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The age-old question: “How can I motivate my employees?” is one that has probably been asked by every single manager out there. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful world if there was a single direct answer to that question? Unfortunately, as many managers can tell you, there isn’t.

The problem, however, isn’t that there is no straightforward answer, but that managers are asking the wrong question! Before you try to determine how to motivate your employees, shouldn’t you try asking what motivates your employees?

Now that we are asking the right question, the right answer is not far behind!


What is motivation and how can it be measured?

In psychological terms, motivation is the force that initiates, guides, and maintains goal-oriented behavior. A motivator, on the other hand, is the reason why we do what we do.

With these definitions, it is clear that motivation is a psychological trait – so, wouldn’t it make sense to measure it using psychological tools? The answer: it certainly does!

But you do not need to hire a full-time psychologist to figure out what motivates your employees. In fact, you can get accurate, precise, and valid information using Atman’s psychometric test.


Motivation assessment with the Atman test

The Atman test is a scientifically validated psychometric assessment tool that measures characteristics of personality, and is based on the factors of the most widely accepted theory of personality; the Big Five theory.

The test takes into account 11 dimensions of an individual’s personality, which are grouped into 5 different sections

  • Thinking Structure
  • Motivation
  • Leadership
  • Sociability
  • Resistance to Stress

I know what you’re thinking – “there is only one section on motivation, how can I get a motivation assessment out of the Atman test?”.

The answer is simple: in order for you to be able to motivate your employees, you not only need to know what motivates, but you also need to know what demotivates them! And that is what the Atman test does; it provides you with the full picture of who your employees are and what they need to be motivated.


Have your employees complete the Atman test!

With a link sent through Atman’s technologically-advanced and user-friendly platform, your employees can complete the Atman test from any computer with an internet connection! As soon as the test has been completed, all you have to do is log back into the platform and view your employees’ results.

And what would these results tell you exactly? Well, allow me to tell you!


Evaluate what motivates your employees

The 11 dimensions that the Atman test evaluates are bipolar scales. In other words, the extremes of every scale represent two completely opposite traits. For example, the Sociability scale will tell you where a person lies on a scale between being reserved (introverted), or outgoing (extroverted).

The bipolar nature of the scale allows you to easily see what motivates your employees at one end, and what would clearly demotivate them at the other!


What exactly does the Atman test tell you?

Many, many things! Let me give you a few examples:


Your employee is either results or team-oriented

If the results of an employee show that they are more oriented towards results, then they will be motivated to perform their best in more competitive environments where they can shine. They would be motivated especially when they can see their results right off the bat.

However, if the test shows that your employee is more team-oriented, then a very competitive environment would not only not provide them with the right motivation, it would actually demotivate them! Because they prefer to participate than to win, a competitive environment does not provide them with the right motivation needed for them to perform.

As you can see, these two employee will likely never be motivated working the same job in the same work environment!


Your employee is either traditional or adaptable

Another example; take an individual who is naturally more traditional in the way in which they carry out their work. They like having policies and procedures that can provide them with proper guidance. But what if their job or their work environment is not well-structured? Yep – you guessed it – they will become demotivated.

However, an adaptable person is not only more comfortable in a less structured environment, they prefer it! Having too many policies and procedures imposed on them will leave them feeling demotivated.

And that is just what you can get from two of the scales (dimensions). With 9 more, you will have a complete motivation assessment at your fingertips in no time!

All you have to do is glance at your employee’s Atman report and you will be able to immediately pinpoint the problem.


When is the best time to use the Atman test for a motivation assessment?


Target the employees who seem demotivated

Clearly, the first thing you should do is address the problem at hand – target the employees that appear to be lacking the motivational level needed to successfully perform their job. Give them the Atman test, and evaluate both their results and their work environment to determine what motivates them, and what is causing them to be demotivated.


Target your most performing employees

The next step would be a proactive one – giving the Atman test to your motivated and performing employees. By doing so, you will be able to understand what it is that’s motivating them, and make sure you don’t take it away from them! I know this might sound silly; how can you take away the motivation of a motivated employee? Why would you even do that? – It goes without saying that no manager would do that on purpose!

But consider a highly motivated employee, who is one of the company’s best performers, but is also someone who is naturally reserved. Because they feel uncomfortable in larger groups of people, a manager thinking they are doing them a favor by giving them a big presentation is, in fact, doing the complete opposite!


Use the Atman test for hiring

Lastly, use the Atman test during the hiring process to determine whether or not your organization is even capable of providing the candidate with the motivation they need. Not only does the Atman test tell you about the level of person-organization fit, but also about person-job fit, and even person-team fit.

Motivation is one of the most important traits when it comes to employees and the workplace, and is the force that drives them to perform and succeed in your organization.

Do you think your employees are demotivated? Do you want to keep the rest motivated? What about making sure you have what it takes to motivate a new hire? Have them complete the Atman test in order to be able to conduct a motivation assessment.

Leen Sawalha

Leen Sawalha’s interest in the effects of motivation and behaviour on businesses has led her to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Human Resources Management. Currently in the process of acquiring her MBA, Leen’s expertise lies in the integration of both disciplines to enhance the effectiveness of an organization’s human capital.


Improve your productivity, performance, and prosperity by focusing on your most important asset: your employees. From recruitment to retirement, AtmanCo’s psychometric assessments will help you achieve Business Happiness!


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