Categories : Communication Management Recognition


Different needs motivate different people. Some of us are motivated by power, others by the need for achievement. Some want money while others want autonomy.

As a manager, it’s imperative that you know what motivates each of your employees, and then seek to provide that motivation!

99% of employees are motivated by one of the following seven needs:

  1. Esteem. This group of employees seeks recognition and praise. Provide them with ample feedback and they will be quite happy. Realize though that not everyone likes public praise, so be cognizant of the manner in which each employee may like to receive recognition.
  2. Power. This group obtains satisfaction from being able to influence and/or control others. They prefer to lead and persuade and are motivated by positions of power and leadership. This group does well being able to make decisions and direct projects.
  3. Autonomy. These employees want freedom and independence. They flourish when able to make their own choices, determine their own schedules, and working independently from others.
  4. Equity. This group likes to be treated fairly. Typically they will compare work hours, job duties, wages and privileges. This group is easily discouraged if they perceive inequities.
  5. Achievement. These employees are driven by the satisfaction of accomplishing tasks/projects successfully. They are self-motivated if the job is challenging enough and typically will produce consistent results in the proper environment.
  6. Safety and security. This group has an intense drive for job security, a steady income, health insurance, and a hazard-free environment. They like predictable work with little risk or uncertainty. Salary and fringe benefits are more important to this group than some others.
  7. Affiliation. This group enjoys people and finds the social aspects of the workplace rewarding.  Provide them with opportunities to work with others through teamwork projects, group meetings, etc.

Knowing what keeps each of your team members motivated is one of the basics to building a healthy team! Creating an environment that supports each person’s needs goes a long way to building a productive and effective team.

Satisfied and motivated employees breed success! Motivated employees have a tremendous impact on your customers’ experience as well as the bottom-line.

So take the time and ask each of your employees what motivates them . . . you might be surprised at the feedback!


David Saxby is president of Measure-X, a Phoenix, Ariz.-based measurement, training and recognition company that specializes in customer service and sales skills training for utilities. He can be reached at 888-644-5499 or via e-mail at Visit the Measure-X Web site at