Valuable Workplace Insights: Our Behaviors and Motivators

A behavioral assessment tool is a systematic method used to evaluate and understand the behaviors, traits, and characteristics of individuals. These tools often come in the form of questionnaires designed to measure specific aspects of behavior, personality, and motivations. The primary goal is to gain insights into how and why individuals act in certain ways in different situations, particularly within their work environment. Let’s take a look behind the curtain to learn more about the “how” and the “why” of what we do.

For this article, we focus on the context of the workplace and use the terms “behaviors” and “motivators” to help provide a guiding path to understanding an important part that contributes to who we are as individuals. By focusing on the interplay between behaviors and motivators, organizations can maximize the full potential of their workforce. The journey towards understanding and leveraging these insights is an ongoing process, but the rewards are well worth the effort.

The Concept of Behaviors in the Workplace

  1. Defining Behaviors

Behaviors refer to the observable actions and reactions of individuals in various situations. Think of behaviors as the “how” of what we do. In the workplace, these behaviors are influenced by a myriad of factors, including personality traits, past experiences, and the work environment itself. Understanding these behaviors is crucial for building effective teams and enhancing collaboration.

  1. Common Behavioral Frameworks

Several frameworks are used to categorize and analyze workplace behaviors. One popular framework is the DISC model, developed by American psychologist William Moulton Marston. The DISC model categorizes human behavior into four types: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness. Marston's work provided a foundation for understanding personality traits and their impact on interpersonal relationships and workplace dynamics. Each type has distinct characteristics that can impact how individuals interact with colleagues and approach their work. This model has been adapted by several organizations who are continuously focusing on research-backed, reliable and valid approaches to the DISC assessment. Cooper Consulting Group is a proud partner of a few of these organizations.

  1. Impact on Team Dynamics

Behaviors significantly impact team dynamics by influencing how team members interact, communicate, and collaborate with one another. Diverse behavioral styles can either complement each other, leading to a well-rounded and effective team, or create friction if not managed properly. For example, individuals with dominant and assertive behaviors may drive decision-making and innovation but may also clash with those who are more reserved or collaborative. Understanding and recognizing these behavioral differences through assessment tools can help teams leverage their diverse strengths, address potential conflicts, and create a more harmonious and productive working environment.

The Role of Motivators

  1. Understanding Motivators

Motivators are the internal drives that compel individuals to act in certain ways. Think of motivators as the “why” of what we do. They are the underlying reasons behind behaviors and can be influenced by personal values, goals, and aspirations. In the workplace, understanding what motivates employees can lead to increased job satisfaction and productivity. Using a common language to understand what motivates each one of us allows us to identify these motivations with purpose and create an action plan to harness them effectively.

  1. Types of Motivators

Motivators can be broadly categorized into intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. Intrinsic motivators are driven by internal rewards, such as personal growth, passion for the work, and a sense of accomplishment. Extrinsic motivators, on the other hand, are influenced by external factors like financial rewards, recognition, and job security.

One innovative framework that highlights motivators is the 12 Driving Forces assessment. Eduard Spranger initially identified six primary categories to define human motivation and drive: Theoretical, Utilitarian, Aesthetic, Social, Individualistic, and Traditional. Building on Spranger's work, TTI Success Insights introduced the 12 Driving Forces® assessment, which examines each motivator on a continuum with descriptors for both ends. These twelve descriptors are based on six key concepts: Knowledge, Utility, Surroundings, Others, Power, and Methodologies.

  1. Aligning Motivators with Organizational Goals

Aligning individual motivators with organizational goals is essential for creating a harmonious work environment. For example, an employee motivated by personal growth would benefit from being given opportunities for professional development. Similarly, recognizing and rewarding employees who are driven by extrinsic motivators can boost morale and encourage high performance.

There are an endless variety of reasons as to why people are driven to do what they do. These reasons are not often seen at first glance because they go beyond the surface level of one’s identity. Understanding yourself and others requires conscious effort and commitment to placing value on these topics in the workplace.

Integrating Behaviors and Motivators in the Workplace

  1. The Power of Behavioral Assessments

Behavioral assessments, such as the DISC profile and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), provide a structured approach to understanding individual behaviors. These tools offer valuable insights that can be used to tailor management strategies, improve communication, and enhance team collaboration.

  1. Creating a Common Language

One of the primary benefits of using behavioral assessment tools is the creation of a common language within the organization. When employees and managers understand the behavioral and motivational profiles of their colleagues, they can communicate more effectively and address potential conflicts proactively. They are empowered to have productive conversations based on what they’ve learned from the assessments and debrief sessions without judgement. This common language can help build both self and social awareness.

  1. Tailoring Leadership Approaches

Leaders can use insights from behavioral assessments to tailor their management approaches to suit the needs of their team members. For instance, a leader managing a team with diverse behavioral types might adopt a flexible leadership style, providing clear direction for those who need it while allowing autonomy for others.

Practical Applications of Behavioral Insights

  1. Enhancing Team Collaboration

Effective collaboration is crucial for organizational success. Behavioral insights can help identify potential areas of friction within teams and provide strategies for mitigating conflicts. For example, team-building exercises can be designed to address the unique behavioral dynamics of the group, fostering a more cohesive and productive team environment.

  1. Personalizing Professional Development

Understanding the motivators of employees allows organizations to personalize professional development plans. For instance, an employee motivated by career advancement might benefit from a mentorship program, while someone driven by a passion for learning could be encouraged to pursue additional training and certifications.

  1. Fostering Open Communication

Behavioral and motivational insights help encourage open communication amongst team members within an organization. When facilitating our workshops on these topics, participants are placed in small groups to have discussions on what they’ve learned about themselves from the assessment. They also challenge themselves by sharing insights they’ve gained and what they might appreciate about other types and styles. These exercises foster open communication and allow space for people to share and learn about their behaviors and motivators.

Challenges and Considerations

  1. Privacy and Ethical Concerns

While behavioral assessments offer numerous benefits, it is essential to address privacy and ethical concerns. Employees should be informed about the purpose of these assessments and how the information will be used. Organizations must ensure that data is handled confidentially and that the results are not used to unfairly disadvantage any individual. Rest assured, we uphold stringent measures to protect your information, ensuring reliability and peace of mind in our services and our partnerships.

  1. Avoiding Overgeneralization

It is important to recognize that behavioral assessments are tools, not definitive labels. While they provide valuable insights, they should not be used to pigeonhole individuals or make sweeping generalizations about their capabilities. Organizations should use these tools as part of a broader strategy for understanding and supporting their employees.

  1. Continuous Improvement

Workplace dynamics are constantly evolving, and so should the use of behavioral assessment tools. Organizations should regularly review and update their assessment processes to ensure they remain relevant and effective. Feedback from employees can provide valuable insights into how these tools can be improved and better integrated into organizational practices.

  1. Debrief and Follow-Up Tools

An assessment debrief is a comprehensive review and interpretation of an individual’s report. The debrief can take place individually, one-on-one with a certified consultant, or in group discussions (ranging from small to larger groups). Debriefs are a valuable way to ensure that your employees are getting the maximum potential out of the organization’s investment into the assessments.

Some assessment providers offer interactive online platforms where employees can revisit the assessment content, find ways to work better with their colleagues, and get advice into handling conflict, getting buy-in, and more. It’s one of the best way to keep these conversations “alive” after a debrief session.


Understanding the behaviors and motivators of employees is more important than ever in the workplace environment. Behavioral assessment tools offer a structured approach to gaining these insights, helping organizations build a common language around why and how people do what they do. By integrating these tools into various aspects of organizational practice, team collaboration and professional development, companies can create a more harmonious and productive work environment.

Embracing the complexities of human behavior and motivation allows organizations to foster a culture of understanding and empathy. This, in turn, leads to higher levels of job satisfaction, improved performance, and ultimately, greater organizational success. As we continue to navigate the challenges and opportunities of the modern workplace, the insights gained from behavioral assessments will remain a valuable asset for leaders and employees alike.