Perfect balance. It’s what we want in our work and home lives. It’s also an essential for business.
Successful companies have teams of people who know what they are good at, celebrate their differences and use this knowledge to get behind a common purpose.
Absolute’s team has always operated in a non-hierarchical structure in which each member of the team is empowered to be the best they can. Thus, between us, we play to our strengths and do the best work we can for clients. Everyone’s happy.
Well that’s the theory. Where it gets complicated is when you drill right down into everyone’s individual motivations and discover that not everyone actually likes the sound of a level playing field. Some people who are great at what they do prefer to be given quite a lot of guidance before giving their best. It’s also true that people’s motivations change according to individual circumstances and where they are in their career. The key is to understand and adapt to these changes as you evolve and grow as a business.
We recently worked with a motivational expert who helped us measure the balance of the Absolute team. We were pleased to find that we are indeed a well-balanced team, with a complementary mix of motivations among the team, which includes several new faces on the back of a run of new business wins.
There are 9 recognised motivations of work all of which are essential in a fast-paced marketing communications business such as Absolute, which prides itself on meticulous delivery of good work. The 9 motivations fall into 3 distinct clusters: relationship, achievement and growth. Some we all share to a high degree and others less so. As a team our highest cluster groups were growth and relationships with strongest motivators around a sense of purpose and creativity.
Other motivators were strong for individuals such as a desire to be recognised within our industry as great practitioners or for their expertise to be acknowledged and rewarded internally. Some of the team are motivated by the opportunity to innovate or by mastery of detail and an intimate understanding of what makes their clients’ businesses tick. Your lowest motivator can also be revealing and as helpful to understand as your highest.
Working with a motivational expert has helped us to understand that identifying these individual motivations is the absolute essence of building a good team and playing to our strengths.
This week, understanding more about what drives us and our colleagues, we are a better, more thoughtful, more cohesive team. And, just as it should be, it’s our clients who are the real winners. Vive la difference!
By Rachael Whitson, MD of Absolute PR and Marketing