Learning Activity: What Do People Want From Their Jobs?

Objective - Identify what motivates people to work.

Give each learner a copy of the table below. Divide the learners into small groups of three or four. Ask each learner to rank each item under the first column titled Individual Factor from 1 to 10, with 1 being the most important and 10 being the least important.


Individual Factors Group Factors What do people want from their jobs?
________  ________  Promotion in the Company
________  ________  Tactful Discipline
________  ________  Job Security
________  ________  Help with Personal Problems
________  ________  Personal Loyalty of Supervisor
________  ________  High Wages
________  ________  Full Appreciation of Work Done
________  ________  Good Working Conditions
________  ________  Feeling of Being in on Things
________  ________  Interesting Work


Once they have completed the ranking, have each group their average individual weights to get the average within their group. Rank the 10 items under the second column titled Group Factor.

Inform the group that this same scale has been given to thousands of workers across the country. Their ranking is as follows:

Managers ranked the items in this order:

  1. High Wages
  2. Job Security
  3. Promotion in the Company
  4. Good Working Conditions
  5. Interesting Work
  6. Personal Loyalty of Supervisor
  7. Tactful Discipline
  8. Full Appreciation of Work Being Done
  9. Help on Personal Problems
  10. Feeling of Being in On Things

However, when employees were given the same survey, their rankings followed this pattern:

  1. Full Appreciation of Work Being Done
  2. Feeling of Being in On Things
  3. Help on Personal Problems
  4. Job Security
  5. High Wages
  6. Interesting Work
  7. Promotion in the Company
  8. Personal Loyalty of Supervisor
  9. Good Working Conditions
  10. Tactful Discipline

Discussion Questions

  1. How to your individual and group rankings compare to the two national averages?
  2. In comparing the different ratings, what might account for the different opinion?
  3. What might be the cause of the managers’ rankings being so different from their employees?
  4. If this survey was given to your department, what would the results be?

Next Steps

This activity is used in conjunction with the chapter on Leadership and Motivation

Return to the Leadership Training and Development Outline


This survey is based on works by Susan Herrington, North Tennessee Private Industry Council in Clarksville, Tenn.