Guide to engagement questions: motivation

Why would I ask this question?

This is a discretionary effort question and tries to tap into whether the company is energizing people to try their very best. This is for some people the most important question we can ask and even more important than whether people are staying or going - especially in industries or positions where tenure is accepted as being low anyway (e.g. part-time retail positions). Sometimes you may see this sort of question more simply as 'I am motivated to go above and beyond in my role' but this version has some problems. If you frame it as an 'I' question people will tend to view it as being about their own effort or laziness and rate themselves very high - resulting in little variation in scores. However, what we're really after is whether something about the company or their work motivates them and in the context of the type of role they have also.

What other options are there?

  • ACME energizes me to do great work almost every day
  • ACME helps me stay motivated to do my best work almost every day
  • ACME inspires me to do my very best 

How should I think about results?

The benchmark for this question is in the 70%-75% range and this represents a tougher question to do well on than many others typically used. One often sees companies with high scores on the pride question above but low scores on this question -  scores roughly below 55% are sometimes a sign that people are not connected with the companies mission or don't feel enabled to get things done etc. (even though it might be pleasant working there). Focusing on the key drivers will tell you what is most likely effecting this - with common causes being related to poor development opportunities, lack of recognition and concern over where the company is heading. 

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