Understanding the Difference Between Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivations Talentoday

Understanding the Difference Between Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivations

When it comes to motivating employees, one size does not fit all. For some people, the thrill of competition for hitting or exceeding key metrics, like number of sales per quarter, gets them excited. For others, discovering the best way to complete a given task, such as finding the most efficient solution for cold calling, might be a source of inspiration. No matter how it happens, employers recognize that maintaining employee motivation is key for sustaining success - especially in hybrid and remote work environments. 

Before launching new programs aimed at motivating a workforce, it’s important to first understand the nature and types of motivations that exist. Then, tailor those available options to meet the unique needs of each employee.

Why is Motivation Essential? 

Obviously, employing and supporting a motivated workforce should be a priority for all organizations. However, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have shown us just how valuable it is to have a varied approach to motivation. 

For example, a recent survey from Jostle of 400 employees who shifted to remote work in the past year revealed that a whopping 83 percent of individuals reported feeling disconnected from their workplace culture. While productivity may not have dipped in the short term, the fact that a majority of respondents also noted feeling less supported by managers during this time makes it clear that these results in output are not sustainable over the long-term. 

As the way we work changes, so too must the way that managers motivate their teams. As organizations embrace a hybrid approach to work, combining virtual and in-person elements, it’s time to look at motivational practices in the same way. 

To get to the heart of the motivation question, here is the first question every manager must ask: Are my employees driven by intrinsic or extrinsic motivations? 

Intrinsic or Extrinsic Motivations

To start, the concept of separating out intrinsic and extrinsic motivations is a fairly straightforward - yet essential - exercise. According to Psychology Today, “intrinsic motivation refers to those activities you do because you enjoy the activity itself,” whereas extrinsic motivations refer to anything we do because of reasons outside of the work. Extrinsic motivators include salary, job perks/benefits, status and work conditions. Intrinsic motivators include things like recognition, challenging work, purposeful work, achievement and opportunities for personal growth.

Consider the examples mentioned at the start of this piece. A sales team competing for top spot on the quarterly metrics tracker would be a textbook example of an extrinsic motivation. Even though making sales might be related to the job at hand, taking first place in this competition is a motivation tied to results, not the tasks of the job itself. On the other hand, an employee might find joy in the actual process of selling. For example, the step-by-step journey of finding the best times to make outreach and most effective scripts might be exciting in its own right. 

For those motivated intrinsically or extrinsically, there are a variety of ways employers can meet their needs with tailored solutions. Here are the forms of intrinsic and extrinsic motivations identified by the MyPrint soft skills assessment: 

Intrinsic 

  • Responsibility: This motivation dimension refers to the extent that a person seeks to feel accountable. While some individuals find joy in making big decisions for their teams, others would like to share that responsibility with others.
  • Influence: This motivation dimension refers to the extent that a person seeks to influence others’ opinions and intentions. Those that are highly motivated by influence enjoy swaying others’ opinions, while those that are lower on this motivation dimension are happiest when they can stay open-minded to different points of view.
  • Belonging: This motivation dimension refers to the extent to which a person wishes to be part of a group. Individuals who are highly motivated by belonging seek to find common interests and hobbies with their coworkers to create a team feeling, whereas other individuals like to keep their interests or opinions independent from the rest of the group.
  • Challenge: This motivation dimension refers to the extent that a person seeks to get out of their comfort zone. Those that are highly motivated by challenge will always try to outperform their previous goals and achievements, whereas those that are not as motivated by challenge are content working towards attainable goals.
  • Recognition (Intrinsic enjoyment): Those that are on the lower end of the recognition dimension are seeking intrinsic enjoyment. They seek out projects and tasks that they enjoy doing, even if they are not receiving any external recognition for their work.
  • Reward (Need to contribute to society): Those that are on the lower end of the reward dimension seek to work on projects that have an impact on society. They need to understand the greater impact of their work, regardless of the tangible benefits they might receive.

Extrinsic

  • Autonomy: This motivation dimension refers to the extent to which one wishes to control their circumstances. Those that are highly motivated by autonomy like to set their own goals and schedule, whereas those who are lower on the autonomy dimension prefer to consult with others before setting their goals.
  • Competition: This motivation dimension refers to the extent that an individual will seek to outperform others. Those that are highly motivated by competition like environments that encourage public performance metrics, whereas those that are lower on the competition scale will seek to share their knowledge to help work towards group goals.
  • Relation: This motivation dimension refers to the extent to which an individual seeks to have multiple social contacts. Those that are high on this motivation dimension seek out opportunities to socialize as frequently as they can, whereas those who are lower on this dimension desire privacy in their work environment.
  • Recognition (External acknowledgement): Those who are high on the recognition dimension seek positive feedback and compliments for a job well done. The external recognition is enough to keep them motivated, even if they do not necessarily enjoy the work they are doing.
  • Reward (Tangible benefits): Those who are high on the reward dimension are motivated by having their performance rewarded by material benefits. They will often be encouraged to work harder when there are opportunities available.
  • Excitement: This motivation dimension refers to the extent to which an individual is motivated by thrill. Those who are highly motivated by unpredictable environments and the opportunity to take risks, whereas those on the lower end of the excitement dimension prefer safe and predictable environments.
  • Variety: This motivation dimension refers to the extent to which an individual seeks out new experiences. While some individuals seek out diverse experiences, projects, and skills, others prefer to stick to familiar routines and work methods.

Motivating and Moving Forward

Gone are the days of ordering pizza into the office to celebrate a job well done and calling it a day. In the changing world of work, managers need to become more nuanced in the ways they motivate employees. To start reshaping these practices on a case-by-case basis, it’s important to identify whether an individual is driven by intrinsic or extrinsic motivations. Only then can managers determine which particular path is right for each employee. 

Are you ready to identify what motivates your employees? Experience how MyPrint can uncover what makes you and your team unique by clicking here!


Why Upskilling is Crucial for Hybrid Teams Talentoday

Why Upskilling is Crucial for Hybrid Teams

Why Upskilling is Crucial for Hybrid Teams Talentoday

There were a lot of things I didn’t know I could do before COVID-19 upended the way we live and work. For example, I already knew my way around the kitchen, but I had no idea I could make tasty banana bread! I also learned how to cook a spicy jambalaya, brew my own beer and, when I wasn’t eating or drinking, I figured out how to use a 35mm film camera to expand upon my interest in photography. In my home life, I would call these achievements “little victories.” Little did I know that, were I to do the same sort of expanding of my talents in the workplace, it would be known as “upskilling.” 

Upskilling is the process of using training and education to deepen an employees’ abilities within their area of expertise. This is slightly different from reskilling, which is when an employee is trained on an entirely new skill set in order to move into a different role. Instead, upskilling is all about building upon an employee’s existing skills in hopes of enhancing their impact on an organization.

While my personal upskilling may not have major implications for the workplace (even if some morning meetings are greatly improved by the addition of banana bread), upskilling has the potential to reshape the way organizations recruit and develop talent – especially as teams embrace hybrid work models. 

The Skills Gap Continues to Expand

As the modern workplace undergoes unprecedented changes, existing skills gaps across all industries are widening. While employees may have entered into the workforce with skills that were in high demand at the time, the rate of digital transformation has increased sharply in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving many of these employees behind. According to McKinsey & Company, 87 percent of companies say they have skills gaps or expect to within a few years. Jobs are changing fast, and employers and employees are struggling to keep up. 

There are a few options at organizations’ disposal for dealing with these gaps in needed competencies. In less competitive hiring markets, one appealing course of action would be to bring in new talent to fit the needs. However, today’s recruiting landscape is characterized by a dwindling supply of talent and an aggressive influx of demand from employers. These conditions have forced many employers to look inwards when determining how to address their skills gaps in the years ahead. 

Employees are Looking for a Change

To exacerbate the problem even further, this expanding skills gap comes at a time when workers are beginning to quit jobs at extraordinary levels. In April 2021, the number of employees leaving their companies spiked to approximately 4 million according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), leading many to refer to the phenomenon as, “The Great Resignation.”

In truth, does anyone ever really want to be forced to find a new job? In the same way that employers would rather retain talent than search for replacements, employees are hoping for reasons to stay at their current organizations before making a drastic move. Take the results of a recent PwC survey into consideration. Their findings show that the majority of workers are open to change, citing that 40 percent of respondents successfully improved their digital skills during the pandemic and over 90 percent of those who adapted to remote work would prefer to continue working in this style of environment. On top of that, 77 percent of workers are ready to learn new skills. 

The issue is not a lack of willingness to learn on the side of employees but, rather, the lack of opportunities for upskilling offered by employers. However, if organizations are serious about closing their skills gap and retaining employees in the face of an explosion of resignations, it’s time to make learning and development programs a real priority. 

Make Upskilling a Priority 

While employers seem to recognize the problem they face, there remains a gap between this recognition and an understanding of how to address the underlying causes. According to a 2021 survey conducted by Gartner, 68 percent of HR leaders cited building critical skills as a top priority. However, more than 30 percent of the same leaders say that they don’t know what skills gap their employees have, how to effectively integrate learning into employee workflows or can’t create skill development solutions fast enough to meet evolving skill needs. In short, employers know there are skills gaps to address, but are uncertain where they lie or how to fix them.

The way forward is two-pronged, based first on assessment then solidified with commitment: 

  • Assessment: First and foremost, organizations need to utilize tools to empower them to better evaluate their candidates and employees. Knowing the current capabilities of a team is important, but identifying the potential for growth can be critical. While necessary technical skills can be assessed through traditional means, such as verifying education and certification backgrounds, this must be coupled with a deeper understanding of soft skills. Scientifically-based soft skills assessments can provide insight into an individual’s capacity to upskill into a role over time. 
  • Commitment: Once the workforce has been properly assessed, organizations must then approach upskilling differently than standard onboarding and other job-specific training opportunities. Instead, upskilling opportunities must be treated like the valuable benefits they are. As noted in Fast Company, “For the top tier of talent, upskilling is emerging as a must-have employee benefit, like a retirement saving plan, employer subsidized health care, or paid time off.” In other words, these education programs cannot be haphazardly inserted into existing workflows. Rather, time and space must be set aside for employees to truly feel as though upskilling is a top priority. 

As the way we work continues to change, teams are struggling to keep up. However, by devoting time and effort to upskilling programs, there are win-win solutions available for employers and employees alike. 

Are you ready to evaluate your team’s soft skills to determine upskilling opportunities? Discover the powerful science of people analytics that drives MyPrint by clicking here.


Case Study: Medix

The Challenge:

With a higher than desired turnover rate for new employees in the first 90 days, Medix turned to Talentoday to determine how to better use soft skills data to reduce turnover rates.

The Solution

With HR working as a strategic business partner, Medix was able to empower managers and their direct reports to have enhanced collaboration with soft-skills data. Medix’s HR team implemented proactive collaboration sessions between managers and new hires based on Talentoday’s Collaboration Report, a 1:1 report designed to compare two individuals’ similarities and differences. The report provides guidance on how they can work better together better based on their unique MyPrint results. By implementing these sessions as proactive and voluntary, the buy-in is high among internal employees.

With HR acting as the facilitator, the manager and new hire are able to use the report to talk through examples that can help motivate them, and what discourages them, empowering engagement to work together towards business goals.

The Result

As a result, Medix saw a significant increase in employees staying with the organization past the first 90 days of employment. In fact, the organization experienced a 68.9 percent decrease in new hire turnover!

About the Client

Medix, a US-based staffing organization, has been pioneering staffing and digital services over the past twenty years. Being a purpose-led organization, Medix is guided by their core purpose to positively impact lives. In putting people at the heart of what they do, they take an innovative position as both an employer and staffing provider of choice by leveraging soft-skills insights as part of their holistic employee, talent, and client experience.

Since 2018, Medix has been leveraging Talentoday’s soft-skills assessment, MyPrint, and its personality, motivation and behavioral insights as part of their service offering to both talent and clients. Additionally, Medix designated an internal HR representative to champion MyPrint initiatives and infuse people analytics even further into Medix’s employee culture.

Ready to start your transformative Talentoday success story? Click here to book a demo and experience how our people analytics are transforming how organizations hire, manage, develop and retain talent.


Behaviors Uncovered: Decision Making, Rule Consciousness, Risk Orientation and Change Reaction

So far, our Behaviors Uncovered series has explored seven total areas of observable actions made by individuals in conjunction with their work environment. Part one focused on Leadership Style, Communication Style, Conflict Management and Team Contribution. In part two, we highlighted Creativity, Work and Learning Styles; these are the behavior patterns that shape the ways individuals expand their knowledge base and work together to invent in the workplace. In this third and final entry in our series, the ways in which individuals relate to organizational structure and make choices take center stage. It’s time to uncover the science behind Decision Making, Rule Consciousness, Risk Orientation and Change Reaction.

As with the first two entries in this series, key information in the following descriptions is drawn from the Talentoday MyPrint® questionnaire. The behavioral dimensions found within the assessment are displayed as score matrices resulting from the combination of personality and motivational results. In short, our behavioral styles are predicted based on the scores (high or low) that an individual has obtained on these two dimensions crossed together. Think of these analytical grids as a way to gain a deeper understanding of why an individual prefers and maintains a particular pattern of actions.

Decision Making

When you start adding up the total number of decisions we make in the workplace on a daily basis, the results can be truly staggering. From soft balls like, “Hot coffee or iced coffee?” to everyday preferences like, “Does this request warrant a meeting or will an email suffice?” employees are constantly faced with choices to make. Eventually, some of these decisions can have a major impact on an organization. Having an idea of how an individual might go about this process can be key when building the right team for your goals.

Decision Making can be described as the set of processes, either intuitive or reasoned, by which an individual ends up choosing between two or more courses of action.

There are four ways individuals can approach decision making, derived from the “Perspective” dimension of personality and the “Need for Autonomy” dimension of motivation:

  • Analytical (Big Picture, Need for Support): Individuals who are Analytical decision makers tend to consider multiple points of view in order to frame a situation very broadly.
  • Strategic (Big Picture, Need for Self-Reliance): Individuals who are Strategic decision makers rely on their own assessment of a great deal of information to build solutions that stand the test of time.
  • Deliberate (Focused, Need for Support): Individuals who are Deliberate decision makers consider just enough input from others to make a plan, but are ready to quickly adapt to the situation if need be
  • Efficient (Focused, Need for Self-Reliance): Individuals who are Efficient decision makers value efficiency. They make up their minds quickly and move on to the next decision.

Rule Consciousness

How does your team approach structure? Any leader that has attempted to manage each employee with the same meeting schedule, expectations and firmness knows that, when it comes to workplace rules, it’s never truly one-size fits all. Rule Consciousness can be summarized as the way an individual interprets, judges and reacts to the organizational rules in place.

There are four behavior types when it comes to rule consciousness, derived from the “Critical Thinking” dimension of personality and the “Need for Belonging” dimension of motivation:

  • Challenger (Critical-Thinker, Need for Freewill): Individuals who are Rule Challengers evaluate the rules and norms that are in place with great objectivity, and might choose their own way of doing things.
  • Follower (Critical-Thinker, Need for Affiliation): Individuals who are Rule Followers go along with the rules, as it is a way for them to feel connected to others.
  • Adjuster (Conventional-Thinker, Need for Freewill): Individuals who are Rule Adjusters are likely to try to bend the rules they strongly disagree with, or adjust them to their advantage.
  • Advocate (Conventional-Thinker, Need for Affiliation): Individuals who are Rule Advocates show a strong respect for authority, and promote the existing rules or norms of any organization they belong to.

Risk Orientation

The decision to take a leap of faith in the workplace can be a stressful one for many employees. This takes rook in the ways that employees approach risk. Risk Orientation can be described as the way an individual invests energy in response to perception of significant uncertainty, namely in seeing either the opportunities or the obstacles. In some cases, a career defined by taking bold action can be beneficial. In other situations, a more conservative approach may be more warranted. Determining the outlooks held by members of a given team can help managers better chart the direction and pace the organization should be taking in order to maintain team confidence.

There are four ways an individual can approach risk, derived from the “Optimism” dimension of personality and the “Need for Excitement” dimension of motivation:

  • Risk-neutral (Positive, Need for Safety): Individuals who are Risk-neutral strive to minimize their uncertainty by searching for the most rational solution.
  • Risk-taker (Positive, Need for Adventure): Individuals who are Risk-takers expect positive outcomes from risky opportunities, making them typically go for them in order to maximize the gains.
  • Risk-averse (Apprehensive, Need for Safety): Individuals who are Risk-averse focus on negative outcomes in risky opportunities, which typically makes them avoid them and choose safe alternatives.
  • Risk-tolerant (Apprehensive, Need for Adventure): Individuals who are Risk-tolerant are open to deal with risky situations as long as they can determine solutions that reduce their potential losses.

Change Reaction

Change Reaction can be described as the typical response of an individual to the unexpected events or situations arising in their environment of work. Considering that a recent survey of half a million U.S. employees discovered that almost one-third of them do not understand why organizational changes are happening at any given time, it’s clear that employers need to do better when implementing change. One way to get there is by better anticipating the ways in which individuals might react when confronted with the news of adjustments to the workplace and processes.

Change reaction can be broken down into four possible patterns, derived from the “Grit” dimension of personality and the “Need for Variety” dimension of motivation:

  • Conservative (Determined, Need for Consistency): Individuals who are Conservative in their reaction to change need to be convinced of the necessity of changes prior to overcoming them.
  • Resilient (Determined, Need for Diversity): Individuals who are Resilient in their reaction to change tend to recover from changes by finding new ways of reaching their initial goals.
  • Adaptable (Opportunistic, Need for Consistency): Individuals who are Adaptable in their reaction to change quickly adapt to changes occurring in processes, since they may represent an opportunity to adjust their goals.
  • Promoter (Opportunistic, Need for Diversity): Individuals who are Promoters of change enjoy celebrating new events, and they typically welcome

If recent events have taught us anything, it’s that workplaces of all kinds need to be ready to tackle tough decisions and major transformations at any given moment. To navigate these fluctuations with skill, it pays for employers to have a deep understanding of the ways in which the individuals on their team approach the decision making process, rule consciousness, risk orientation and react when confronted with change.

When taken together with the personality and motivation dimensions of the MyPrint assessment, uncovering the behaviors of the individuals on your team can help you unlock the true potential hiding just under the surface.

Interested in uncovering more about how behavior profiles can help you understand how someone will act in a professional setting? Discover the science behind MyPrint by clicking here.


Race to Reshape Your Dream Team

As organizations anticipate post-pandemic life, business leaders are assessing their talent management challenges, looking to (re-)build a dream team and optimize performance. Companies are competing to hire top talent.

The workplace terrain has changed, and employers need to navigate the new normal of virtual work. Do you have who and what you need for your organization to be successful?

Talentoday offers insight into what to consider when building and shaping your team

  • Use our checklist to shape your dream team.
  • Get our coach’s guide on characteristics and traits to look for when hiring new employees in a remote work environment.
  • Gain insight into how soft skills can help in hiring and motivating your team.
  • Learn what traits support innovation, strategic thinking and problem solving.
  • Find tips on cultivating an inclusive culture.

Click here to download our new infographic today!


Behaviors Uncovered: Creativity, Work and Learning Styles

In the first entry in our Behaviors Uncovered series, we investigated four key dimensions for employers focusing on better understanding group dynamics within their teams: Leadership Style, Communication Style, Conflict Management and Team Contribution. In part two, our attention turns to the behavior patterns that shape the ways individuals expand their knowledge base and work together to invent in the workplace: Creativity, Work and Learning Styles.

As a recap, behaviors represent the ranges of observable actions made by individuals in conjunction with their environment. The Talentoday MyPrint® questionnaire provides 11 behavioral dimensions displayed as score matrices resulting from the combination of personality and motivations dimensions of the assessment. Therefore, our behavioral styles are predicted based on the scores (high or low) that an individual has obtained on these two dimensions crossed together. In short, these analytical grids give insights for understanding why an individual tends to foster a particular pattern of actions and how they maintain it.

Creativity Style

Time and time again, creativity is cited as the skill most sought after by employers. After the ways we work were upended due to COVID-19, is it any wonder that companies are looking for ways to boost their knack for finding novel solutions to problems?

How, exactly, you define creativity is key when uncovering the science behind the behaviors in this area. Creativity Style can be described as the set of processes that an individual takes to produce something that is new and somehow valuable, whether it is intangible or concrete.

There are four styles of creativity, derived from the “Abstract Thinking” dimension of personality and the “Need for Reward” dimension of motivation:

  • Visionary (Imaginative, Need to Contribute to Society): Individuals who have a Visionary creativity style are imaginative and aim for groundbreaking changes that will contribute to the improvement and betterment of others.
  • Innovative (Imaginative, Need for Tangible Benefits): Individuals who have an Innovate creativity style like to think outside of the box, and aim to develop new and profitable processes or technologies.
  • Functional (Practical, Need to Contribute to Society): Individuals who have a Functional creativity style are realistic, and their creative actions might take place in everyday activities, such as by using existing tools or methods in new and original ways.
  • Interpretive (Practical, Need for Tangible Benefits): Individuals who have an Interpretive creativity style are typically looking for quick solutions, and usually come up with more advanced and profitable interpretations of existing techniques or devices.

Work Style

Whether a job requires multiple simple tasks or challenging projects will strongly influence the type of person that you want to work in certain roles. By taking the time to learn about what work style a person uses, you can help to assign roles on certain projects or keep it in mind when hiring for different roles. Work Style refers to the way in which an individual tackles their tasks and projects, as well as the pace at which they complete them.

There are four styles of communication, derived from the combination of the “Thoroughness” dimension of personality and the “Need for Challenge” dimension of motivation:

  • Rigorous (Precise, Need for Attainable Goals): Individuals who have a Rigorous work style are thorough and task-oriented, and ensure high quality and error free work.
  • Dedicated (Precise, Need for Personal Achievement): Individuals who have a Dedicated work style like to work on challenging projects and provide high quality work.
  • Steady (Easy-Going, Need for Attainable Goals): Individuals who have a Steady work style value realistic goals and deadlines, and favor consistent productivity by focusing on bottom-line results.
  • Responsive (Easy-Going, Need for Personal Achievement): Individuals who have a Responsive work style like challenging goals, and favor multi-tasking in order to do a higher quantity of work in a shorter amount of time.

Learning Style

It’s clear that uncovering the science behind behaviors in areas like learning style will play an integral role in the future of work. In fact, recent reporting indicates that companies are transitioning from hiring based on existing education to focus on skills-based hiring. For this expansion of upskilling efforts to work, employers must first learn how to tap into an individual’s preferred learning style

For our purposes, Learning Style can be summarized as the set of processes that an individual uses to acquire or develop skills or knowledge..

There are four styles of communication, derived from the combination of the “Structure” dimension of personality and the “Need for Recognition” dimension of motivation:

  • Studious (Orderly, Need for Intrinsic Enjoyment): Individuals who are Studious learners like to learn things that they find interesting, and prefer learning through methods that allow time to reflect and go at their own pace, such as reading books or articles.
  • Sequential (Orderly, Need for External Acknowledgment): Individuals who are Sequential learners are structured and learn best in a lesson format, with clear goals and positive feedback validating their progress.
  • Conceptual (Spontaneous, Need for Intrinsic Enjoyment): Individuals who are Conceptual learners like to learn things for fun and do not need structure, but rather will feel like they’ve mastered a topic once they know its full context.
  • Experimental (Spontaneous, Need for External Acknowledgment): Individuals who are Experimental learners tend to be intuitive and learn best through group interactions, where they seek positive feedback while testing their new knowledge or skills on others.

As the workplace evolves, employers are putting higher premiums on hiring individuals with the capacity to grow and find new ways to solve problems in their given roles. Understanding the behaviors behind creativity, work and learning styles is an important first step towards building an adaptable team ready to take on the future of work.

In the final entry of our three-part Behaviors Uncovered series, we investigate four areas of behavior that get to the heart of the ways individuals calculate their responses to high pressure situations — Rule Consciousness, Decision Making, Risk Orientation and Change Reaction.

Interested in uncovering more about how behavior profiles can help you understand how someone will act in a professional setting? Discover the science behind MyPrint by clicking here.


Behaviors Uncovered: Leadership, Communication, Conflict Management and Team Contribution

How can employers understand how someone will behave in a professional context? Do organizations have to rely on a trial-and-error approach to hiring and management, or is there a way to make better informed decisions based on science?

Thankfully, years of behavioral modeling have left a strong legacy in various fields of psychological research, from social psychology to behavioral economics. Using the progress in this area as a knowledge base, we were able to combine two key areas of results from our MyPrint® questionnaire — personality and motivational traits — to uncover the likely behaviors of individuals in professional settings.

From Personality and Motivations to Behaviors

  • MyPrint reports consist of three main areas of focus: Personality, Motivations and Behaviors:
  • Personality traits correspond to the attitudinal & emotional characteristics underlying people’s stable behaviors.
  • Motivations correspond to the desires and needs triggering, orienting and maintaining an individual’s behaviors towards a given objective.
    Behaviors represent the ranges of observable actions made by individuals in conjunction with their environment.

The 11 behavioral dimensions of MyPrint are displayed as score matrices resulting from the combination of personality and motivation dimensions of the assessment. Therefore, the behavioral styles of MyPrint are predicted based on the scores (high or low) that an individual has obtained on the personality and motivation dimensions crossed together. In short, these analytical grids give insights for understanding why an individual tends to foster a particular pattern of actions and how they maintain it.

As we uncover the science behind predicting behaviors in the workplace, we begin with four key dimensions for employers focusing on better understanding group dynamics within their teams: Leadership Style, Communication Style, Conflict Management and Team Contribution.

Leadership Style

Leadership Style can be described as the way that a person motivates their peers to contribute to the effectiveness of their organization. This applies to individuals formal leadership positions, information leadership positions, or people who might not appear to have any leadership roles at all. Anyone can influence their peers and impact their organization.

There are four styles of leadership, derived from the combination of the “Empathy” dimension of personality and the “Need for Responsibility” dimension of motivation:

  • Mentor (Empathetic, Need for Sharing Responsibility): Individuals who are Mentor Leaders build emotional bonds by empowering others and offering plenty of positive feedback.
  • Inclusive (Empathetic, Need for Taking Personal Responsibility): Individuals who are Inclusive Leaders drive necessary changes by mobilizing everyone toward a common vision.
  • Democratic (Individualistic, Need for Sharing Responsibility): Individuals who are Democratic Leaders guard themselves against backlash by letting others give their inputs upstream.
  • Authoritative (Individualistic, Need for Taking Personal Responsibility): Individuals who are Authoritative Leaders tend to demand compliance since they would take full responsibility for issues that may arise.

Communication Style

Communication Style can be summarized as the way that a person sends a message to one or many peers, verbally or otherwise. For employees, there’s an ever-growing number of ways to communicate beyond just face-to-face interaction. Understanding the way an individual tends to express their thoughts and opinions during in-person conversations, emails, video calls and more can help predict their future interactions in the workplace.

There are four styles of communication, derived from the combination of the “Dominance” dimension of personality and the “Need to Influence” dimension of motivation:

  • Straightforward (Assertive, Need to Open Up to Others’ Opinions): Individuals who are Straightforward Communicators are inclined to clearly state their ideas while keeping a neutral tone and being respectful of others’ views.
  • Persuasive (Assertive, Need to Sway Others’ Opinions): Individuals who are Persuasive Communicators are inclined to dominate others in interactions by openly convincing them to see things their way.
  • Receptive (Compliant, Need to Open Up to Others’ Opinions): Individuals who are Receptive Communicators are inclined to speak softly in interactions, and mostly listen to others’ points of views in order to please them.
  • Diplomatic (Compliant, Need to Sway Others’ Opinions): Individuals who are Diplomatic Communicators are inclined to control the course of discussions to their advantage by placing underlying messages in their spoken words.

Conflict Management

Conflict Management can be described as the way that a person tries to limit the negative aspects of a confrontation while increasing its positive impacts. Conflict doesn’t always take place in the form of direct confrontation. Being aware of the ways in which individuals will handle situations where there are differing opinions — both big and small — can help leaders facilitate as needed so that certain individuals’ voices and opinions are being heard over the individuals who might be more confident and determined to win.

There are four behavior types when it comes to conflict management, derived from the combination of the “Self-Esteem” dimension of personality and the “Need for Competition” dimension of motivation:

  • Appeasing (Confident, Need to Cooperate): Individuals who are Appeasing in Conflict tend to dig into the underlying concerns and consider the views of others.
  • Decisive (Confident, Need to Win): Individuals who are Decisive in Conflict tend to settle it by asserting their own solution.
  • Accommodating (Modest, Need to Cooperate): Individuals who are Accommodating in Conflict put aside their own needs in order to keep the peace with others.
  • Compromising (Modest, Need to Win): Individuals who are Compromising in Conflict tend to ignore or withdraw from it rather than facing it.

Team Contribution

Team Contribution can be summarized as the way that an individual cooperates and works with others in a group setting in order to achieve organizational goals. This is not only useful for individuals who work in the same department or formal team, but for understanding the role a person tends to play even in the informal group projects and activities that occur in the workplace.

There are four ways individuals can approach team contribution, derived from the combination of the “Extraversion” dimension of personality and the “Need for Relation” dimension of motivation:

  • Coordinating (Extroverted, Need for Privacy): Individuals who are Coordinating teammates expect efficiency, focus on goals and coordinate people together
  • Energizing (Extroverted, Need to Socialize): Individuals who are Energizing teammates get excited and draw others in with enthusiasm, while showing a relatively short attention span.
  • Observant (Introverted, Need for Privacy): Individuals who are Observant teammates focus on content, and are likely to ask others about their expectations regarding their role in the process.
  • Supportive (Introverted, Need for Socialize): Individuals who are Supportive teammates are loyal team players, by actively listening, discussing and defending the different views of others.

The behaviors results of MyPrint help in understanding the ways in which individuals actually act or conduct themselves, especially toward others. This knowledge can be invaluable in building a more productive workplace.

In our next entry in our three-part Behaviors Uncovered series, we investigate three areas that are critical to the development of highly-effective problem solving teams — creativity, work and learning styles.

Interested in uncovering more about how behavior profiles can help you understand how someone will act in a professional setting? Discover the science behind MyPrint by clicking here.


COVID-19 Impact on Motivations in the Workforce

It’s been one year since COVID-19 took the world by storm. Countries started to close their borders and government safety regulations were enforced. As a result of unpredictable lockdown and safety measures, each person’s environment has changed in some way. For millions of typical “office workers” this meant working from home, while those deemed essential continued to go into work with increased risk. With all of this change happening externally, there is internal change that comes with it. How has the move to a remote workspace, social distancing, new health measures, and other pandemic outcomes impacted the things that motivate your employees? Let’s learn more about how motivations work first.

How Motivations Work

One of the most widely accepted motivation theories is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. You may recognize the motivation pyramid that has found its way into most every psychology, marketing, and ethics textbook, and it is the foundation for the Talentoday MyPrint motivation dimensions as well! There are five stages of motivation included in the pyramid: physiological needs, safety needs, love and belongingness needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization needs. The basis of Maslow’s theory is that everyone starts at the bottom stage of the pyramid with their most basic physiological needs: food, water, clothing, and shelter. Once those needs are met, we are able to work our way up to safety, and so on.

https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html#gsc.tab=0

Our environment plays a huge role in our motivations and where we’re at on the pyramid. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a lot of people focus on addressing their basic safety needs, like employment and financial stability. Other factors that can impact our motivations include, but are not limited to, changes to our work environment, major family events such as births or deaths, changes in our relationship status, living situations, or unforeseen financial events.

Motivations and MyPrint®

Since we know that motivations are so dependent on our environment, we decided to take a look at how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the motivations found in MyPrint®. To do this, we calculated the motivations that saw the biggest increase amongst assessment takers before and after March 2020. We observed three dimensions that had a larger increase than the others: Recognition, Responsibility, and Excitement.

Recognition: Need for External Recognition

People who have a need for external recognition are driven to work harder when they receive positive feedback and praise from coworkers. When working in an office environment, this will naturally happen more frequently; you tell an employee they did great on a presentation while passing their desk, or congratulate a coworker on hitting a milestone while you’re getting your morning coffee. However, in a remote environment, we need to be more intentional about giving that recognition. Since March 2020, a total of 81% of the global workforce has had their workplace fully or partly closed. Whether this impacts someone directly, or if they are seeing this happen with their friends and loved ones, receiving that external recognition can help to reassure individuals that they are doing a good job and motivate them to continue the good work.

Responsibility: Need for Taking Personal Responsibility

People who have a need for taking personal responsibility are comfortable being held accountable for others’ actions, regardless of error or failure, and are more comfortable being accountable for their own work as well. Moving into a remote work environment means that individuals need to take on more personal responsibilities than they did before: from managing all of their time to taking on pieces of projects that they might not have needed to before. For some people, having more control over their work environment can create that drive to keep them motivated at work.

Excitement: Need for Adventure

People with a need for adventure are driven by situations that offer thrill, seek to take risks and are very tolerant of unpredictable situations. A lot of people have experienced a more stagnant environment since March of 2020. Whether it is due to stay at home orders, travel restrictions, or lack of a commute, we are all going through it. Because of this, it is not surprising that people are craving more adventure in their lives. Work can be a great place to create excitement — from new opportunities to new roles or training, providing an environment where employees can take more risks and try new things can lead to a more engaged workforce.

Check In With Your Workforce

Your workforce is going to evolve over time, and it is important to keep up with those changes! Whether it’s a global pandemic to impact the shift in motivations, or if it’s typical life events taking place, you want to make sure that you are evolving alongside your employees. Changes to an employee’s motivations means adjusting your management style, and by keeping up with these changes, you can create the most engaging environment for your workforce as possible.

We recommend employees take the MyPrint assessment every 6–12 months. Interested in learning more about MyPrint and how our solutions can help you better understand your workforce? Contact Talentoday at customer@talentoday.com to learn more about our assessment and services!


Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Technology

Using Technology to Further Your Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Efforts

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Technology

Workplace managers and teams are prioritizing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) more now than ever before, and for good reason. DEI helps improve the presence of people of different races, genders, religions, sexual orientations, etc. (diversity); the fair and respectful treatment of all people (equity); and the extent to which all individuals feel respected, accepted and valued (inclusion). DEI also delivers a multitude of benefits that come from having a diverse population in your organization, including: profitability and value creation, innovation, and better decision making.

While business leaders have committed to diversifying their workforce, HR professionals and recruiters are still tasked with hiring the right people. Thankfully, science and technology can help organizations make the right hiring decisions while supporting DEI goals. Digital solutions and tools can help with everything from removing implicit bias from the selection process to predicting how someone will contribute to a team, and understanding how they will behave in a professional setting.

Opportunities and pitfalls associated with diverse hiring efforts

Research shows that bias is present in the hiring process and can start before a candidate walks in the door. For example, certain verbiage can attract more men than women, and people with white sounding names receive more callbacks on average than those with stereotypically black-sounding names. Implementing tools, such as a behavioral assessment, in your selection process can help you to proactively remove implicit biases. You can see a person for their strengths and not lean towards someone who is similar to you.

A common term that is used in the selection process is “culture fit.” However, when maintaining organizational culture becomes the sole focus of this process, it can have the unintentional consequence of hiring different versions of the same person. Allow your core purpose and values to guide you, while being cautious of how you equate those to your “culture” and how you assess a candidate’s ability to uphold your purpose and values. By making room for diversity to be a part of your culture, you will be empowered to celebrate and appreciate the value that each person is adding to your organization.

Diversity beyond what the eye can see

Before blindly jumping into diverse recruiting initiatives, decide what diversity means for your organization. Is it women in leadership? Recruiting and hiring people of color? Creating a comfortable environment that supports various stages of life? All of the above?

Think of the product or service that you’re selling. Can you confidently say that your team is reflective of the people you serve? Having people who can relate to your customer base is vital to the success of your organization. In fact, a team member who shares a client’s ethnicity is 152% more likely to understand the client. In this case, the diversity that we are striving for is easy to identify, and sometimes it goes beyond what we are able to outwardly see.

Understanding the importance of diversity of thought is an important step for your team to reach their highest potential. When team members are able to bring in different perspectives, it helps to create a culture of challenging the norms to allow for new and creative ideas and solutions. These various perspectives are the result of distinct life experiences or work backgrounds and can guide your team to greater successes.

How to leverage science and technology within your DEI efforts

As with any strategic change, diversity within an organization doesn’t happen overnight. It will take months of ongoing planning and years of commitment to become a part of the fabric of your organization. Luckily, there are things you can do immediately to promote equity and inclusion .

Create a culture of openness. Allow for ideas to be heard and create a safe environment for people to propose ideas. Give power to all members of your team to make decisions, and provide actionable feedback to their ideas rather than criticism.

Assess your team to see what areas you are lacking in. Confront skill gaps and then solicit teammates with diverse opinions to help you make business decisions and aid in brainstorming solutions.

Leveraging science and technology is a great way to ensure you are taking implicit biases out of the equation and being efficient in your efforts. Tools such as the MyPrint Collaboration Report are helpful for understanding how differences between two people can be beneficial, and visualizing group data through the Group DNA feature can help to find where your gaps are in your team.

Although change doesn’t happen overnight, there is nothing stopping you from starting the momentum today. Start by fostering inclusion on your team today by telling someone how their work matters. Then, take our complementary MyPrint assessment to start understanding how science and technology can support your goals!

Looking for additional resources and support? Email Talentoday at customer@talentoday.com to learn more about our assessment and services!


Harnessing the Full Power of People Analytics

We all know that recruiting has inherent risk. A CareerBuilder survey found that nearly three in four employers have hired the wrong person for a position. Bad hires not only have a negative financial impact, but can reduce productivity and be a blow to company morale. Even if your initial hire is spot-on, keeping talented employees on board can be extremely challenging. That’s where people analytics comes in. It’s likely you’ve heard or read this phrase before — but what does it really mean?

People Analytics — The Short Version

HR Technologist defines people analytics as “the deeply data-driven and goal-focused method of studying all people processes, functions, challenges and opportunities at work to elevate these systems and achieve sustainable business success.” Simply put, people analytics is:

  • Data driven — you need to gather data and use it
  • Goal-focused — you need to know how the data will be used and what you want to improve

For human resource and staffing professionals, people analytics has the ability to transform the entire talent lifecycle, from recruitment, assessment and hiring to team building and development. McKinsey data shows that people analytics can lead to an 80% increase in recruiting efficiency and a 50% decrease in attrition. It can also help reduce bias in hiring by bringing in a diverse slate of candidates and create more inclusive workplaces by identifying discrimination.

It’s Only as Good as the Data

As with all science-driven solutions, people analytics is only as good as the data it’s being fed. While certain hard skills and experiences are easy to quantify, understanding soft skills and behavioral factors that determine lasting success requires sophisticated technology.

To get good data, you first need to identify your priorities and objectives. Are you trying to reduce the cost of candidate screenings? Improve the quality of your hires? Create a more diverse workforce? Upfront planning allows you to develop a rigorous candidate assessment, including customized interview questions, that gets to the root of each individual’s personality traits and behavioral and motivational factors. Some data points you may want to consider include:

Once the data is gathered and analyzed, it needs to be compiled in such a way that is accessible to the people that use it. For most of us, visual data representation provides a clear and concise picture that captures our attention and allows us to process the information more quickly.

How Can it Help Your Organization?

People analytics is critical for making better, more informed hiring decisions. While intuition is a valuable tool during recruiting, it shouldn’t be used in a vacuum. Instead, combining your gut instinct with science that uses algorithms and predictive analytics to develop a more accurate and complete talent profile will yield greater success.

Beyond hiring, people analytics is valuable for any area where people are involved in your business, including how you can leverage employee strengths for both the organization’s advantage and the individual’s career growth. Here are a few common examples of areas that businesses can benefit from gathering and using data throughout the employee life cycle:

It’s also important to note that people analytics should never be static. It needs to be a dynamic activity that evolves with individuals and teams as they move through the employment life cycle. The more employees and talent leaders use it, the more value and insights it delivers.

Where do I start?

If you’re looking to make a better placement, team building, and development decisions for employees and teams, assessing soft skills using people analytics software is a great place to start. To learn more about our scientifically-backed assessments, including MyPrint® and Talentoday Manager, email us at customer@talentoday.com. We believe that once you have more information about the personality and motivations of your employees, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions grounded in science.