Motivation Cards – 2021 E&A update

Back in 2012, with the assistance of our girls Jacquie and Lauren and their iPad drawing skills, we created our Motivation Cards. 12 motivators, inspired by the work of Frederick Herzberg and Daniel Pink, and many conversations with our clients, and applying some thinking adopted in ‘Agile’ for ways to talk about what matters to people.

We have used these motivators in scores of workshops; in coaching conversations, in career planning conversations, in workshops about leading others – and we’ve made them freely available to use with a link on our DiA website.

Well, after 9 years (hang on – where did that time go!) we thought it might be time to give these a refreshed look, so our daughter Jacquie, whilst on Uni holidays, helped create a 2021 version. Paul and I will be using these in our work from now on, and thought we’d share them with you too!

The aim of the exercise is to identify the motivation factors that contribute to your level of satisfaction at work and ultimately rank these in order of importance.

Click here to download PDF copy (6 to page – 2 pages)

Click here to download PDF copy (12 to page – 1 page)

If you are using the PDF image, here is some guidance

(adjust as appropriate if this is a personal activity or if you are using it with others)
  • Review the 12 cards in the attachment.
  • Sort through the motivators and identify the top 6 factors that make you feel motivated and satisfied in your work and the bottom 6 factors that are not critical to your feeling of satisfaction. Jot the words down.
  • Look at your top 6 factors pile – if you can, split these into your top 3 and next 3 and have two piles. (Don’t worry about the numbers pe se – what matters more is knowing those motivators that matter most to you!)
  • Do the same for your original bottom 6. Which are the least effective / least important factors in determining your level of motivation? If you can, identify your bottom 3 and second bottom 3. If you can’t, just get clarity about those things that just don’t seem to motivate you and jot down notes.
  • Consider if there is anything else that particularly triggers your desire and energy to be motivated. Add this in and if you can, drop another off. Keep your number of motivators to 12.
  • Take a ‘helicopter view’ of what you see, and spend a few moments to reflect on what this means to you. Jot the priority numbers down in the attachment as a record of your thoughts.
  • Reflect on the sense-making questions below.

If you have printed the pack, chopping it into 12 ‘cards’ to use with your team, here is some guidance

(adjust as appropriate if this is a personal activity or if you are using it with others)
  • Print the attachments and cut the individual motivators into 12 cards.
  • Shuffle through the 12 cards in your pack. Sort them into two piles – the top 6 factors that make you feel motivated and satisfied in your work and the bottom 6 factors that are not critical to your feeling of satisfaction.
  • Look at your top 6 factors pile – if you can, split these into your top 3 and next 3 and have two piles. (Don’t worry about the numbers pe se – what matters more is knowing those motivators that matter most to you!)
  • Do the same for your original bottom 6. Which are the least effective / least important factors in determining your level of motivation? If you can, identify your bottom 3 and second bottom 3. If you can’t, just get clarity about those things that just don’t seem to motivate you and put them near the end.
  • Consider if there is anything else that particularly triggers your desire and energy to be motivated. Grab a blank piece of paper and write this down somewhere. Add it to one of the piles and drop another off. Keep your number of cards to 12.
  • You will now have 3-4 piles. Take a ‘helicopter view’ of what you see, and time a few moments to reflect on what this means to you. Jot the key words down in the table below or another copy of the PDF 6 or 12 to a page, as a record of your thoughts.
  • Reflect on the ‘sense-making questions’ below.

Sense-making:

  • For the motivators that matter – are these being met right now?
    • About right? Used too much? Not used enough?
  • Does this give me some insight into my current energy and mood at work?
    • Does what is happening now and the things that matter to me align?
    • Is there something that is a de-motivator, draining me of my energy?
  • Would others know about this? ie Your Manager? Your Peers?
  • If this activity shows there is an issue to resolve, what can you do that would make a positive difference to the current situation?
  • How can you share this with those you work with in a pro-active way, to encourage future work and interactions?