The answer is a combination of things which will have differing importance dependent on circumstances and where we want to be. Abraham Maslow identified our Hierarchy of needs which starts from physiological, water and food etc, to eventual self actualisation, realising our true potential.
When we think about work many see it as a means to an end, earning money so that we can eat, go on holiday etc. If we are going to get the best out of our work it has to be more than that and it will be different for each of us.
So what needs can we fulfil at work that will contribute to us being happier? Well we can divide them up into 3 categories, relationship, achievement and personal development.
Relationships are important for 3 reasons, the feeling of belonging, the feeling of security and the feeling of recognition. Without other people we could not receive any of these so having a network of people around us will help to fulfil these drives
Achievements are important for 3 reasons, Thinking we are being well rewarded, Thinking we have expertise and thinking we have control. These can be felt by the rewards we are receiving, opportunities to learn and being in a position to make decisions of behalf of others.
Personal Development is important in 3 ways, knowing we have control over our time, knowing we are being creative and knowing we are making a difference. These can be measured by our freedom to make our own decisions, contribute to new ideas and feedback that we receive.
You may be thinking that all these things are important and you would be right, the trick is to know which ones are most important and lead to our decision making and behaviours.
Try this exercise, from the list below put them in order from 1 being the most important and 9 being the least. To help you with deciding, compare each with the other 8 and see which ones wins the one to one battle.
- Material Satisfaction
- Making a difference
Once you have them in order, ask yourself how are my top 3 (1-3) being met in my current role? How much time am I spending on my least important (9)? Are any of them not being fulfilled at all, e.g not feeling any sense of belonging?
Hopefully this process has been useful and has made you think about your work and how it’s fulfilling your most important drivers, however it can be influence by what you think you want rather than what is really driving you. If you’d like find out what is really driving you by using Motivational Maps technology send me email with ebook in the title and I will send you a link to complete a map for just £99 including a feedback session over skype/zoom with me.