How do you define a person’s motivational needs, match them to your organization’s needs, and then place the new employee in a position that serves you both?
- Achievement – People who favor achievement over the other two needs like task-oriented work, accomplishments, and promotions based on their efforts. Such individuals prefer moderate risk work environments.
- Affiliation – Individuals who believe affiliation is of greatest importance compared to the other two needs prefer spending time creating and maintaining social relationships and working as a team member in collaboration with others. They avoid competition, fear rejection and high risk situations, and favor compliance over change.
- Authority – People who prefer authority more than the other needs like power and discipline focus on achieving a goal but tend to operate in groups according to a zero-sum game. For someone to win, someone must lose. Status, competition, and winning drive these individuals. Such power-driven people will help others achieve a group objective, so long as it serves this individual’s underlying motivational need for prestige.
While all of us develop these same needs, as learned behavior, what sets each of us apart is how we prioritize them.
McClelland, David C., Human Motivation, Cambridge University Press, New York, 1985.
McClelland, David C., The Achieving Society, New York, D. Van Nostrand Companies, Inc., 1961.