[3-minute insight]

People who have relationship-led motivations featuring dominantly in the top three on their Motivational Map, are driven by a sense of unity. Whether this means security, belonging, social esteem or all three, their motivations primarily come from sustaining relationships at work. Let’s take a closer look at the three drivers in this area and what energises people with relationship motivators.


Defenders need security and plenty of it! They have to believe that what they’re doing is contributing to a solid and predictable future. Therefore, final retirement options will enter into their calculations as to what is important.

When job seeking, a Defender will also be evaluating the security of the company, its size, longevity and track record. The need for security is one of the most powerful of all human needs. Defenders are risk and change averse, so the word spontaneity doesn’t exactly feature high-up in their vocabulary. However, a Defender may well take bold moves so long as detailed calculations show the outcome has a large degree of certainty.

Defenders are highly motivated when they’re given clear communication and accurate information. However, springing last minute tasks on them will not be appreciated!

Focuses on: Job security and company stability.
Likes you to: Deliver accurate and regular information.
Motivating statement: “The company is doing well”
Demotivating statement: “We have a crisis, can you drop everything and do this now?”

Theme song: ‘Security’ by Otis Reading


Friends need to feel like they belong and so they’re driven by the people around them. They want harmonious, nourishing relationships with other people at work and to feel part of a community. They view teamwork as collaborative as opposed to competitive.

Friends prefer to work for an organisation with a strong identity and culture where people are valued. A Friend tends to view all proposed changes through the filter question: ‘How does that affect the people here?’ Loyalty and community are key values and they especially like to be close to people and part of a team. Even if a Friend does not enjoy the job, they will stick with it if they like the people.

A good social life in and outside of work is highly motivating for Friends. They will easily become demotivated if not given the opportunity to form bonds with others.

Focuses on: A collaborative environment where they feel supported.
Likes you to: Listen to and include them.
Motivating statement: “Let’s have a company social event”
Demotivating statement: “We don’t encourage friendships here”

Theme song: ‘We Are Family’ by Sister Sledge


Stars need to be recognised, admired and respected by the community at large both in and outside of work, whether it be from professional associates, colleagues or peers. They go about their work with a fervent demeanour because they love to stand out and shine. This is good for their social esteem.

Like a Friend, a Star is not so much motivated by financial reward but by personal recognition, even more so when in a public setting . They’ll relish a proverbial pat on the back, especially when given in front of others.

Promotion is highly motivating for a Star because of the personal recognition it brings them and they’ll practically bite your arm off for the opportunity! Lack of appreciation for a job well done will heavily demotivate a Star.

Focuses on: Opportunities for recognition and awards.
Likes you to: Hold them in high esteem and praise their contributions.
Motivating statement: “We have so much respect for you”
Demotivating statement: “And you are…?”

Theme song: ‘Respect’ by Aretha Franklin

Want to know whether your candidates or people are driven by relationship motivators?

Using Motivational Maps as part of your hiring and team development processes will reveal all! You can also access your FREE sample of a Motivational Map using the form below.

Samantha Lynne
I help business owners & hiring managers streamline candidate interviews to make right-first-time hires for the long-term.