What is Your Motivation to Work After a Company Layoff?

Beware

You could feel the time was coming, closed office doors, secret management meetings, evasive answers to your questions, and efficiency consultants creating report after report about your department.  The layoff announcement was like a bomb silencing even the most prepared employee.  Next, your coworker arrives with empty boxes in hand determined to hold their head up high and not make eye contact with anyone for fear of breaking down and showing weakness.  Packing up a career into a cardboard box can feel like your contributions have been insignificant and meaningless.  

So where do you go from here now that your team has been dismantled, budgets are tighter than ever, and you are shell-shocked, in a holding pattern, waiting for the next round of layoffs that might include you.

It is time to dig deep, to go inside and find out what motivates you.  The Four-Drive Model of Employee Motivation can be your starting point for this discovery.  This mini exercise will help flush out what currently motivates you to work. Based on your answers you will see a glimpse of what is currently motivating you to get up and out of bed and go to work after surviving a layoff. 

Mini Exercise #1
Instructions: Read the following questions below and answer them honestly. Write down the appropriate response or print off the article and circle the appropriate response Yes or No

The Drive to Acquire:

  • Are you motivated to work to earn money in order to provide the basis necessities for you/you and your family?  Yes or No
  • Are you motivated to work to climb the corporate ladder and finally land the promotion and the corner office?  Yes or No

 The Drive Bond:

  • Are you motivated to work because friendship and camaraderie provides a feeling of belonging?  Yes or No
  • Are you motivated to work because working in a team environment brings out the best in your abilities?         Yes or No

 The Drive Comprehend/Challenge:

  • Are you motivated to work because you enjoy learning new skills and a good challenge?  Yes or No
  • Are you motivated to work because you love to contribute to the larger society through your work?  Yes or No

 The Drive to Defend:

  • Are you motivated to work because you believe strongly in the work your company is doing?  Yes or No
  • Are you motivated to work because you enjoy the benefits of being part of your company and you will continue to work there through good times and bad?  Yes or No

So how does knowing this help you? A layoff can be a very paralyzing and numbing experience.  Taking the time to find out what is motivating you, can help you realize what your current motives are and what actions you are taking to fulfill your drives.  By asking the questions and reflecting you may start to free yourself from helplessness and move toward empowerment.

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1 Comment

  1. knelson4

    Susan,

    Great stuff. I really like the power of the first two paragraphs!

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