Need for Achievement and Motivation

Posted on April 2, 2012 by TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)


Everyone is motivated for different reasons to accomplish tasks at work. What motivates me to do work may be completely different from what motivates you. Our personalities and job functions can influence how we respond to work demands and what it takes for us to complete the tasks. The Need for Achievement Theory, target characteristics that make individuals motivated because of the need to feel achievement.

Some employees appreciate and want acknowledgement for successfully completing a task at work. Others prefer not to receive public praise and are motivated intrinsically. Employees motivated by the need for achievement are typically more of the risk takers in the organization. They are also the employees that want to constantly be challenged and learn new things. Jex and Britt (2008) describe these employees as having, “a tendency to become very absorbed in their work” (p. 238).

How is this theory helpful? All organizations struggle with identifying what it is that motivates different employees. Highly motivated employees are more productive, satisfied, and more committed to the organization. Understanding how employees are motivated by different factors is extremely important in retaining top employees and in maintaining a high performing organization.

For employees high in the need for achievement, organizations can work to provide these employees the necessary level of challenge and learning. If an organization does not realize that high achievers desire frequent feedback on their performance and does not give feedback, the high achiever may feel frustrated and unhappy at their organization. Simply understanding employee needs can influence the quality of work and satisfaction that employees feel on the job.

What other types of employees are there besides high achievers? What are other motivators?

Reference: Jex, S., & Britt, T. (2008). Organizational Psychology: A scientist-practioner approach. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)

About TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)

Great companies know that it takes highly engaged employees to retain customers and make their brand promise come alive. To make the connection between your employees, customers and brand, you need a partner with deep expertise across several areas. Only KANTAR TNS has over two decades of employee survey experience, as well as access to the consultative and research resources of the world’s largest customer satisfaction benchmark database and brand analytics research. Whether you have 200 employees or 200,000, Kantar TNS has the expertise and the advanced measurement, reporting, and follow up tools you need to deliver on your employee and customer brand promise.

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