How to get motivated

Kim Scoville

Kim Scoville

Why do some women thrive in a high-stress workplace while others struggle? Why do some love collaboration and carefully weighing every person’s opinion while others wish they could just do it all on their own?

Women in the workplace, at home and in relationships are all motivated differently. The real secret is discovering what truly motivates us, and then aligning choices with core values and motivators.

CultureWorks is seeking to help women understand themselves more clearly. The West Jordan-based company studies employee engagement, and the organization’s two managing partners — Utah’s Adrian Gostick and New Jersey’s Chester Elton — have released a book titled “What Motivates Me.” They have also developed a “Motivator Assessment” to help individuals identify what drives them.

Based on data from more than 850,000 employees, CultureWorks identified five motivational categories: Achievers, Builders, Caregivers, Reward-driven and Thinkers. These identities are based on 23 motivating factors, and how those factors rank determines what identity you are most aligned with.    

With more than 4,000 assessments completed, CultureWorks has seen a correlation between women and the caregiver identity — approximately 32 percent of women surveyed rank highest in this category.

The assessment describes these women as people who place importance on loyalty, respect and family time, as well as making work light-hearted and fun.

Assessment in action

Provo’s Kim Scoville was introduced to The Motivator Assessment when she was working on a project with the career counseling center at LDS Business College. Kim is an attorney, adjunct instructor at BYU and mother of three. After taking the assessment, she was pleased to find that her motivators matched up with her career.

“My top identity was the thinker category, and I am highly motivated by creativity,” Kim says. “Most people don’t think of law as a creative profession, but often when I am trying to resolve an impasse between two parties, creative solutions are needed.”

Family was also a high motivation for Kim, which means that after a finishing a big project, the best reward her boss can give her is time off to reconnect with her kids.

“The assessment gave me the language to describe emotions I’ve always had but didn’t know how to articulate,” she says.

[pullquote]“My top identity was the thinker category, and I am highly motivated by creativity.” —Kim Scoville, attorney[/pullquote]

Why motivators matter 

“Your motivation profile is very powerful because you can look at it and say, ‘As long as I have a sense of these things in my career or at home, I’m going to be happy,’” says Cedar Hills resident Chad Hart, director of client services for CultureWorks. “It clues you in on the opposite as well. If you have a job that pays extremely well, but you are motivated by making an impact rather than financial reward, that could explain why you don’t feel fulfilled.”

The CultureWorks model suggests that when someone’s daily tasks aren’t in alignment with his or her core motivations, it’s time to transfer, alter or change.

For instance, if you’d rather eat glass than mop the floor one more time, delegate the task to your husband or children and spend your time doing a task that fits your profile.

In the workplace, if your motivation identity is that of a builder, which means you have an interest in developing others and managing social responsibility, then a management role could be the best fit.

Parent smarter, not harder 

When a mother knows what motivates her child, everyone’s life is easier. Some kids thrive with the “Tiger Mom” approach while others do best when given independence.

If a child is motivated by fun, cleaning the bedroom with the music blasting might help. If the child is a thinker, meaning he or she is motivated by opportunities for creativity and variety, then letting the child rearrange the room every now and then might inspire more ownership.

“I have two sisters who share a room,” Chad says. “We knew they had different personalities, but when they both took the motivator assessment we laughed at just how differently they were motivated. Their personality clashes made a lot more sense.”

Knowing what motivates a child can also help parents select the right activities for them. Those who identify as achievers are more likely to be drawn to sports with clear winners and losers and are exhilarated by challenges under pressure. On the flipside, thinkers are more likely to thrive at play practice.

To learn more about the Motivator Assessment, visit


Kate Lehnhof Nash first joined Bennett Communications as a summer intern in 2009. Now, as an associate editor, she writes for magazines including Utah Valley Magazine, Utah Valley Bride and Prosper. Kate lives in Springville with her husband Steve and enjoys running, reading, sushi and her french bulldog, Chief.

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