The 3 Layers of Motivation 2018 Edition

Ok, so it isn’t quite 2018, but near enough!

I wanted to present a new graphic for my Layers of Motivation (Found here), with a little bit of explanation about one aspect!

For those that don’t know, this was created as a way to explain where purely extrinsic and trivial methods of motivating people, such as points badges and leaderboards, sat within general motivation.

Layers of motivation 2017 500x283 The 3 Layers of Motivation 2018 Edition

Based on good old Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Self Determination Theory, my own RAMP and gamification mechanics.

The key learning is that to engage and motivate users, you need to understand what their needs are. If they are starving, offering them digital badges won’t really hold any motivational drive for them! If they are generally satisfied in their day today base needs but are unhappy in their role because they lack autonomy, adding a leaderboard to their day job will not help!

Adding Some Clarity

As linear as this all seems, satisfy the bottom layer, then the middle then use gamification, it isn’t that simple. Short term engagement using extrinsic gamification can work fine, whatever the other needs may be, but it will have no sustainability. Also, what one person finds extrinsically motivating, others may find much more intrinsic.

The other key one to look at is Money in the base layer and Excess Bonuses being in the trivial/extrinsic section. Money is a base need these days, it is what helps us to guarantee security. Having more than we need is also not a terrible thing, money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy a lot of stuff that can go towards making you happy! However, there is a point where money is no longer the biggest interest. In a job you hate, you don’t tend to leave because of the money, it is other factors. If you are then offered more money, it rarely makes you change your mind as the rest of the environment is the same! If you have enough money to be at least comfortable, then excess bonuses are not going to provide long-term motivation to do good work.

Excess bouses can also lead to terrible behaviour, with overjustification effect being a massive issue. If you are just working for the money, quality can be affected as can decision making. Did you make the decision because it was best for the customer, or because it helped you get your bonus?

Anyway, if you are going to use my 3 Layers of Motivation, please use this image from now on 🙂


Gamification Europe Talk: Lessons from the Front Line

In other news, I recently did a talk at Gamification Europe. It was touch and go if I was going to be able to go or not, so I did a video version of the talk just in case. Here it is attached to my slides from the event.

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