Top 10 motivators – what 30 years of experience thaught us

With an international heritage that goes back to 1989, we have interviewed thousands and thousands of Sales, Marketing and Digital professionals.

Top 10 motivators – what 30 years of experience thaught us.

With an international heritage that goes back to 1989, we have interviewed thousands and thousands of Sales, Marketing and Digital professionals. Every one of them had their own drivers, needs and ambitions. For us, it has always been crucial to assess what’s motivating these candidates in order to define their Reason for Joining and Reason for Staying in a new environment.
“By asking the right questions and going in to depth, you will discover what motivates the candidate, but also reveal what the candidate really needs when joining your organization.”
This will lay a solid ground for you to determine whether the candidate matches your organization and the challenges you are facing, but also makes you able to asses if you can offer what a candidate needs to connect with you on a longer term.

Find below a top 10 of motivators we have defined, including some example questions to asks while interviewing.

1. Recognition & respect is the most powerful motivator across generations. The power of positive feedback and trust plays a mayor role here and so do related promotions and other incentives.

You may assume recognition and respect is important for everyone, however, the why and how differs per person. Ask how important recognition is and how someone would like to be valorized and recognized in their job. Dare to asks what happens if they don’t experience recognition or respect. Keep asking why at all times.

2. Role & tasks: what employees do every day and the impact they have has shown to be the key driver for positive energy. Discovering the strengths of your candidate is crucial and so is creating an environment for them to excel.

While interviewing a candidate, you can indirectly recognize their strengths by using the simple memo technic word SING as a tool.

S = Success = When you do it, you feel effective and successful
I = Instinct = Before you do it, you actively look forward to it
N = Need = While you are doing it, you feel inquisitive and focused
G = Grown = After you’ve done it, you feel fulfilled and authentic.

Of course, you can also use direct open questions to discover ones strengths. What sort of every days things do you enjoy doing, and why? What skills or competences make you excel? What does excelling require from you as a person?

3. Challenging work: to set a point on the horizon, share an ambition or define strong targets remains to be motivating. Sales professionals show a strong eagerness for challenging goals, but so do more and more Marketing professionals. Ambitious targets, new responsibilities, new tasks, new projects: find out what makes individuals trill.

When do you perceive your job or task as positively challenging? Would you perceive yourself as result oriented? Why? Do you celebrate results? What happens if your results are stable?

4. My colleagues: motivation is driven by environment and the direct peers someone is working with. Especially Generation Y and Millennials search for good relationships and inspiration in the people they are collaborating with on a daily basis.

What kind of people you like working with and why? What people you dislike working with, and what happens if you have to? How would you describe the most ideal company culture to work in? How would a culture like that influence you and your work? Why?

5. Possibility to grow: next to the role and tasks at hand and the opportunities for an employee to excel their strengths, the possibility to further develop and grow in their career is important. We see the level of ambition to be higher and higher over time. Newer generations dare more, and so should their employers.

Where do you want to end up? What’s your ideal next position? What does that require from you in terms of learnings? How would you like to obtain those learnings? What does that require from your team? From your manager? From your company?

6. Autonomy at work: there is a big tendency going on where employees want more autonomy. The need for freedom, flexibility and entrepreneurship within a corporate environment is growing. In line with the need for challenging work and working with ambitious targets, more and more candidates we speak to express their will to define the process towards reaching these goals by them selves. This is mostly related to the potential impact on their learning curve. The 4 T’s of autonomy:

a. Task : What may I do?
b. Time : When may I do it?
c. Technique: How may I do it?
d. Team: with whom may I do it?

How do you see your most ideal role within an organization? Would you consider yourself as entrepreneurial, and why? What kind of autonomy do you want to have in your job? Why do you find these types of autonomy important? What happens if you experience less freedom?

7. Balance private / professional life: flexibility plays a major role here, the standard 5x8h workweeks really do seem to be over. Employees manage their time more efficient and require their employers to support them.

Can you tell me more about your family? Partner, role, kids, age? Dare to ask if someone has spoken to their partner about their next career moves, this is valuable information and of great impact for the decision making process of your candidate. Discover more about ones passions and activities outside work to. This lays ground for a good personal click.

8. Bonuses, incentive, money: to be primarily motivated and energized, employees may not worry about money matters: earning enough money to live, to pay rent, to eat is a hygiene factor, but experiencing the salary and related bonus to be satisfying related to the input an employee is giving grows in importance.

Make sure you gather this information at the start, in order to prevent it to become an obstacle at the end of the procedure. When asking about a salary package check what element is fixed, variable and bonus. Ask about secondary incentives too and make sure to know what expectations someone has regarding a move. Manage directly when needed.

9. My Boss: related to the importance of experiencing a positive relation with the peers an employee is working with on a daily basis, remains the relationship with their direct line manager to be of great importance. The tendency of the relation (guiding, supportive, directive or inspiring) differs across sectors, functions and generations. The need for a strong hierarchical boss is however fading.

What do you expect from your manager? Ask for examples. What does this mean for the type of manager you prefer to work with? What does this mean for the way you prefer to be managed? What would you like to learn from your manager?

10. Work security: not having to worry about their job, tasks or responsibilities remains to be a hygiene factor for employee’s motivation. The contract between employer and employee plays a major role but so does trust and honesty.

Have you experienced hiring mistakes due to a mis evaluation of the motivators and demotivators? Do you perceive the process of finding motivators and demotivators as challenging? Or are you curious to learn more about our experiences using this methodology?

Let’s connect!