disengaged, unmotivatedIn previous blog articles we have discussed the positive or engaged traits of the 4-Drive Model. When employees are motivated and engaged in the work they do the 4-Drive Model can help provide a framework for what behavior is occurring in the workplace.  This is important as sometimes when discussing motivation it can be hard to put language around what is happening, the 4-Drive Model is one way to create a common language and understanding of motivational drives in the workplace.

So what happens when employees are disengaged? What are the characteristics within the 4-Drive Model that are on display?

Let’s take a look at some of the characteristics of the 4-Drives when they are not engaged and how they might show up at work. You may recognize many of these in your organization.

The Drive to Acquire & Achieve:

  • Employee has a feeling of: envy, addiction, or burn-out
  • Lack of recognition for efforts and reaching goals
  • Not feeling effort is being fairly rewarded

The Drive to Bond & Belong:

  • Employee has a feeling of being: ostracized, excluded, alone, or without help/support
  • Break down in team communication channels
  • Survive and thrive behavior – it is either me or them

The Drive to Comprehend & Challenge:

  • Employee has a feeling of: analysis paralysis, I need to know more, lack of opportunity to learn, bored
  • Work assignments become routine and there is no room for creativity or innovation
  • Skill development is not in alignment with career goals and aspirations

The Drive to Define & Defend:

  • Employee has a feeling of: group think, conflict, neglect
  • Inability to share or voice your opinion
  • Surrender is the first instinct if confronted or challenged

The traits and behaviors above are an illustration of some of the behaviors that show up when employees are not engaged in the work that they are doing. They provide an identifier and language so conversations can start to occur on how to move forward from not engaged to engagement.

Awareness of disengaged employees and how to describe their behavior is the first step to increasing employee motivation.


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