Share this post with other Thoughtful Leaders!

Types of Motivation - Main

Part of the work I do with both individual leaders and teams involves the PRINT motivational assessment. This assessment measures the different types of motivation that are present within an individual.

Knowing this information is helpful for leaders because it helps them create a work environment which is more likely to satisfy their team members’ motivations. It also helps people within the team understand more about what makes each person “tick”.

In this article, I’m going to take a look at some high level groupings of the types of motivation that might be present in your team, based on what I’ve learned from running the PRINT assessment.

Why You Should Understand the Types of Motivation In Your Team

You don’t necessarily need to use the PRINT assessment to understand your team. However, it can be very helpful to pinpoint the different types of motivation at play.

In the PRINT assessment there are nine different motivators, but in this article I’m going to group them into four categories for simplicity.

So why does this even matter?

Well, being able to spot the different types of motivation will help you:

  • Delegate work that is more likely to be stimulating for your people
  • Work with your people in ways that are more likely to satisfy them
  • Avoid putting team members in situations where they’ll struggle; and
  • Build empathy, by better understanding where your people are coming from.

Some good reasons, right?

Now, let’s look at the different types of motivation and see how to use them.

Learn More:  How to Delegate Work to Improve Your Team.

Types of Motivation to Look For In Your Team

Before we get started, it’s important to note that people may fall into several of these motivational groupings.

Keep an eye out and observe which types of motivation you see in your team!

1. People-Focused

People who are motivated by supporting people and helping people work effectively together are in this category.

You can often spot these people because they are drawn to guiding, supporting and mentoring their team mates or more junior colleagues. You might also find them attracted to facilitating groups of people to help them work better together.

Supportive ManagerThese are often very helpful people who take pleasure in seeing others succeed, and tend to create a supportive, constructive work environment.

To Bring Out The Best In These People…

Try to give these team members opportunities to support and help others, pass on their knowledge and to find ways to help the team work better together.

Watch Out For the Following Traps…

You might find that “people-focused” people put everyone else’s needs above their own. This can lead to burnout and resentment if it isn’t kept in check. They might even be too helpful, which can frustrate others.

You may also find that these people sometimes avoid conflict, even when it could result in a better outcome for the team.

Learn More:  3 Helpful Leadership Actions That Are Hurting Your Team.

Learn More:  Is Your Team Too Helpful? It Could Be Doing More Harm Than Good.

2. Goal-Focused

People with this type of motivation enjoy hitting targets, achieving goals and are normally quite driven individuals.

You can spot them because they can be competitive and often find great pleasure in setting goals and achieving them. They often have aspirations and clear career goals which they strive for.

Focus on the goalThese people are extremely good for team performance because they tend to set the pace and keep moving, even in the face of setbacks.

To Bring Out The Best In These People…

Set challenging targets for them. Put them in positions where they can motivate others to achieve a team goal and to navigate obstacles or be a “Mr or Mrs Fixit” in times of trouble.

Watch Out For the Following Traps…

People with this type of motivation can fall into the trap of focusing so much on the goal, that they forget about everything else. This can lead to burnout, or a lack of consideration for others.

You might find these people “steam-rolling” others in their weaker moments, which can cause conflict and frustration in a team.

Learn More:  Thoughtful Leader Podcast #86: Want to Improve Team Performance? Set Good Deadlines.

3. Fun and Creative

People in this group tend to love doing lots of different things that involve creativity and fun.

They can be a blessing for a team, because they bring originality and light-heartedness that can make a team environment much more enjoyable.

You can spot them because they lighten the mood, enjoy juggling lots of different tasks and like to put their own unique personal stamp on the work of the team.

Fun at work - types of motivation

To Bring Out The Best In These People…

Give them variety, rather than mundane repetitive tasks. Try not to be too serious, and let them lighten the mood.

It’s also best to provide them with autonomy to use their own creative flair and don’t bog them down with too much information.

Watch Out For the Following Traps…

Sometimes, people with this type of motivation can become too stretched, trying to juggle too many different things at once. They may also be a little too unconventional or upbeat for the situation, and may be too optimistic or positive.

Learn More:  Thoughtful Leader Podcast #140: Are You Being Too Optimistic?

4. Do Things Right

People in this final category of motivation tend to like to do things right. They like the work done properly, love to improve things, deeply understand their domain and enjoy being prepared.

Doing things right might mean being diligent, thorough and precise, but it can also mean making sure that things are done fairly.

You can spot these people because they like to understand their domain thoroughly, improve processes and systems and like to plan before they execute.

Focus on quality - types of motivation

To Bring Out The Best In These People…

Have them do work where the quality matters, and they can make improvements to help the team. Give them time to prepare and understand the work before getting started.

Watch Out For the Following Traps…

People in this category can sometimes get stuck in the detail, focusing too much on quality, which might cause them to spin their wheels and miss deadlines.

You might find them extremely frustrated in a work environment which is fast-paced, where they have no time to prepare or do their own analysis.

Learn More:  How a Chaotic Work Environment Is Hurting Your Team.

Use These Types of Motivation With Caution – People Are Flexible.

Hopefully you find this short guide useful, so you can spot the different types of motivation influencing your team.

However, you should use these categories with caution.

It’s important to keep in mind that people are flexible. Just because their natural motivations lie in a particular area, does not mean they can’t take on different types of work or handle different situations.

Just because you have a people-focused person, doesn’t mean they don’t want to be promoted. However, they’re more likely to be motivated directly by the people-focused aspects of their role.

And just because someone loves hitting targets, doesn’t mean they don’t care about the people. In fact, they might realise that supporting their people is a great way to make sure they hit their targets!

Ultimately, the best way to understand your people is to speak to them about what matters to them. Yes, your own observations are useful, but your best insights will come from speaking to the source.

Take the time to understand your team, and you’ll be able to craft an environment that suits them.

You’ll experience less conflict, better performance and hopefully find your people enjoying the time they spend in your team.

Can you spot these types of motivation your team? What can you do to help your people excel? Let me and all the thoughtful leaders know in the comments below!

Share this post with other Thoughtful Leaders!