Moving Motivators

A small software development company has been working the same way for about 20 years. Most of the people working here have been here for 10 years or longer. The world is changing, the company needs to change as well. Workloads have been skyrocketing and demand for our software is higher than ever. How do we tackle this?

To keep spirits high, we use Moving Motivators to see what motivates people and how we can improve this motivation. After playing the game with the different teams (which served as a nice team building experience as well), we set up heat maps by team and for the entire company.

Preliminary results
Although current motivation isn't very high, all players took the game very seriously. No one ever commented that they didn't see the use for this. There were some suprising differences and similarities in the heat maps.

It was surprising to find high similarities within the teams. Every team had it's own, very strong, bias in motivators. The core software development team was strongly motivated by curiosity and mastery, whereas the core Support team was strongly motivated by the more social motivators (Acceptance and Relatedness).

Within the entire company, however, the Goal and Freedom motivators scored very high.

Mapping the main motivators and the score of those motivators gave 2 very explicit results. First of all; Goal is important for just about everyone in the company but also very underrated. And although we can never fully support the goals of all employees, we're going to make the Company goal a lot more clear. By setting up all-company meetings more regularly and having the CEO update everyone on the state of the company we hope to improve this. The other two items are more team-oriented. The support team will be made more visible within the company (by, for example, not puttiing them in the far-away corner office) to improve their bond with the rest of the company. The core Software Development team will start holding knowledge sessions to expand their mastery.

We will rerun Moving Motivators in about a half a year and see if the actions have improved motivation within the company.