The Four Drive Model | Behavior Matters!

Tag: The Four Drive Model Page 1 of 2

Implications of 4-Drive Research: Guest Blog by Kristen Swadley

Guest blog by Kristen Swadley

Four Drive Theory of Employee Motivation

According to the Four-Drive Model the drives to acquire, bond, comprehend, and defend motivate every human being and should all be addressed in the workplace. However, it is critical for managers and leaders to recognize that employees are motivated by the four drives at differing levels. My recent study, which is discussed in the post “New Research on The Four-Drive Theory of Employee Motivation”, revealed that a person’s demographic background effects which of the drives he or she values the most.

This information could have three potentially significant effects on the way managers implement the Four-Drive Model of motivation.

First, managers can use the results from the study to fine-tune motivation techniques in order to best fit the strongest drives of each employee. Workers should be tested to determine which of the drives is most motivating on down to which provides the least motivation. This will allow managers to not only implement all four drives, but to build custom motivation plans based on what drives the employee the most.

Second, managers can find ways to fulfill each of the drives in order to increase motivation. For example, employees who had sought higher education valued the drive to comprehend more than those who had not obtained a college degree. Managers can make note of employees with higher educational levels and ensure that they are given ample opportunity to express ideas, problem-solve, and engage in challenging and meaningful work. Those with a strong drive to acquire should be given recognition and opportunity for advancement. Employees with a strong drive to bond need opportunities to work in teams and collaborate with coworkers, while those with a strong drive to defend need to see fairness and just processes in the workplace. Research has shown that increasing fulfillment in all four drives leads to much higher motivation in the workplace, but if that is focused specifically to what drives the employee the most without disregarding the other three drives, I believe this would have additional positive impacts on motivation.

Finally, managers should have some way to assess employees in relation to how they perceive that each drive is being fulfilled and they are being given enough opportunities to excel in those areas that most strongly motivate them to go the extra mile. Whether through employee questionnaires or informal meetings, it is a critical step to get feedback from employees so that any necessary changes can be made to further increase motivation in the workplace.

Feel free to comment with any questions or feedback.

Author info:

Ms. Swadley recently completed her thesis titled:  Managing Motivation in the Workplace: A Demographic Dissection of the Four Drive Theory.   She is currently at Missouri Southern State University.  This article is based on the research that she completed in her thesis. 

Repost: We are NOT rational beings so why do we try to make rational incentive programs?

Take the blndfolds offTake off our rational blindfolds…

Dan Airely, Richard Thaley, Cass Sunstein, Daniel Kahneman, Ran Kivitz, and many more psychology and behavioral economics  researchers have shown that while we like to think of ourselves as rational, thinking human beings who are out to optimize our well being, we aren’t.

In fact, we are very far from it.

Sharon Begley at Newsweek wrote this interesting blog “The Limits of Reason” in it, she states, “But as psychologists have been documenting since the 1960s, humans are really, really bad at reasoning. It’s not just that we follow our emotions so often, in contexts from voting to ethics. No, even when we intend to deploy the full force of our rational faculties, we are often as ineffectual as eunuchs at an orgy.”

We see this all the time.  I wrote about it in my earlier post from today “5 Lessons from the Maze.”  We tend to act and behave in very non-rational ways.  There are lots of irrational types of behavior and thinking and lots of theory’s about them (i.e., Loss Aversion, Status Quo Bias, Gambler’s Fallacy, Hedonistic Bias, Anchoring, Reciprocity, Inequity Aversion, etc…).

Here is what is interesting – we tend to still design our incentive programs and our motivational strategies based on believing that people act in a rational manner. We create programs that have 10 different ways to earn, with multipliers, qualifiers, and ratchet effects.  We create programs with multiple components and factors that we think will drive specific behaviors and elicit particular performance results.  We believe we know what people want and use only extrinsic rewards to drive our results.

Ouch!

Read More

A New Motivational Model Using the 4-Drives: Upcoming in 2011

Ok, this is a little bit of a teaser…we are in the process of doing a major overhaul of how we look at the 4-Drive Model.  We’ve talked about the need to update this model before (see here and here).  We are underway in getting that developed and should be launching it the first quarter of 2011.

Here is a sneak peak…the four main motivations as we’ve defined them are now renamed and constitute different elements:

1.  Personal Motivation- focus on the intrinsic motivators that we have and encompasses the Drive to Challenge & Comprehend

2. Reward Motivation- focus is on the extrinsic motivators that we have and encompasses the Drive to Acquire & Achieve

3. Social Motivation- focus is on the social drives that motivate us and includes the Drive to Bond & Belong

4. Passion Motivation (this name is still being hotly debated – but for now its what we are running with)… – focus is on the motivational element of purpose and passion – including defending one’s honor and tribe

Read More

Rethinking the 4-Drive Model of Employee Motivation

I have been touting the 4-Drive Model of Employee Motivation since I first read the 2008 Harvard Business Review article “Employee Motivation: A Powerful New Model” by  Nohria, , Groysberg, and Lee.   It is a powerful theory on human motivation in general, and in particular, employee motivation.  First presented in the 2002 book, “Driven: How Human Nature Shapes Our Choices” by Lawrence and Nohria, the model outlines four main drives of motivation.

At the Lantern Group, we’ve been working with this model for almost three years now.  We’ve posted on it several times in this blog (see 4-Drive Model here, Impact on Leaders here, and other info here, here, here, here and here for just a few examples).

It’s  good – but not perfect.

Right away we realized that it needed to be tweaked.

Read More

Teams – Part of the Motivation Equation

Team building

Team Building Fun!

We know teams

We do a lot of work helping improve how teams operate.  Some of it is straight old fun team building – you know the type where you go off-site for a day and do different types of games and activities (note – some people love these types of programs and others detest them with a passion).   Other programs we do are much more intense and involve really working on specific team issues and developing action plans for greater collaboration, communication, or productivity.

We’ve worked with big teams.  We’ve worked with small teams.  We’ve done programs for executives and for line-workers.  We’ve worked with teams that are working well and just want to get to that next level and teams that really are on their last leg and need immediate urgent care or they will implode.

We have done one hour fun sessions.  We’ve created on-going programs that last months and require intensive work by the participants.

Regardless of the type of team development we are doing – it is also part of building a more motivational organization.

Read More

Passion or Lunancy – You Decide?

I was in South Dakota last week on a family vacation.  First off, I forget how beautiful South Dakota is and all that it has to offer.  Secondly, there are some really, really humongous carvings there…

Mount Rushmore

The original idea for Mount Rushmore is credited to South Dakota historian Doane Robinson who thought that it would increase tourism (he was a pretty insightful man).  His idea was to carve local famous people into some of the granite mountains of the Black Hills.  In 1924, after working on Stone Mountain, GA, sculptor Gutzon Borglum was brought in to carve the mountain.

Mt. Rushmore

Borglum expanded on the original idea and wanted it to be a National monument that focused on our presidents.  He insisted that his life’s work would not be spent immortalizing regional heroes but insisted that the work demanded a subject national in nature and timeless in its relevance to history.

Borglum started work on Mt. Rushmore in 1927 at the age of 60.  He worked the rest of his life on the mountain.

Read More

Why I Hate Training Wheels

Riding a bike

My 4-year old son just got his bike a few weeks ago.  He is in heaven.  Ask him what his favorite thing in the world to do is, and he will tell you, “Ride my bike!”  He wants to ride it everywhere…which is fantastic. He is definitely motivated!

I have one problem…he won’t ride it without training wheels.

We tried.  The first four days I was out with him every day, running up and down the sidewalk, holding on to the bike as he peddled.  But he was too scared.  He would stop peddling anytime the bike tilted.  He would always look back to make sure I was there (which caused him to turn the wheel and tilt the bike to one side and then stop peddling).  He would stop and say he wanted to go slower.

And the problem was he was actually doing a good job riding on his own.  He was able to go a fair way with me just running beside him and not supporting the bike.  I would let go and he would be riding just fine.

Read More

More on the Drive to Challenge & Comprehend

Why we do the things we do

I was reading an the transcribed copy from a conversation between Ira Flatow and Dr. Paul Bloom on the NPR show Science Friday.  This show was titled, “Why we like the things we like” and I think it highlights some very interesting insights that we could all learn from.

The following excerpt is a great example of the Drive to Challenge and Comprehend.

FLATOW: Well, you led into a topic I wanted to ask you about, and that is the pleasure of just learning about things. It’s – you know, just knowing more. I mean, I find that extremely pleasurable, and I’m sure a lot of our listeners do, or else they wouldn’t be tuned to this program.

Read More

3 Tips to Increase the Drive to Challenge & Comprehend

Challenge The 4-Drive Model of Employee Motivation’s 3rd drive is the Drive to Challenge and Comprehend.   The drive focuses on our innate desire to learn more about the world around us and to not be bored.

I like to call this the “4-year old drive.”

If you’ve ever tried to get a 4-year old dressed quickly, you know what I mean – they want to do it themselves.  It is the challenge of being able to button their shirt or put on their own shoes that they are striving for.  Or think about a 4-year old sitting at dinner with a group of adults who are talking (i.e., boring) and think of the trouble that they get themselves into trying to add some excitement (or learn something new).  For instance, my 4-year old was bored and decided to see what meatballs in a glass of milk would taste like…you see what I mean.

So here are three tips to help increase the C drive:

Read More

Unmotivated and staying that way

Are there certain people who just can’t be motivated?  Are there Wally’s who render the motivation fairy powerless?  While I would like to believe that isn’t the case, I have to wonder…

Motivation is Personal

One of the core beliefs that I have is that motivation is very personal.  People are individuals with different motivational triggers and drives.  While there are basic underlying motivational drives (see 4-Drive Model), those drives impact each of us differently and create a unique motivational profile.

This implies that if one can understand that motivational profile of a person, one should be able to understand what to do to motivate them…right?

That is the implication…however I believe reality is a little different.

Read More

Page 1 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén