What drives us? Are there gender differences in motivation and values?

In one of our previous articles we have started the discussion about the importance of employee motivation and getting to know the drivers of our employees. Although in an ideal situation we will be able to identify specific motivators of each of our key people, it can also be beneficial to get familiar with some gender differences in motivators of male and female managers in order to understand how we can motivate, engage and reward them for excellent performance.
Assessment Systems Group has conducted a research on gender differences in motivation and values of managers to derive some practical advice on how to approach this crucial aspect of people leadership.

“According to Pardee, R. L. 1990 Motivation is the reason for people’s actions, desires, and needs. Motivation is also one’s direction to behavior, or what causes a person to want to repeat a behavior.”

We used Hogan Assessments’ Motives, Values and Preferences Inventory (MVPI) as the basis for a quantitative analysis of motivation. The results of the Inventory relate to work motivation which are associated with work-related outcomes, including organizational fit, job satisfaction and occupational success (Hogan & Hogan, 2010). MVPI is a validated, psychometrically sound assessment tool. Scores on this inventory reveal what drives the employees, what values are important to them, and what kinds of jobs or work environments they prefer. It comprises of the following scales, which represent the motivational factors:

responsive to attention, approval, praise
desiring success, accomplishment, status, control
oriented for fun, pleasure, enjoyment
wanting to help others and contribute to society
enjoying and seeking out social interaction

dedicated to strong personal beliefs
needing predictability, structure, order
interested in money, investment, business opportunities
concerned with look, feel, design of work products
seeks knowledge, research, technology, data

We have used our data set from 2005-2017, which consists of over 40.000 single MVPI results from Central and Eastern Europe and the CIS region from lower managerial levels to the C-level executives operating in business sectors. A randomized sample (over 3.900 data sets) was created, with equal number of male and female participants, and an equal number of participants from each of the countries which were involved in the research: Czech Republic, Serbia, Hungary, Russia, Slovakia and Poland.

We wanted to answer the following questions:

Are there differences between genders in terms of motivation and values in the countries of the CEE region?
Are there differences in motivators and values of managers in each of the particular countries: Czech Republic, Serbia, Hungary, Russia, Slovakia and Poland?
What are the most important motivators of female managers in the CEE region?
What are the most important motivators of male managers in the CEE region?

Here are the first findings:

Differences between male and female managers’ motivators

Our analysis showed that there are statistically significant differences between several motivators of male and female managers.

The results indicate that female managers are more motivated than men by the following:

  • Recognition
  • Hedonism
  • Affiliation
  • Aesthetics

On the other hand, results showed that for male managers the following motivational factors are more important than they are for their female colleagues:

  • Commerce
  • Altruism
  • Tradition
  • Power

Finally, there were no significant differences on Science and Security scales between the genders, which means that both male and female managers are motivated equally by those factors.

Most important motivators of male and female managers

Also, we have performed a ranking of the motivators for each of the genders in order to gain better insight into how important each of those are on average for female and male managers. So here is an overview (ranking from highest to lowest mean scores):

Ranking of male manager motivators

  1. Commerce
  2. Power
  3. Tradition
  4. Security
  5. Altruism
  6. Aesthetics
  7. Science
  8. Recognition
  9. Affiliation
  10. Hedonism

Ranking of female manager motivators

  1. Power
  2. Recognition
  3. Aesthetics
  4. Security
  5. Affiliation
  6. Science
  7. Commerce
  8. Hedonism
  9. Tradition
  10. Altruism
Stay tuned for a full whitepaper about the research in the following weeks where a detailed analysis, comparisons and recommendations will be presented!

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