catalyst challenge, day 11 – workplace identity and motivators

Monday, February 21, 2022

Relaxing Music for the month: Awakening: Liquid Mind (12:11) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4558Ml1RuQ

Note: Please enjoy the relaxing music while completing the assessment!


This is the LAST WEEK of the Know Yourself Catalyst Challenge! Now that you’ve completed two weeks of activities, have you noticed a pattern/theme around your answers? I can tell you that completing these assessments not only explains how I can best contribute to my workplace, but to be aware of the limitations that might hinder me from accomplishing more. How could knowing both NOT be an asset to your potential work environments? And to your life? (Side note: It also explains why I’ve had to leave various positions over 32 years!)

On Thursday this week, you’ll be given the instructions and a template (in Microsoft Word) to complete your Character Resume, which is a more formal version of the Know Yourself worksheet (see at the end of this page). You will have completed ALL of the requirements for the Character Resume, other than making it look professional and/or presentable. Feel free to put your “personal” touches on your Resume, since it represent you in a positive light. Again, if you have any questions/thoughts about the Challenge, please feel free to contact me at whjohnso@uncg.edu. Have a great week!


Workplace Identity and Motivators: What Motivates Me in the Workplace

(From the book, “What Motivates Me: Put Your Passions to Work” by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton and the website, “The Motivators Assessment: Put Your Passions to Work” – https://internetatmajor.com/motivators/)

Imagine if you could understand what drives your work on a daily basis. When are you best engaged at work? The Workplace Identity and Motivators activity will help you identify the answer to that question. Research has found that meaningful work is work that provides a sense of fulfillment and empowerment, work that is energizing and satisfying, work that provides a great sense of joy and pride. When you are more fulfilled in your job, you produce higher quality work, you generate more output, generally earn higher income, and are generally happier in your life. On the flipside, those who are disengaged at work, or their work is out of alignment, are more likely to be depressed, anxious, and have damaged relationships in their personal lives. The Workplace Identity and Motivators activity consists of two parts:

  • Part A is a list of 23 Workplace Motivators. Read through the descriptions and choose FIVE (5) Workplace Motivators that describes the specific motivations when you’re at best when at work.
  • Part B is a list of 5 Workplace Identities. Read through the descriptions and choose ONE (1) Workplace Identity that best describes your workplace identity best. Since your Workplace Identity is connected to your Workplace Motivators, it’s helpful to see how many of your Motivators appear within one Identity.

There are no wrong or right answers in this self-assessment; this is just a list of what motivates you in the workplace. Know that your Motivators and Identity will most likely change over time as your work (and personal) life changes. What motivates you in your 20’s will most likely be different in your 50’s – but it’s important to know what drives your work. Visit “The Motivators Assessment: Put Your Passions to Work” – https://internetatmajor.com/motivators/ – for additional information.


Part A: Workplace Motivators (Choose and write down your Top FIVE (5) Workplace Motivators)

  • Autonomy: This motivator leads people to want to be their own boss (inside or outside a corporate setting) and have a degree of freedom in their work. Those for whom autonomy is high on the list tend to prefer working alone to working on a team; nine times out of ten they’d opt to work by themselves because they feel they just get more done that way. For the autonomous who work in corporation, red tape and rules can drive them crazy.
  • Challenge: This motivator leads people to thrive when tackling difficult issues and overcoming obstacles or roadblocks. When things get really hard, those motivated by challenge feel they’re at their best. They will usually keep going no matter what they face, and they revel taking on the perplexing, difficult, or even seemingly impossible.
  • Creativity: People driven to be creative want to be able to take time to explore, experiment, and discover new things. They enjoy facing the unknown and want to make things work in their own distinct way, not by following prescribed models.
  • Developing Others: This motivator leads people to enjoy bringing out the best in those around them and helping others reach their full potential. That may mean mentoring, coaching, managing, or just guiding those who are closest to them. Sometimes they challenge people with stretch goals, other times they offer constructive criticism.
  • Empathy: People for whom this is a strong motivator relish getting to understand others and seeing things from their perspective – all so they can help those people through their problems or offer them a level of comfort. The empathetic listen to others and get in tune with their emotions so they can relate on a deeper level. It’s highly rewarding when others tell the empathetic that they really “get” things.
  • Excelling: This motivator leads people to crave the feeling of successfully completing a task, especially when the bar is set high. They want to feel they’re doing the highest quality work and are meeting or exceeding expectations. They want to get things done on time and will do pretty much whatever it takes to do so; in fact, they probably can’t remember the last time they missed a deadline. They sometimes admit they feel guilty if they aren’t giving their all. They enjoy having ambitious goals and having a plan to reach them.
  • Excitement: Those strongly driven by this motivator want some sense of adventure and at least a little risk in their work. No one ever accused them of being boring or shirking opportunities to put themselves out there, and they get frustrated quickly by stale routines.
  • Family: People motivated by family want their loves ones to be proud of them and to know they’ll always be there for them. They to make family a high priority, which means balancing home and work time. Their greatest goal is to leave a legacy of love.
  • Friendship: Those strongly driven by the desire for quality friendships put great emphasis on developing close relationships both in their personal life and at work. Their network of connections is important to them, and they feel good knowing people rely on them to help out and keep confidences. Being trusted is highly rewarding, and it’s important for them to feel this is mutual and that they can trust their colleague.
  • Fun: This motivator leads people to seek to lighten things up at work and make others smile. They enjoy the humor of others, might share a wisecrack now and then, but almost always bring a sense of levity, lightheartedness, and optimism to the workplace. They tend to believe that we learn more and do more when we are enjoying those around us, and so they make an effort to set everyone at ease.
  • Impact: Those who are highly impact-driven want to know they are doing work that is important. They often feel a sense of destiny, that they are supposed to do something that will create positive change in the world, and they are usually willing to least out and can become frustrated if they don’t see the positive outcome of their efforts.
  • Learning: Those for whom this is a major driver thrive on trying new things and growing. For some, the pursuit of knowledge is its own goal, while for others the emphasis is on making themselves better at what they do. They understand they might appear a little nerdy at times, but the stimulation of making new discoveries and seeking out new information outweighs any hesitation to be seem as a bit egg-headed.
  • Money: For those strongly driven to earn a good deal of money, it’s too simple to say that they’re just materialistic or greedy. For these people, how much they earn is often a way to keep score with the world and a confirmation of their personal value and their contributions. For some, they see compensation as a source of validation, safety, and a responsibility to fulfill their potential; for others, money may be a source of freedom and empowerment.
  • Ownership: This motivator leads people to want to be the person in charge, not only having the ability to control their own destiny, but to also directly influence the behavior of others. It gives them great satisfaction when people ask for their buy-in, and they have little problem making a final decision. They also tend to feel a great sense of personal accountability – which means they own up to their mistakes as well as success.
  • Pressure: Those highly motivated by pressure tend to believe that stressful situations bring out the best in them; that they do some of their best work when deadlines are looming, or they are asked to multitask. Some might admit that they do require a push now and then from supervisors to get started – that kind of external pressure helps them focus and they get satisfaction from the adrenaline rush of having to put the pedal to the metal.
  • Prestige: Those for who prestige is important highly value the respect of those in their inner circle but also the larger community around them. Job titles are important, as is the type of office, vehicle, or other perks they have. Their reputation means a good deal, as well. They would usually prefer to work for an organization that is considered among the best rather than one that’s up-and-coming, and they don’t mind at all when people ask the common cocktail-party questions, “What do you do?” In fact, it can be more annoying if people don’t ask it.
  • Problem Solving: When this is a leading motivator, people tend to get a great deal of satisfaction from finding solutions, especially in a crisis, and from resolving conflicts. They also enjoy helping others to come up with ways to solve their own problems – not just listening and being supportive but digging in to come up with a realistic plan. They relish the mental exercise of looking at challenges from multiple angles; and trite as it may sound, they really do see problems as opportunities.
  • Purpose: Those driven strongly by purpose long to be part of something bigger than themselves; they like being an integral part of a group or organization they admire; and they want to get behind a cause they believe in. Not only do they long for deeper meaning in their work, but they also want to be aligned with a strong vision and mission, and to feel that they are significantly contributing to it.
  • Recognition: Those strongly motivated by receiving acknowledgement for their good work highly value the respect and admiration of those around them. Philosophically, they think it’s important that people’s efforts are cheered for, they tend to be strong believers in meritocracy, and they enjoy proving their value. These people think it’s important that others know about their victories, and the lack of such demonstrated appreciation seems to them a sign of disrespect, something that’s fundamentally unfair.
  • Service: Those driven to serve tend to believe it’s a moral obligation to help those around them. That means they put the spotlight on others’ needs, and helping others takes precedence over helping oneself. Don’t expect them to blow their own horn, and they often don’t respond very well to suggestions that they should focus more on their own goals, such as getting a promotion or winning an award. They take great satisfaction from being willing to sacrifice of themselves, giving their time and talents to others.
  • Social responsibility: Those driven by this motivator feel that it’s important to speak out on issues that are vital to the word, whether political, social, economic, or rights related. They are strongly guided by moral compass, and often an ethical or political school of thought. They tend to believe that it’s a person’s responsibility to influence others to understand important social problems, and they can be greatly satisfied when they can see that they’ve had an effect in moving the needle of that awareness.
  • Teamwork: Those who are especially driven by working in teams believe that we tend to do our best work when we pool our talents, and they enjoy being a central bonding agent and figuring out how people can complement one another. They typically enjoy the sense that they’re collaborating, and dislike it when anyone on a team tried to take too much credit or grab the spotlight. A key driver of their performance is that they don’t want to let their teammates down, and they tend to feel very strongly that it’s important to keep promises, respect others’ ideas, and be dependable.
  • Variety: For those highly motivated by variety, routines are deadly; in fact, they can drive them batty. They like to change responsibilities frequently to keep things interesting. Trying new work tasks, being given new assignments, or working on a cross-functional team can give them a terrific change.

Part B: Workplace Identities (Choose and write down ONE (1) Workplace Identity that describes you best)

Now, based on your FIVE Workplace Motivators, review the list of five Workplace Identities and choose ONE Workplace Identity that matches you best. After each Workplace Identity, you’ll noticed the Workplace Motivators associated with that particular Identity. If you notice that three, four, or five of your Workplace Motivators fall into one specific identity category, it’s a good chance that it would be your Workplace Identity.

Check out the list below for Workplace Identity descriptions.

Identity #1: The Achievers (Workplace Motivators: Challenge, Excelling, Ownership, Pressure, and Problem-Solving)

Chances are we all know our share of Achievers. These go-getters often do well under pressure, enjoy rising to the challenge, and love to solve problems. They are known for setting plenty of goals to strive for, and in the pursuit of a goal can appear hell-bent to not let anything get in their way. Achievers are valuable to any organizations, primarily because so many are “attainment-oriented,” which means they are motivated to finish tasks on time and to high standards. Achievers are usually action-oriented and determined, high-energy people who are disciplined and focused.

  • They love a good challenge
  • They are driven to excel.
  • They thrive under pressure.
  • Completing tasks is crucial to them.
  • They feel guilty if they aren’t giving it their all.
  • They are highly accountable.
  • They like to be in control.
  • They have a strong belief in their own talents.
  • They set ambitious goals for themselves.

Identity #2: The Builders (Workplace Motivators: Developing Others, Friendship, Purpose, Service, Social Responsibility, and Teamwork)

Builders tend to be ideal-oriented with a strong desire to be part of something bigger than themselves, to align with a greater purpose. They are often the glue that keeps a team working together and believe it’s important to serve others and develop those around them – which is why many in this identity make good leaders. Builders often tend to measure success not by their paychecks, but by the difference they are making on the word around them.

  • They want to help others grow.
  • They’ve long felt a sense of destiny to help others.
  • They want to be surrounded by a passionate team.
  • They believe everyone is a leader.
  • They are loyal friends.
  • Doing good is more important than making money.
  • They connect well with others – especially those with the same beliefs.

Identity #3: The Caregivers (Workplace Motivators: Empathy, Family, and Fun)

Caregivers are often people-people – those who prefer working with clients and bonding with teammates to working independently, those who think it’s important to be light-hearted and fun at work. They also tend to have rich lives outside of the office, spending plenty of time with family. This group of individuals can be great with customers but is also important in building team morale as Caregivers may enhance collaboration and appreciation among team members.

  • They are good at empathizing with those around them.
  • They are natural communicators and good listeners.
  • They are dependable.
  • They respect people no matter their level.
  • They try hard to balance work and home.
  • They are genuine.
  • They are positive and lighthearted.
  • They typically don’t want to be in charge.

Identity #4: The Reward-Driven (Workplace Motivators: Money, Prestige, and Recognition)

Whether it’s vying for money, marbles, gold starts, or simple bragging rights, those who are strongly Reward-Driven tend to be highly competitive and have been since childhood. Their determined natures can help them accomplish great things for their organizations. Some in this identify are most motivated by momentary rewards, while for some the prestige of their job is paramount, and still others want to be regularly recognized for their great work. We’re all driven to some extent by these types of extrinsic rewards; it’s just that for this type, they are much more important.

  • They are doers.
  • They like regular indications of recognition.
  • Their identities are strongly tied to their work success.
  • They believe they should get a piece of what they create.
  • They are good stewards of their time.
  • They do their best work when incentivized.
  • They believe in meritocracy.

Identity #5: The Thinkers (Workplace Motivators: Autonomy, Creativity, Excitement, Impact, Learning, and Variety)

Some people believe that being allowed to exercise their imagination at work is a key to their success. They tend to prefer autonomous work, want to be free to take risks, and like to follow their own interests now and then. These people are the Thinkers, those who tend to challenge the status quo, who crave opportunities to explore and discover and make a big impact, those who can grow bored and frustrated if their work becomes routine. As a group, Thinkers are resourceful and artistic, and are happiest when they are constantly putting new stuff out into the world. As such, they can be the lifeblood or innovation in an organization.

  • They dislike bureaucracy.
  • They want to know the “why.”
  • They value novelty and variety.
  • They like to see the impact of their innovations.
  • They think before they act.
  • They draw on a wide range of experiences.
  • They don’t like being told how to do their work.

After reviewing the information above, write down your FIVE (5) Workplace Motivators and ONE (1) Workplace Identities that fit you best. You don’t need to rank-order your list of Motivators, but you may want to include a short description that describes each of your Workplace Motivators and Workplace Identity.

As with the Personal Motivators, don’t be surprised if your find similar results in this activity with many of the other activities we’ve completed in this challenge. Common attributes among several different activities is definitely a good thing!

Have fun!


Bill’s Workplace Identity and Workplace Motivators Results

  • Workplace Identity:
    • The Thinker – Thinkers are resourceful and artistic, and are happiest when they are constantly putting new stuff out into the world. Thinkers tend to challenge the status quo, who crave opportunities to explore and discover and make a big impact, but can grow bored and frustrated if their work becomes routine.
  • Workplace Motivators:
    • Autonomy – This motivator leads people to want to be their own boss (inside or outside a corporate setting) and have a degree of freedom in their work.
    • Creativity – People driven to be creative want to be able to take time to explore, experiment, and discover new things. They want to make things work in their own distinct way, not by following prescribed models.
    • Developing Others – This motivator leads people to enjoy bringing out the best in those around them and helping others reach their full potential.
    • Impact – Those who are highly impact-driven want to know they are doing work that is important, feel a sense of destiny, and that they are supposed to do something that will create positive change in the world.
    • Purpose – Those driven strongly by purpose long to be part of something bigger than themselves; they like being an integral part of a group or organization they admire; and they want to get behind a cause they believe in.

Catalyst Challenge Worksheet

Here’s the link to download:

If you have any questions/comments/thoughts, feel free to contact me at whjohnso@uncg.edu.


 

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