6 Employee Motivators That Drive Employee Engagement

Recruiting employees with the right skills is hard enough. But hiring job applicants without understanding their fit into your company culture is a recipe for poor employee motivation and low employee engagement. 

To assess good company culture – employee fit, management and HR first must be able to identify and quantify the motivators that drive customer and employee behavior and then figure out what rewards and benefits they can provide that push the right buttons. Employee selection therefore must include a process to assess candidate values to confirm he or she will be engaged and motivated by the work environment, the job itself, the rewards, and the benefits. (Keep reading to learn how to receive a FREE copy of the book Understanding Business Values and Motivators.)

One motivation model that helps companies create a blueprint for employee motivators and business values is based on the work of Eduard Spranger. His research identified six core values that drive employee behaviors and therefore employee engagement and productivity.

What are the 6 Values and Motivators that impact recruitment and retention?

Conceptual Value

Organizations that promote continuous learning, research, subject matter expertise, and problem solving attract employees who share the conceptual value.   Individuals in these cultures are self-motivated by the discovery of truth, often through education and training.  They are generally curious and inquisitive, with an insatiable thirst for knowledge.  Objectivity reigns and problems are solved based on facts, not hunches or gut instinct.  A theme for the Conceptual organization might be “knowledge is power.”

Aesthetic Value

Form, harmony and beauty pervade cultures that value aesthetics.  Individuals most comfortable in these cultures tend to be inner-directed and self-actualizing, searching for the link between their job and a greater purpose.  Cultures that encourage self-expression and individualism are easily identifiable with the Aesthetic value.  Aesthetic cultures are most often shared by employees in businesses that value the arts, design, creative marketing, and environment.  “Be yourself” might be theme for the Aesthetic culture.

Economic Value

Talk about the bottom line dominates the Economic –driven culture.  Return on investment drives all decisions and discussions. Individuals who thrive in the Economic culture value efficiency and resourcefulness.  Everything and everyone is measured by time, money, and effort.   Top performing sales organizations are driven by the Economic Value.  “Money is power” or “Waste not, want not” could be the slogan for the Economic Value.

Social Value

When management talks about creating a “family-like” culture, they are referring to the Social value.  The Social culture promotes harmony, collaboration, team-work and community involvement.   The Social-driven culture is most often associated with Best Places to Work companies and is often the driving force behind community activism. Nearly every mission and values statements of Social driven organizations includes words such as work-life balance, family values, and quality of life.   A Social culture theme might be “one for all, all for one” or “it’s better to give than receive.”

Power & Authority Value

“Winning is everything “sums up the Power & Authority culture.  Organizations that encourage intense competition, power rankings, and dangle corner offices as rewards epitomize the Power & Authority driven culture.   GE under Jack Welch prototyped the Power & Authority culture, when the top 20% were celebrated and the bottom 10% “retired.”  Individuals in these cultures want to be control of their own destiny beyond anything else.  When these energies can be channeled toward a common purpose, winning teams results. When individuals turn rogue, the cultures can become cut-throat and dysfunctional.  “Second place is the first place for losers” dominates Power & Authority thinking.

Doctrine Value

The Doctrine-driven culture epitomizes an organization that walks and talks a particular viewpoint.  It is most often associated with faith based organizations. But other cultures like the military, police and political parties also attract individuals who are willing to fight – and sometimes die – for a particular cause.  Doctrine-driven cultures exude passion but are the most likely to struggle with change, adaptation, and diversity.  The Doctrine value drives much of the rhetoric during  political campaigns when the extreme views of one party claims that the election of one party over the other guarantees the entire country will be pushed to the brink of collapse and ruin.

Assessing what employees value and what in turn what motivates employees is easy. 

  • The Business Values and Motivators assessment is only 12-questions.
  • It can be completed online.
  • The assessment takes only 10 to 15 minutes to complete.  
  • A team or company map can then be compiled that displays the distribution of managers and employees. 

What will you learn from Business Values and Motivators?

Patterns often expose similarities between participants as well as values that are less important.  These patterns might expose opportunities to leverage or threats to strategy execution.



Want to learn more about each of the 6 values and how they impact employee motivation, employee engagement, and subsequently productivity and employee turnover?

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