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Understanding employee’s drives avoids unpleasant surprises

The new day begins for Mark like any other. He briefly revisits yesterday’s conversations in his mind, while in the meantime checking his diary and preparing for the day ahead. It’s going to be another great day at work. Why would it not be? Mark and his team have everything under control. Of course there are challenges and they have to pull out all the stops, but hey, that comes with the job.

Time to really get to work. Mark opens his laptop and starts with his mailbox like every other morning. The spam filter does its job and Mark only sees the messages worthy of his attention. Such is the message from Marian. Perhaps the most talented member of the team. Marian has made herself practically indispensable in the past four years.

From: Marian        25 January 2023
Subject: New challenge
Dear Mark, I am sending you this message…

Mark opens the message with confidence. A new challenge, always interesting. What opportunity has Marian spotted this time?

Dear Mark,

I’m sending you this message because I’ve found a new challenge at another organisation. For the past four years I have been fully engaged, but now it is time to move on. I find myself becoming increasingly detached from the team. This greatly affects my job satisfaction and makes  it difficult for me to motivate myself.

Everything that seemed so great this morning has totally changed in a minute. This message has a huge impact on Mark and his team. The coming quarter will be the busiest of the year. Everyone is desperately needed, especially Marian. How could this have happened? Did he miss any signs? So many questions run through his head.

Retaining talent is more crucial than ever

That people change jobs is a fact of life. Research by PWC now shows that 20% of employees worldwide are currently thinking about switching jobs within 12 months. This phenomenon is known in the US as The Great Resignation. Another fact of life is that there are now almost 150 vacancies per hundred job seekers in the Netherlands. Retaining talent is therefore more crucial than ever.

The manager has a huge influence on the teams

Could Mark have prevented the sudden departure of his most talented team member, with all the consequences of this for the rest of the team? Did he really fail to see any signs? As a manager you do have an enormous influence on the happiness of every team member and on team engagement.

Really get to know passions and ambitions

Management Drives is convinced of the added value of managers who really know their colleagues and their passions and ambitions. If Mark had had the right conversation with Marian, he would have known where her ambitions lay. Then, probably he could have kept Marian in his team or the organisation. So, Mark has indeed missed signals. He could have had a better understanding of Marian’s drives. He would have known what makes her tick in her job.

Behaviour and motivation are related

You see and speak to the people you work with almost every day. First hand, you experience how someone talks, thinks, and acts. Day in, day out, we experience the behaviour of colleagues. We often know how to identify sudden changes in behaviour. But if these changes take place gradually, they are logically less noticeable. Everyone is capable of any kind of behaviour, provided they are motivated towards it. It is logical that one task creates more energy than another.

Drives predict performance

But what information was Mark missing that would have allowed him to keep Marian on board? Understanding a person’s drives is the answer. Drives largely determine what makes you tick and what energises you. Consequently, these drives also predict how you behave and how a team and even the organisation functions. Based on research among hundreds of thousands of employees at home and abroad, we have developed a model that distinguishes six drives. These can differ in order as well as in strength. In addition, we distinguish positive and negative aspects of the drives. With this knowledge, the daily functioning and motivation of employees can be predicted.

Instrument for adapting leadership style

The Management Drives model could therefore have been of great help to Mark. It could have given him insight into whether the work, the team dynamics and the position fit Marian as a person. And whether she starts each day energetically or is happy as soon as the working day is over. With Management Drives, Mark has a tool to help him adjust his leadership style and way of communicating to the drives of his team, where necessary. This creates a solid basis for a good conversation.

Discover your personal profile

Would you like to receive a part of your full profile for free? Fill in the mini-survey and discover your first two motivators, your potential pitfalls and find out which behaviours annoy you. Find out what you and your team members really find important.

Fill in the mini-survey here and immediately receive the results!








– PWC survey 20% resign:

Figures number of vacancies (Dutch):