Last week during the UK Leadership meeting we were fortunate to have session with Jeremy Snape. For those that don't know, Jeremy is a former England cricketer who has become a transformational performance coach. During the session Jeremy talked about the importance of 4 key pillars that drive intrinsic motivators:

  • Mastery
  • Autonomy
  • Purpose
  • Sense of belonging

These are compared against extrinsic motivators such as salary, bonus, ranking, status. These are also called ‘hygiene’ factors in the context of Herzberg Theory. They won't make you love your job but they will make you dissatisfied. 

Personally I have found the most important aspect of this to be purpose. I discovered mine about 5 years ago when someone close to me became ill with what I thought should have had more interventions in place to prevent the illness occurring or least make it a softer landing for all involved. 

On reflection of my job at the time I had my extrinsic motivators ticked and almost all of my intrinsic motivators with the exception of purpose (mainly down to excellent colleagues). 

I didn't have this framework at the time but looking back I was deploying an emergent strategy to find a job/career that would accommodate for this final intrinsic motivator.

It took evenings at health tech incubators, insurance tech events, trawling online articles, several investments in tech startups, countless ‘coffee’ meetings and boring friends with my idea of how to prevent ill-mental health.

Fast forward 5 years I have been presented with a brilliant opportunity at Aon to follow this purpose with the added power of my colleagues at Aon and a company story that aligns. 

At Aon, we exist to shape decisions for the better — to protect and enrich the lives of people around the world.

Jeremy shared stories about sports teams who have overachieved thanks to setting goals that relate to an inspirational purpose (think South African Cricket Team, New Zealand Rugby, England Women's Football or dare I say it, England Rugby!) but I do think the businesses that crack this alignment will be the long term winners.

Some advice for those seeking a full hand of intrinsic and extrinsic motivators

For those that know their intrinsic motivators a deliberate strategy can be deployed into choosing the right career and associated goals. I don't think this is the case for many which makes it even harder for organisations to motivate employees let alone align them to the companies purpose. 

For an individual who has not found these yet they need to follow an emergent strategy. As they go through their career and life they will begin to find the areas of work they love and align to the 4 pillars above. Once identified, then it’s time to flip from an emergent strategy to a deliberate one. As our EMEA CEO, Julie Page, said ‘be curious’.

A subject I always enjoy to talk about so feel free to reach out if it is of interest!