Are the Motivations of Businesses and Employees Aligned?

Are the Motivations of Businesses and Employees Aligned?

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by Cherie Widener, Business Operations Manager, Vantage Agora



Motivation is what drives action in all of us. What motivates us in the workplace? Is what motivates business owners the same as what motivates employees? In short, employees can be motivated by any or all the following:

  • Desire for money.
  • Recognition.
  • Job satisfaction.
  • Specific skill set or talent.
  • Work with a specific leader or team.
  • Power and influence.

How many of those motivators are aligned with what motivates your business? Probably few, if any.

As a company, Vantage Agora has a clearly defined mission statement supported by a series of values and guidelines that define our DNA. We also ask all our employees to publish their own professional mission statement on a public message board on our Business Operating System, OX Zion. An example of the mission statements our employees have published include:

  • Leave it better than you found it.
  • Work smart, work hard, and be remarkable.
  • Having a positive impact on every person with whom I come in contact.
  • Living a daily life dedicated to meeting all challenges with joy and integrity.
  • Deliver excellence without exception.

By knowing what motivates our employees we can bring the right incentives and rewards to encourage our employees when exceptional times require exceptional efforts for our clients. Unfortunately, many business leaders assume money motivates all employees. Promises of overtime pay or cash incentives for extraordinary commitments isn’t a panacea for all employees.

To leverage an employee’s primary motivators that does not include money, employers should seek to better understand these 3 keys to motivation:

  1. Autonomy: Employees often have the urge to direct their own work lives.
  2. Mastery: Oftentimes there is a simple desire to get better and better at something that matters.
  3. Purpose: Other times employees have a yearning to do something in the service of something bigger than ourselves.

Beyond identifying personalized motivators for all Vantage Agora employees, we follow a philosophy known as ROWE – a Results Oriented Work Environment. In our ROWE culture, we value productivity over most other traditional standards of measurements. Of course, honor, integrity, transparency, and equality are all key foundations to our company culture, but we value and measure productivity over all other metrics.

Most companies track their employees’ attendance, office hours, tenure, and salary because those are easy to track and measure. We learned that tracking those traditional metrics does not motivate employees and is counter-productive to motivate our workforce. Once we adopted our Results Oriented Work Environment, we saw our employee engagement and satisfaction increase significantly and our employee turnover has been slashed.

Having an engaged workforce and understanding what motivates them helps the leadership team align our employees’ motivations to our business needs and the needs of our clients. That has generated tremendous success and loyalty from our employees. And that loyalty is extended every day to all of our clients.


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