolling employees in leadership development programs.

Work-Life Balance

The need to seek fulfilment in one’s personal activities outside of work.

  • Examine the possibility of providing flexible working hours for your employees.
  • Explore the options for remote working where your employees could either work partially or fully from home.
  • Explore job-sharing arrangements where your employees can reduce their hours by sharing their duties with someone else.
  • Discuss your employees’ personal goals and how some of them could be achieved through their work. For example, if they value travel and are interested in other cultures, then perhaps an overseas placement or training may help them achieve some of their personal goals.

Technical Achievement

The need to obtain a feeling of technical accomplishment and work to the best of one’s technical abilities.

  • Recognise and reward employees’ skills and skill development.
  • Explore further technical or skills training to support your employees’ professional development.
  • Seek and utilise employees’ expertise in their field.
  • Consider employee recognition programs that highlight technical achievements.


The need to be well-paid compared to others and have significant financial rewards.

  • Consider different pay programs such as variable pay, bonuses, or other financial incentives programs where pay is tied to individual, group or organisational performance and can be catered to each employee.
  • Review industry salary information to see where your organisation stands and what you could offer based on your employees’ skills and contributions.
  • While money may be important to some employees, it is not strongly linked to job satisfaction and its effects can be short-term, which is why it is important to explore other drivers in addition to financial incentives to improve employees’ engagement, job satisfaction and performance.

It is unlikely that any job role will perfectly match a person’s drivers and motivating factors, but engagement, satisfaction, and performance can be maximised by seeking the greatest correspondence possible. While developmental changes may be required, these can be implemented incrementally, where step changes are not possible for pragmatic reasons.


Richard, H. J., & Oldham, G. (1976). Motivation through the design of work: Test of a theory. Organizational behavior and human performance, 16(2), 250-279.

Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. A. (2019). Organizational behavior. Harlow, England: Pearson.

Schein, E. H. (1985). Career anchors. San Diego: University Associates.