How to Enhance Workplace Communication


As an employee, the road to becoming a successful communicator begins your first day on the job. As an employer, it is your responsibility to provide your employees with the proper tools in order for them to thrive in all aspects of the job. Unsure of where to begin? No matter which end of the spectrum you land on, a great place to start facilitating a working relationship is through communication.


Communication can be broken down by being either one-way or two-way. One-way communication means that the delivered information is meant to only be digested. In other words, the recipient is only meant to read the message is not required to respond immediately if at all. Two-way communication is the exact opposite. A message is delivered and should be met with an immediate discussion. Utilizing both types of communication facilitates a strong overall organization for more reasons than one:


  1. Unites the Team(s): Good communication practices allow all members of the organization to communicate in a productive manner. This aids in setting clear goals and expectations for all of those working toward a common goal.
  2. Reduces Miscommunication: Frequent communication means that there are numerous opportunities for messages to be discussed and elaborated on. Not only does this leave room for questions to be asked, but it also means that opinions and constructive criticism can be given to further benefit a given conversation or topic.
  3. Improves Efficiency: Being able to communicate effectively using both the written word and verbal communication is vital. The more opportunities there are to communicate, the more clear and concise messages will become.


So how do you come to enjoy the communication benefits listed above?


Utilize the Internet


Strong workplace communication starts when employees are given multiple channels of communication to accomplish day-to-day tasks. There should be avenues that support both one and two-way communication. In this digital era, we have set the standard for instant and constant communication. This is much in part due to the internet and its capabilities.


Utilizing the internet to better connect employees and customers is the most direct avenue businesses can take. Communication methods such as email, instant messaging, and video conferencing are the first things that come to mind. However, as of late, standard phone services can also be attained through an internet connection. Employers can utilize VoIP, or Voice Over Internet Protocol to enable employees to utilize typical phone functionality through a simple internet connection. This is a benefit for many reasons. Perhaps the most important being that all employees really need to communicate with each other is a computer and an internet connection.


Set the Standard


Each workplace has likely established multiple channels of communication that are available to employees. It is important to standardize which channels are appropriate for different types of messages. This may vary by department or even team, but in order to obtain a streamlined communication process, here are some things to keep in mind:


  1. Person-to-Person


As stated previously, we live in a digital age where we have the resources to communicate using different messaging platforms and apps. However, there is a unique level of clarity and understanding that is achieved when you are able to interact with a person face-to-face in real time. In-person communication creates strong working relationships among coworkers because you are able to digest more than just the written word.


Body language and tone of voice allow recipients to have a deeper understanding of the message that is being communicated. Not only that, they are able to ask questions and provide commentary instantly that can change the directory of a conversation. Person-to-person communication:

  • Sets the foundation of all working relationships
  • Demonstrates importance
  • Personalizes messages through nonverbal cues
  • Allows for immediate response and commentary on the receiving end


Once a familiarity between coworkers and teams has been established, communication becomes much more clear and concise.


  1. Email


Email is typically used as a form of one-way communication. It is a great tool to use when recapping previously discussed or agreed upon objectives. With that said, email is most effective when used to:

  • Provide brief updates regarding team and project initiatives
  • Send attachments including relevant and detailed information
  • Be a source of reference
  • Serve as a record of communication


It is not effective when used to:

  • Share new information that has not been previously discussed
  • Share high-level instruction
  • Share messages that require a direct and immediate response


  1. Instant Messaging


Instant messaging, much like its name describes, is used for instant communication. It can almost be viewed as a hybrid for face-to-face and email messages. Users have the ability to communicate with the written word, but also have the concept of instantaneous responses through chat. This is a great channel to adopt when you have established an understanding of your team’s personality and the tone of the messages that are being transmitted. Instant messaging provides the benefit of:

  • Real-time communication no matter where your team is located
  • Hosting one-on-one or group conversations
  • The ability to multi-task and not have to halt work on a project to be immersed in a conversation elsewhere






‘It’s hard to recruit talent but the challenge for employers is to hold on to it’

THE IRISH TIMES by Mon 18th March 2019

A Special Report is content that is edited and produced by the Special Reports unit within The Irish Times Content Studio. It is supported by advertisers who may contribute to the report, but who do not have editorial control.


Feedback, coaching and recognition are essential for retaining employees

Talent retention has moved to the top of the agenda for many organisations

Talent retention has moved to the top of the agenda for many organisations


With the labour market at its tightest for many years, talent retention has moved to the top of the agenda for organisations. “Unemployment is at its lowest level since 2007 and turnover has been creeping up and has now reached 11 per cent,”says Chris Kerridge, employee engagement expert with MHR UK and Ireland, a specialist provider of HR, payroll and analytics software and services.

“It comes down to engagement levels in organisations. One of the key issues is around employee and job alignment. If the job or the organisation is not what the employee perceived it to be or if there is no alignment with the culture, they won’t stay. Linked in with that is feedback, coaching and recognition.”

Kerridge believes employees need regular feedback on their progress in their jobs and on their contribution to the organisation reaching its goals and objectives. “On the flip side, if employees are not progressing and not receiving feedback on why and not receiving help to develop that will ultimately lead them to disengage.”

John Goulding, founder of employee engagement and internal communications company WorkVivo, points to some of the positive aspects of employee engagement. “It’s hard to recruit talent and the challenge is to hold on to it,”he says. “Employee engagement is one way to do it. We know if you get it right good things happen.”

If you get employee engagement right good things happen
If you get employee engagement right good things happen

He cites research by Gallup and Gartner indicating 37 per cent less absenteeism, 65 per cent lower employee turnover and 30 per cent greater customer satisfaction in highly engaged organisations.

That improved customer satisfaction is a natural function of high levels of engagement and retention, according to Kerridge. “An organisation with low turnover levels will gain a highly skilled workforce with detailed knowledge of the company’s products and services; the customer experience improves as a result.”

Recognition is also important, and can be small. “It doesn’t have to be a big thing like an award or a bottle of champagne,” says Kerridge. “A simple thank you or a pat on the back to say well done will do. If employees are not getting that it leads to unhappiness.”

Goulding agrees. “Lack of recognition is one of the reasons people become disengaged. It can be very quick and easy to recognise people for their contribution. You don’t need formal awards.”

Chris Kerridge:“unemployment is at its lowest level since 2007”
Chris Kerridge:“unemployment is at its lowest level since 2007”

The negative impacts of poor engagement and high staff turnover levels can be significant. “High turnover impacts morale and motivation,” says Kerridge. “Employees will be concerned about what’s happening in that situation. That diminishes productivity. One of the main negative effects is cost, as the average cost of recruiting a new hire is around €30,000.”

Goulding believes the key to good employee engagement is communication. His company’s internal communications platform looks and feels like a social media site and facilitates two-way communications between organisations and their employees.

“Companies need to invest the time to connect with their employees,” he says. “They have to explain the goals and objectives of the organisation and bring them alive. They have to explain why the goals are important to the organisation, and not just monthly or quarterly. Communication has to be constant. This facilitates recognition and improved engagement.”

If employees know they have a future they will be more likely to stay

There are other things employers can do to improve engagement. “Companies can support personal development and set out clear career paths within the organisation,” says Kerridge. “If employees know they have a future they will be more likely to stay. They can offer things like flexible working. Attitudes to the work life balance are changing. Employees now expect a level of flexible working.”

Measurement is also critical. “Employers should measure the impact and success of these things through regular surveys. They should do regular pulse surveys weekly or even monthly rather than just once a year.”

Indeed, the very act of carrying out the surveys can lead to a feedback loop which generates improved engagement.

And these steps can be taken by any company, regardless of size, Kerridge concludes. “Feedback and recognition don’t cost anything. Putting a career roadmap in place can be done at little or no cost. Flexible working such as working from home or starting earlier and finishing later needn’t cost a lot to implement. All these things help.”

25+ Google Tricks (Guaranteed You Won’t Know All of Them!)


Maximize your time with these lesser-known commands.

By Larry KimCEO of MobileMonkey@larrykim
CREDIT: Getty Images

Think you know everything Google is capable of? 

Think again. 

Google is so much more than a search engine.

You can use it as a unicorn tool do everything from converting currencies to tracking your physical location, all without ever leaving the confines of Google.

Keep reading to discover Google tricks, including lesser-known hacks, time-savers, Easter eggs and search shortcuts.

1. Use Google as a Timer and Stopwatch

You can use Google as a timer or stopwatch with a simple query.

Enter a search phrase like “set timer for 15 minutes” and you’ll see Google do just that.

2. Pinpoint the Time of Sunrise and Sunset


Enter “sunrise in” or “sunset in” followed by a geographic location in Google to find out what time you can expect the sun to rise or set.

For example: “Sunset in Los Angeles.”

3. Weather Forecast

Check the weather to know if it’s a good time to go out or do something outdoors.

Enter “weather in + geographic location” in Google.

For example: “Weather in New York.”

4. Use Google to Calculate a Tip

Search for “tip calculator” to have Google help you with calculating exactly how much you should leave as a tip.

5. Convert Currencies

Google can help you with how much one currency is in another currency.

Type in “amount + currency A to currency B.”

For example: “20 USD to JPY.”

6. Books Written by Favorite Authors

If you’re looking for books by a specific author, simply type in “books written by + author name.”

For example: “books written by Salman Rushdie.”

You’ll get a carousel showcasing their work.

7. Calculator

You can use Google as a calculator if you don’t have one lying around.

Just type in a formula and have Google calculate it for you.

8. Find the Origin of Any Word

Want to know the etymology of a word?

Google can help with that, too.

Put “Etymology + word” to discover the origin of any word. 

9. Use Double Quotes to Find an Exact Search Phrase

If you wish to make your search more exacting, you can enclose your search phrase in double quotes.

That will make Google search for results that contain only that exact phrase.


10. Results from a Specific Site

Use “query +” to get search results only from that specified website.

For example: “marketing tips”

11. Use OR Operator to Find Two Different Things At Once

Search for two different things at once with the OR operator.

For example: “Iphone OR Android.”

12. Use AND Operator to Get Results Containing Two Specific Items

If you’re looking for search results that contain both two of your queries, use the AND operator.

For example: “chatbot AND messenger.”

13. Search by File Type

You may be searching for a particular file type on Google.

Enter “query + filetype:extension.”

For example: “Truecaller filetype:apk.”

14. Find Related Websites

If you’re looking for websites related to a specific website, use “”

For example: “”

15. TBT: Google in 1998

Type “Google in 1998” and the search engine will automatically show you what the search engine looked like the year it was created.

16. Discover Fun Facts

Are you bored at the moment?

You can type “fun facts” or “I’m feeling curious” in Google and get some awesome trivia factoids.

17. Do a Barrel Roll

If you haven’t tried this yet, get on it.

Type “do a barrel roll” into Google and watch the magic unfold.

18. Look at Old Accounts with Inactive Account Manager


Google’s Inactive Account Manager lets you look at accounts you may have in Google that are not being used.

You can then delete accounts you’re no longer using or make them active again.

19. Adjust Your Ad Settings

Did you know you can choose what type of ads you want to show up on your browser.

Head to ad settings and adjust the ad types you see. 

20. Report a Gmail User

Unwanted or abusive emails on Gmail can be problematic.

You can report them to Google using this form and Google will deal with the problem for you. 

21. Use Startpage

StartPage isn’t actually a Google-owned trick, but it’s still a good service to know about.

StartPage is like an incognito version of the Google search engine — your searches there are totally anonymous, and StartPage pulls results from Google itself.

Unlike the incognito version of Google, however, your IP address is not tracked or stored, giving you more security. 

22. Download Search History

You can obtain a list of all the search queries you’ve entered throughout your history of using Google.

This is super helpful if you’re trying to track down a particular webpage you visited but can’t recall the name of. 

23. Make Sure Your Downloads are Safe


Google’s safe browsing site status tool can check if a file you wish to download is safe.

24. Google Newspaper Archive

Google Newspaper Archive is pretty much the most comprehensive online news file there is.

You can read newspapers from 1798 to present day from all over the world.

25. Google Timeline History

You can use Google Timeline History to see where you have been at a particular date and time.

If you need to be able to track your own whereabouts, then this is a powerful tool.

26. Google Trends

Google Trends is an excellent tool for identifying the hottest topics at the moment from around the world.

Digital marketing mastermind Neil Patel considers it one of his top seven marketing tools.

Like Neil, you can use Google trends to identify topics to incorporate into your content strategy.

27. Google Password Manager


Google Password Manager is one of the most convenient features on Google.

You can have Google save passwords for your various online accounts.

It makes having different passwords for different accounts easier to manage.

Just make sure your Google password itself is both secure and easy enough to recall.

This post was inspired by All Tech Share’s infographic. Check it out here for even more Google tricks.

Like this column? Sign up to subscribe to email alerts and you’ll never miss a post.

Personal Loan Rates for March 2019

Loan reason

Debt Consolidati …SoFi



5.99 %

with AutoPay


     Larger Loan Amounts


     No Application Fees


     No Prepayment Penalties

  • Fixed interest rates start at 5.990% APR when you enroll in AutoPay¹
  • Loan sizes between $5k-$100k¹
  • Loan repayment terms: 3,4,5,6 and 7 years

6.14 %

with AutoPay


     Larger Loan Amounts


     Lower Rates


     Quick to Fund

  • Loans from $5,000 – $100,000
  • Rates from 6.14%* APR w/AutoPay depending on loan purpose
  • Funds as soon as today†

6.95 -35.89 %

with AutoPay


     Minutes to Apply


     No Prepayment Penalties

  • Personal loans from $1,000 to $40,000
  • Easy online application takes minutes
  • Low fixed rates and fixed monthly payments

5.99 %


     Lower Rates


     No Prepayment Penalties

  • Borrow $10,000 to $40,000
  • Rates as low as 4.99% APR – terms apply
  • No prepayment fees ever

6.95 -35.99 %


     Quick to Fund

  • More than $10 billion loans funded through Prosper
  • 9 out of 10 customers would recommend Prosper to friends or family*
  • Consolidate debt, finance a large purchase or pay off medical expenses

7.74 -29.99 %


     Larger Loan Amounts


     No Prepayment Penalties


     Quick to Fund

  • Personal loans $1,000 to $50,000
  • Check your rate online in minutes
  • Pay loan off any time with no prepayment penalty

5.99 %


     No Prepayment Penalties


     No Application Fees

  • No prepayment penalties, application fees, late fees, or hidden fees. Because no one wants to do that
  • You can consolidate all your credit card payments down to one monthly, affordable, fixed-rate payment between 5.99% and 24.99% APR

15.49 -34.99 %


     Quick to Fund

  • Personal loans from $2,000 to $25,000
  • Checking your loan offer won’t affect your credit score
  • Loans funded quickly, as soon as next business day

5.99 %

3 or 5 year term


     Quick to Fund


     No Application Fees


     No Prepayment Penalties

  • Personal loans up to $35,000 with fixed APRs from 5.99% to 29.99% for a 3 or 5 year term
  • Get money in as little as one business day
  • Join more than 420,000 customers at a trusted company with an A+ BBB rating

9.95 -35.99 %


     Quick to Fund


     Minutes to Apply

  • Personal loans from $2,000 to $35,000 online.
  • Competitive rates from 9.95% – 35.99% APR and terms from 24 to 60 months
  • Checking your loan options has no impact to your credit score.

5.74 -18.99 %


     Lower Rates


     No Prepayment Penalties


     No Application Fees

  • Borrow up to $35,000
  • Low, fixed rates starting at 5.74% APR¹
  • Loan terms of 36, 48 or 60 months

7.99 %

with AutoPay


     Larger Loan Amounts


     No Prepayment Penalties


     Quick to Fund

  • Personal loans of up to $50,000 with low fixed rates that will never change*
  • Affordable monthly payments that fit your budget, and no prepayment penalties
  • Fast Funding. Money is sent to your bank account within a day of clearing any verifications

What is a personal loan?

A personal loan is defined as money loaned to individual borrowers by banks, credit unions, or private lenders. The money can be used for just about any purpose. Personal loans are paid out in a single lump sum, and often repaid over a number of years. The typical personal loan is repaid in monthly installments over an agreed-on period of time and personal loans are typically unsecured, meaning they aren’t backed by collateral (homes, cars or other types of property).

“A personal loan is a convenient borrowing alternative, often at a lower rate than a credit card and with funds disbursed much more quickly than getting a home equity line of credit.”

Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate’s chief financial analyst.

Personal loan rates

Interest rates for personal loans are largely determined by your credit score. Your annual income and the amount you wish to borrow are important, too. Interest rates for unsecured personal loans generally range from 5%-36%. You can apply for a personal loan through a bank, credit union or finance company, including online marketplace lenders.

Average Personal Loan Rates by Credit Rating
Excellent 720-850 9.8%
Good 690-719 15.0%
Average 630-689 21.3%
Poor 300-629 28.2%

Why do people take out personal loans?

Some of the most common reasons for considering a personal loan are:

Even if these reasons don’t apply to you, you may still benefit from a personal loan. Bankrate’s personal loans marketplace can help you find the best loan and the best lender for your situation.

Pros and cons of personal loans

Know the advantages and disadvantages of a personal loan, which include:


  • The convenience of receiving the money upfront in a lump sum
  • You can get the money quickly — in as little as one day, depending on the lender
  • They’re easier to apply for than mortgages or personal lines of credit


  • You’ll likely pay a higher APR with an unsecured loan
  • A low credit score can make it more difficult to get the lowest available APR
  • You may have to pay an origination fee to process the loan

Frequently asked questions about personal loans:

What is APR?

APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate. APR refers to the extra amount borrowers pay in interest and fees on an annual basis. Lenders calculate APR on a yearly basis, but borrowers are most often responsible for paying APR on a monthly basis.

For more detail on how APR can affect your monthly payments, check out our loan calculator.

What’s the difference between a secured loan and an unsecured loan?

Secured loans are backed by a piece of the borrower’s property as collateral, typically a vehicle or house. Because the borrower stands to lose personal property if they default, secured loans tend to have lower interest rates.

Unsecured loans are not backed by collateral, but instead by the borrower’s creditworthiness. Because the lender takes on more of a risk with an unsecured loan, interest rates tend to be higher. Lenders also require that borrowers seeking an unsecured loan have a higher-than-average credit score.

What’s a repayment term?

A repayment term refers to the length of time borrowers have to repay their loan. A personal loan’s repayment term can vary between one and ten years, depending on the lender.

How does my credit score affect my offer?

Because personal loans are often unsecured, they may come with higher APRs. With unsecured loans, lenders tend to pay extra attention to a borrower’s credit score.

The lower a borrower’s credit score is, the more they’ll have to pay in APR. Lower credit scores can lead to APRs in the double digits.

Loan rates differ by lender, but often opting for a secured loan can help lower APR, even for someone with bad credit. In some cases, secured loans can offer up to 8% less in APR than unsecured loans.

What’s the difference between fixed-rate and variable interest?

Depending on the loan and the lender, you may have a choice between fixed rate (which stays the same over the life of the loan) or variable (which can rise or fall depending on changes in the market).

The interest on a variable rate loan often starts low but may increase over time. The terms of the loan agreement will specify how often the lender is allowed to raise the interest rate, and some loans cap the maximum rate at a certain percentage. By contrast, the payments and interest charges on a fixed-rate loan will remain the same.

Base your decision on whether you prefer the stability of a fixed rate or the possibility of saving on interest with a variable rate.

COMPARE PERSONAL LOAN RATES: Enter your information in the Your info/Loan info box at the top of the page to see offers from Bankrate lending partners.

Transitioning from College to Career: A Guide for New Grads

college graduation celebration

Transitioning from College to Career: A Guide for New Grads

Graduating from college, while a great achievement and cause for celebration, can put many young adults in a difficult position. Expectations are high for landing the right entry-level position, while for many the threat of student debt and rent create a feeling of financial instability.

This guide is here to help you figure out what you need to know to get on your feet and keep moving, as your academic development turns into professional development.


33 Small Business Human Resource (HR) Tips From the Pros



Last updated: February 13, 2019 | By Jessica Leone

From hiring a team to creating a marketing strategy, every business venture involves some level of risk. As a business owner or entrepreneur, risk-taking is simply part of the role.

While it’s impossible to predict how a decision will pay off, there are steps you can take to mitigate cost and uncertainty. Below, we outline the steps and potential benefits of calculated risk-taking. For a condensed version of our take, jump to the infographic.  

What is a Calculated Risk?

A calculated risk is a risk that’s been given thoughtful consideration by weighing all potential costs and benefits. Calculated risk-takers carefully take steps toward a goal. They don’t gamble on the future. Instead, they find ways to mitigate risk as much as possible.

With every business decision, you consider the outcome and advantages or disadvantages. This is even more important with business risk-taking when the stakes are much higher. The more you can lower the potential for loss or injury to your business, the better.

How to Take Calculated Risks

When faced with an opportunity, consider these steps to work toward your goal in a thoughtful way. Even if you think of yourself as risk-averse, the below tips will come in handy for non-risky business decisions.

1. Break down the decision – Assess the larger end goal by shrinking it into smaller, individual risks. It’s far less daunting and enables you to evaluate each risk at the micro level. Start by writing down each of the component parts that make up your decision. What will be the real effort required? Begin with the easiest of those parts first.

2. Ensure your bottom line is balanced – Can your bottom line take the hit if the opportunity you pursue happens to go south? As a business owner, shareholder or employee, check your numbers quarterly or after each accounting period to assess the effectiveness of your strategy and management.

3. Evaluate the opportunity – Take a step back to gather as much valuable information as you can. Create a road map or plan of action and list possible outcomes to weigh how the risk will play out. As Richard Branson was starting Virgin Atlantic, he negotiated in his contract with Boeing the option to return the 747 plane at the end of its first year if the venture didn’t work out as expected. His team spends time finding innovative ways to protect the venture from potential risks.

4. Be OK with saying no– Keep in mind that not every idea should be pursued. If your plate is always full, it’s more difficult to find the time to go after an unexpected or shocking opportunity. In 2008, when Facebook offered $500 million to take over the growing Twitter platform, it promptly turned the offer down. The Twitter founder and team believed in its original vision.

5. Be flexible – Learn to change course if something isn’t working, but keep a forward-thinking mindset. It’s best if you can anticipate an issue before it affects your business or bottom line. For example, you pursue a new venture that’s allotted a $50,000 budget, but find out two months into the four-month-long project the budget is getting cut by $10,000. Instead of getting frustrated, head back to the drawing board to come up with a creative solution.

6. Set checkpoints – While you may be months or even years from reaching your goal, check in on your progress. Regular checkpoints will help you stay on track.


Risk-taking can mean the difference between ordinary and extraordinary. Don’t let fear get in the way if you are passionate about the direction of your goal. Your business growth depends on your willingness to try something new, even if it ends in an epic fail.

1. Gain a competitive edge in the market – Demands are always changing, along with customer needs. If you’re willing to take a risk when competitors or other businesses aren’t, people will remember you for it.

2. Drive transformational change – Status quo isn’t an option in business anymore. What will push the needle when it comes to your services and products that no other business is doing?

3. Overcome fear of failure – When you’re willing to take risks, it empowers you to break through limits (whether self-imposed or external) that may be holding you back.

4. Learn to trust more – As you overcome a fear of failure, it will instill a willingness to trust the process. If you’re unsure how to do that, lean on your team or business partner for an extra boost of confidence.

Pursuing a risk takes time, effort and courage. Particularly, in business, when there is a lot riding on your decision. However, calculated risk-taking lends itself to true innovation and growth. Industry leaders got where they are because of strategic planning and a willingness to take chances.

how to take calculated risks infographic

The Complete Guide to Psychometric Tests (2019 Edition)

practice-psychometric-testsWhat are psychometric tests?

Psychometric tests (also known as Aptitude Tests) are now a common part of selection and assessment processes, and a necessary part of applying for many jobs.

If you haven’t already had to complete one, the chances are that you will need to at some point in the future.

With this in mind, we have prepared for you the Ultimate Guide to Psychometric Tests to explain what they are, how they are used, and how to successfully complete them.

Before we get started on the article below, take note that we have three practice psychometric tests available for you to try.

If you’d like to take any of these tests, you can find them here:

Now read on and let’s get started with the Ultimate Guide to Psychometric Tests!

FREE BONUS: Get free unlimited access to Psychometric test practice (for 30 minutes) on our partner website JobTestPrep.

Psychometric tests are used in recruitment because companies want a means of fairly and accurately predicting which applicants are likely to be successful in a particular job.

The tests aimed to assess the specific abilities of candidates as they related to the requirements of the role.

For example, if a job requires the ability to work with and process numerical data, it is better for employers to be able to test whether a candidate is able to do that, rather than just asking them: candidates might over-estimate their abilities or lie. There was a need for better solution.

There are many different types of psychometric tests but broadly speaking, they fall into two categories: tests of ability (what a person can do) and tests of personality (what a person is like).

Let’s take a look at some of these different tests.

Ability Tests

Ability tests are sometimes referred to as Cognitive Tests.

Let’s go into detail on some of these test types…

Numerical Reasoning Tests

These tests assess a candidate’s ability to understand and manipulate numerical data. You can find our expert guide to Numerical Tests here.

They typically present the candidate with numerical information, often in the form of tables, graphs or charts, and ask the candidate to manipulate the information in order to answer the question.

They tend to be used for jobs where being able to use and understand numbers is important, such as accountants or analysts.

Here is an example of a typical numerical reasoning question (correct answers highlighted in bold):

Q1: What was the most popular flavour of preserve in 2016?

a) Strawberry Jam
b) Raspberry Jam
c) Apricot Jam
d) Plum Jam
e) Marmalade

Q2: Which country had the greatest percentage increase in preserve consumption from 2015 to 2016?

a) UK
b) Ireland
c) France
d) Argentina
e) India

Q3: In 2015, people in the UK ate an average of 20% more preserve in 2014. What was the average preserve consumption per capita in 2014?

a) 7.24kg
b) 8.16 kg
c) 8.50 kg
d) 8.72 kg
e) 9.27 kg

Verbal Reasoning Tests

These tests are designed assess a candidate’s ability to understand and manipulate written material. You can find our expert guide to Verbal Reasoning tests here.

There are various types but the most common tend to present the candidate with a passage of information and ask them to assess whether statements are true, false or impossible to say on the basis of the information in the passage.

Other questions assess your understanding of words or grammar.

They are often used when the job requires a candidate to accurately read and interpret written information, such as roles in marketing or customer services.

Here is an example of a typical verbal reasoning question:

You will be presented with a passage to read and a statement about that passage. You must select one of the following answers:

TRUE: The statement follows logically from the information contained in the passage

FALSE: The statement is logically false from the information contained in the passage

CANNOT SAY: It is not possible to determine whether the statement is true or false without further information

“Working in a holiday resort is a popular option for graduates wishing to see the world. It gives them the opportunity to experience foreign cultures, make friends and build lifelong memories. As the skills required for securing a job tend to be low, most graduates choose not to turn their experience into a career, but enjoy the time they spend abroad. But there is a dark side to this kind of casual work: often workers’ rights are ignored and they may find themselves working long hours for very little money, as holiday resorts often do not adhere to the standards we might expect in the UK”

Statement 1: Many graduates enjoy working in holiday resorts so much they choose to develop a career in hospitality.

(The correct answer is false: the passage says that ‘most graduates choose not to turn their experience into a career).

Statement 2: All graduates who spend time working in holiday results make friends.

(The correct answer is cannot say: the passage says that it gives [graduates] the opportunity to make friends, it is impossible to say whether all graduates do so).

Statement 3: Graduates working in holiday resorts often find that the pay and working conditions are lower than they might expect in the UK.

(The correct answer is true: the passage says that graduates may find themselves working long hours for very little money, as holiday resorts often do not adhere to the standards we might expect in the UK)

This video explains true, false, cannot say type questions in more detail:

Whilst the example above is the most commonly found type of verbal reasoning question, there are other types, as follows.

Free Text Editing

Here you must correct the text shown below.

For example:

“Many cat owners’ love there animals very much. It can be dificult four them to understand why other’s don’t also enjoy they’re company. Living with someone who cat’s effect differently can be hard particularly if their allergic, but with practise gets easier”

As you can see, this passage contains a number of spelling and grammatical errors. The correct answer is shown below:

“Many cat owners love their animals very much. It can be difficult for them to understand why others don’t also enjoy their company. Living with someone who cats affect differently can be hard, particularly if they’re allergic, but with practice gets easier”


These questions require you to arrange the sentences in order, depending on an understanding of the language they use.

For example:

You have invited a number of colleagues to a meeting. Please rank their responses from the most to least positive:

1. Ok, sounds good, please can you send me the agenda?
2. I’m sorry, I can’t make it but thanks for inviting me.
3. No. That’s not convenient for me and I don’t think I need to be there anyway.
4. Great – I’ll look forward to seeing you there
5. Is it important that I’m there? Is there any chance I could grab the minutes from someone instead?

The correct order is:

1. Great – I’ll look forward to seeing you there
2. Ok, sounds good, please can you send me the agenda?
3. I’m sorry, I can’t make it but thanks for inviting me.
4. Is it important that I’m there? Is there any chance I could grab the minutes from someone instead?
5. No. That’s not convenient for me and I don’t think I need to be there anyway.

Abstract/Logical Reasoning Tests

These tests assess a candidate’s ability to understand novel information, patterns and trends. You can find our expert article on Logical Reasoning tests here.

They typically present you with a sequence of images or patterns and ask you to identify the next in the series or the odd one out.

As they require no specific learned skills to complete they are often seen as the ‘purest’ test of ability as they are less affected by education level.

Abstract reasoning tests tend to be used for jobs where the candidate will need to problem solve effectively, manage new situations and understand how different elements can interrelate, as such they are often used for leadership and managerial roles.

Here are some examples of abstract reasoning questions:

Look at the items in the top row and decide which of the items in the bottom row comes next in the sequence:

The correct answer is D. To solve this, you will need to have identified the two rules operating here:

Rule 1: Odd to even, the shapes row move one position upwards, reappearing at the bottom when they disappear off the top.

Rule 2: Even to odd, the shapes move one position to the left, reappearing on the right when they disappear off the left side.

Abstract reasoning questions often involve movement of shapes.

Look out for different rules that operate on odd or even questions as they are becoming more common.

Here is another example of a tricky abstract reasoning question:

Look at the items in the top row and decide which of the items in the bottom row comes next in the sequence:

The correct answer is A. To solve this question, you need to understand that the squares in the top half of the boxes tell you something about the shapes below them – they are a kind of code. In this case there are four rules:

Rule 1: Grey square means that the shape and colour of the shape below are correct.

Rule 2: Striped square means that the shape and colour of the shape below are incorrect.

Rule 3: Black square means that the shape of the shape below is correct but colour is wrong.

Rule 4: White square means that the colour of the shape below is correct but shape is wrong.

Mechanical Reasoning Tests

These tests evaluate competence in mechanical or technical ability.

They tend to be used for jobs where there is a need to understand how things work technically, such as engineering roles.

They often include questions on topics such as levers, gears, pulleys, springs, screws, acceleration, gravity, clamps, shafts, pressure, friction, eights, volumes, conveyor belts, kinetic and potential energy, balancing scales, simple electrical circuits, applied maths, magnetism, mirrors and reflection.

This film gives a good introduction to solving different mechanical reasoning tests.

Critical Thinking Tests

These tests aim to assess the candidates’ ability to think critically about information.

This includes analysing, conceptualising and reasoning.

To be successful candidates must be able to structure and appraise arguments, identify assumptions and inferences, and understand and synthesise information, these tests are primarily used for lawyers but they are also used by other organisations where a high level of analysis is required.

The most common critical thinking test is Watson Glaser.

You can find out more about these types of tests in this video:

Personality Tests

These tests aim to understand what a person is like and how they are likely to behave. You can find our expert guide to Personality Tests here.

There are many different personality tests available, the most robust are based around the ‘Big Five’ personality traits: Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism, an example of this would be NEO PI-R.

There are other personality tests that are particularly relevant to the workplace, such as the OPQ (Occupational Personality Questionnaire) or that assess how an individual is likely to respond to authority (e.g. FIRO-B).

Others assess how individuals are likely to behave under pressure (such as Hogan Dark Side).

A more recent trend has emerged in which one test can provide a wealth of different psychometric data in one go, such as Talent Q Dimensions.

Motivation Tests

These tests aim to understand what is likely to drive or motivate an individual.

There are many different things that might motivate someone, things like the need for sustainability (e.g. money and security), relatedness needs (e.g. recognition, affiliation and competition) or growth needs (e.g. power, advancement and achievement).

Understanding what motivates someone is particularly useful for understanding whether they are going to find the culture and expectations of the organisation agreeable, and in establishing whether they are likely to focus effectively on the priorities of the role.

Situational Judgement Tests

These tests are designed to understand how a candidate might actually behave in the workplace.

For example, are they likely to be a good team player?

Are they likely to show high levels of perseverance?

Or are they likely to focus mainly on themselves and give up at the first hurdle?

This is assessed by presenting candidates with a hypothetical scenario, relevant to their desired job, and asking them to select the option which they see as the best response.

These tend to be useful to assess attitude, motivation or organisational fit.

This film introduces situational judgement test in a little more detail:

In reality it is not unusual to be asked to complete several psychometric tests for the same role: numerical, verbal and abstract reasoning is a particularly common combination, particularly for leadership roles.

You can find our expert guide to Situational Judgement Tests here.

What makes a good psychometric test?

With psychometric tests feeling so impersonal and playing such an important part in securing your desired job, it’s reasonable to have questions.

For example:

‘What makes a psychometric test any good?’

‘Why is so much weight placed on psychometrics?’

‘How can I be sure that the test I’m taking is a good test?’

Good psychometric tests have good validity, reliability and use norm groups to interpret the results.

They should also be fair and unbiased against any particular group, and they should be administered and interpreted by someone qualified to do so.

Let’s explore what this means…


Validity means that the test does what it says it does.

So if a test says that it assesses numerical ability, does it actually do so.

There are a number of different types of validity:

Construct validity

This is used to explore whether the test actually measures what it is intended to measure, and not something else.

For example, if a numerical reasoning test were only available in English, then for international candidates it would not only be measuring numerical skills, but also their ability to read and understand English.

Criterion validity

This is used to explore whether performance on the test is correlated to other variables.

For example, does a candidate’s performance on a verbal reasoning test correlate with their real work verbal reasoning skills.

Predictive validity is one particularly important kind of criterion validity; this explores the ability of the test to predict future performance.

Face validity

This describes whether the test ‘looks like’ it is assessing what it says it is assessing.

For example, if an applicant to a job were told that their logical reasoning skills would be tested by measuring their baking skills, it would be hard for candidates to feel that the test was accurate or worth using.


Reliability means that the test consistently or reliably measures the same thing.

It’s no use if a test of numerical ability only sometimes measures numerical ability!

It needs to always measure the same thing to be of any use.

These are a number of different ways of assessing reliability.

Here are some of the most common:

Test-retest reliability

If a person takes the same test (and they hadn’t done anything to improve their performance) you would expect them to have a similar score, and this is what test-retest reliability evaluates.

A group of individuals are given the same test over a period of time to evaluate whether their performance changes.

A good test will have a high degree of stability over time.

Internal consistency reliability

This assesses how consistently a person performs over the different test questions.

One might expect that a person might answer similar questions in a similar way – if they don’t, then there might be a problem with the questions.

This is typically measured by split-half (or parallel form) reliability, which involves splitting all of the questions into two groups and examining the correlation between performance on both question groups.

The higher the consistency, the greater the reliability.

Inter-rater reliability

This examines the extent to which different people would draw the same conclusions from the results of the test.

In a test with good inter-related reliability, different people would tend to give the same rating.

Norm Referenced

Norm referencing is a way of interpreting an individual’s performance on a test.

Norm referencing involves comparing an individual’s performance on a test, to the performance of the norm group (a norm group is a group of other people that have also competed the test).

I.e. it shows how well you have done, compared to other people that have taken the test.

This is useful because it tells us how well someone has actually done on the test.

For example, knowing that someone had scored 13 out of 20 on a test doesn’t tell us that much.

It could be a good score if everyone else scored 10 out of 10 or poor if everyone else scored 20 out of 20.

However, knowing that someone scored better than 79% of the norm group tells us far more about how good actual performance was.

It is important that the test administrator selects an appropriate norm group to compare your performance to.

Some typical norm group characteristics are age, educational achievement level, or job level.

Fair and Unbiased

For a test to be fair and unbiased, no individuals from any particular group should be disadvantaged when completing the test.

For example, if women or black people consistently performed worse on a test than other groups, this would not be a fair test.

Psychologists are aware of the and the test development process should have identified and corrected any adverse impact of a psychometric test.

Other ways of making the test fair, relate to reasonable adjustments for people who need them, for example individuals with dyslexia might need longer to complete the test.

If you have any additional needs, it is important that you mention these to the test administrator so that they can put any necessary adjustments in place.

Administered and interpreted by a someone qualified to do so

The British Psychological Society requires individuals to complete a qualification before they are allowed to administer or interpret psychometric test results.

This ensures that the tests are used appropriately and fairly. There are several different levels of qualification:

Assistant Test User: Occupational Test Administrator

This qualification allows an individual to administer a test under the supervision of an Occupational Psychologist who is registered in their use.

Test User: Occupational, Ability

This qualification allows an individual to administer and interpret psychometric testsof ability such as numerical or verbal reasoning tests from any test publisher.

Test User: Occupational, Personality

This qualification allows an individual to administer and interpret psychometric testsof personality. Typically, a user will have to complete an ‘additional instrument’ qualification for each test they use.

Specialist in Test Use

This is a qualification for individuals who want to be able to use a wide range of personality assessments.

You can check whether someone is qualified to administer psychometric tests by looking at the Register of Qualifications in Test Use (RQTU):

How can you check if the test you are being asked to complete is a good test?

The best way to check whether the test you are being asked to complete is a good test is to look at the reviews on the British Psychological Society test register.

This can be found at

Some test publishers also include their ‘test manual’ on their website where you can read about their development process and norm groups.

An example of this is the ‘Technical Manual’ on the Jung Type Indicator Website:

Using a reputable test publishes is also helpful for indicating that the test is likely to be of a good standard. Some of the leading publishers are: SHL, Talent Q, Kenexa, CEB, Capp and Saville.

Why are psychometric tests used?

Psychometric tests are widely used because they are a cheap and effective way of distinguishing between candidates and accurately identifying who is likely to be successful in the job role.

They can be administered to candidates early on in the process and don’t require a face to face meeting, thereby reducing the time and costs associated with selection.

They are also the best predictors of job performance: research has shown them to be 14 times more predictive of job performance than the average interview (Hunter and Hunter, 1984 1) ).

Psychometric testing is particularly useful for ‘volume recruitment’, this is when a job attracts a large number of applicants.

In this instance the psychometric tests are often used to sift out candidates who don’t achieve a specified level on the test.

Other organisations prefer to use psychometrics to support a wider selection process; the tests might form part of an assessment centre for example and the candidate’s performance on the tests will be considered amongst a range of other evidence in considering the candidate’s suitability.

Who uses psychometric tests?

Psychometric tests are becoming incredibly common – around 80% of the US Fortune 500 and 75% of the UK Times 100 companies use them 2) , and the rate of test use is growing by 10 – 15% per year in the US 3) .

Whilst psychometric use is well established in most European countries, it is growing in other countries around the world, with over 56% of India’s top 100 organisations now using psychometrics 4) .

It would be impossible to list all of the organisations that use psychometric tests but here are a few examples: Bank of England, Ford, Deloitte, Procter and Gamble, Hewlett Packard, JP Morgan, Citigroup, Microsoft, McDonald’s, 3M, Barclays, E.ON, Ernst and Young, RBS, Pizza Hut and KPMG.

What to expect from a psychometric test

Psychometric tests are typically short, intense and challenging!

The often last less than 30 minutes and require candidates to complete a number of different questions.

Broadly speaking psychometric ability tests measure either speed (how many questions a candidate can complete in the given timeframe) or power (the most difficult question a candidate can correctly answer) or some combination of both.

Some newer psychometrics are ‘responsive’ which means that they can react to a candidate’s performance on previous questions and present different questions depending on their performance so far.

This allows for an even greater level of discrimination between candidates.

Personality tests are rarely subject to a time limit, but tend to ask candidates to respond to a range of questions, often asking candidates to rate how closely a statement reflects them.

Psychometrics are now primarily delivered online. You will be sent an email including a link which will enable you to access the test.

You should research the test published before clicking on this link so that you know what the test will look and feel like.

You should also expect to be retested.

Where psychometrics are used as a screening tool and completed online, organisations tend to retest candidates at the interview so that they can be sure that the candidate did indeed complete the test.

It really is not worth cheating by trying to get someone else to help you with tests as you will probably get caught out later.

How to prepare for psychometric tests

Psychometric reasoning tests measure your ability, and to some extent this is fixed and your ability to dramatically alter your results is limited by your actual ability level.

What you want to do is ensure that you are performing at your maximum level.

The best way to do this is to practice.

Familiarise yourself with the different types of questions that psychometric testspresent.

Completing lots of practice questions will allow you to identify areas where you need to revise or learn new techniques, and equip you with strategies you can use to solve the questions.

For example, the more you practice abstract reasoning tests, the more familiar you become with some of the different ways in which questions are constructed, this will enable you to decode them more effectively.

It is also worth revising for numerical and mechanical reasoning tests to ensure that the tools and techniques you need to use are at the forefront of your mind and you don’t have to waste time trying to remember them.

You can take our practice psychometric tests here:

If those were useful, you may also like to try WikiJob’s psychometric tests app, available for both Apple and Android, which includes 10 numerical tests and 8 verbal tests. The tests include a timer and worked solutions at the end.

Setting yourself up for success on the day

To give yourself the best chance of success, you need to prepare yourself.

This means sorting out your IT and making sure you understand how to access the test.

Ensure that you have the things around you that you might need: as a rule of thumb, make sure you have a pencil, some scrap pencil and a calculator with you, and that you can see a clock.

You might also find it useful to have checklists of how to complete common mathematical tasks, for example.

Make sure that you will not be distracted in the middle of the test – speak to the people you live with and ask them not to disturb you.

Place a sign on the door if you need to, and turn off notifications on your phone and/or computer.

Boost your chances of success by making sure you are on top form for the test.

Do it at a time of day when you feel most alert.

Make sure you are well rested, not hungry and thirsty, and that you don’t have a hangover! Keep calm, even if you feel anxious about the test.

Some people find that spending a few moments practicing mindfulness before starting the test gets them into the right frame of mind.

What to do if you don’t hit the grade?

Don’t worry if you don’t get the results you were hoping for in your psychometric tests; it is often only one part of an organisation’s selection process and you may be able to impress assessors in other exercises.

Often assessors consider a candidate’s performance holistically using psychometrics to support their observations from different exercises.

Remember, psychometric tests are supposed to be hard. If they were easy then there wouldn’t be any point in using them.

Keep practicing and make sure that you are doing the best that YOU can do.

If you’ve not been successful, try not to worry about it too much.

Tests are used because they indicate who is likely to be able to successfully complete a job – if you didn’t pass the test then there’s a strong chance that you wouldn’t enjoy the job anyway.

You might be better off looking for a job that is a better fit with your aptitudes and preferences where you will be able to flourish.



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29 Data-Driven Ways You Can Improve Employee Morale Right Now


As a small business owner, you’ve likely mastered the self-management techniques necessary to be your own boss. If you’ve grown your business enough to require employees of your own, it can be exciting to bring on new members to your team. However, learning to successfully manage others is a unique challenge that takes practice and patience. No matter if you’re a large business or only managing two other people, being in charge of others can challenging — and incredibly rewarding.

It’s important to make sure your employees have the tools, skills, and experience they need to be successful in the role, but it’s also essential to your job to make sure you’re managing their morale. Low morale can be caused by high stress, infrequent praise, overly aggressive management styles, and poor communication. Employees produce their best work if they feel supported, appreciated, and rewarded. High employee morale reduces absenteeism, increases productivity, and lowers employee turnover. This is the reason why organizations with engaged employees outperform those with low engagement by 202%.

There are no hard and fast rules that will work to raise the morale of every employee, and it’s important to remember that you can learn everything you need to about managing your employees, from your own employees. Stay engaged with your workers and show them that you care about their happiness just as much as their productivity. More than running a good business, keeping your employee morale high requires being a good boss.

Keep reading if you want some tips on how to maintain high morale while growing your business:

Forbes | Entrepreneur | Paycor | Entrepreneur | Globoforce | | DynamicSignal | GetBridge | TheLadders | Salesforce | SHRM | Gallup | CornerstoneOnDemand Forbes

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Understanding The Key Factors That Supercharge Motivation 

When you wake up each morning and prepare for the day ahead, what motivates you?

What internal or external forces push you forward to live and work and even play for the 16 to 18 hours each day that you are awake?

Is it the want to see and spend time with your loved ones?

The desire to do a job and earn money and praise?

Or is it the simple, instinctive aspects of human nature, such as waking up because you don’t want to sleep all day?

Girl pumping fists into sunset

Do you even really know?

Regardless of the triggers for our actions, understanding what stimulates us, as well as those around us, can have a profoundly positive effect on our day to day lives.

Let’s explore motivation – how it moves us, why it’s essential, and if we’re lacking, what we can do to gain back our inspiration.

What is Motivation?

The textbook definition of motivation is reasonably simple – it’s our basic reasoning for, and the need, want, and willingness to do something.

However, identifying motivation on a more granular level is not as simple.


Because, as humans, our desires and goals are all different, both in where those desires originate and in how they evolve.

Man punching fist to cloudy sky

The reasoning or justification for moving (or not moving at all) from point A to point B varies from person to person.

Consider an office environment where two co-workers of equal education and talent, apply themselves to a project for entirely different purposes.

The first one works hard to complete the task because it means a Friday off from work. The other does it for a promised bonus.

So how are we to recognise motivation in ourselves to achieve the goals we set?

How do we connect with others and help discover what will move them to reach their potential?

To help inform our understanding of motivation, we need to know what exactly motivates us. And why what drives one person, may not even be a consideration to another.

What Motivates Us?

Many theories have arisen over the past 100 years attempting to explain what moves us to act towards a particular goal. The most popular ideas often fall into one of the following three categories:


The thought that individuals are driven to act to maintain a specific state of euphoric feeling. For example, someone who requires high-arousal will seek out activities that push the edge such as skydiving or riding roller coasters.

A person with a lower arousal threshold may look for more low key fulfillment, like cooking or watching a movie.


Here, an individual’s behavior is propelled by the instinctual necessity to serve their own fundamental needs or the needs of their loved ones. For instance, a parent may be motivated by fear to protect their child or by love to provide for their well-being.


Finally, this level of motivation stems from behavior that is driven by a biological desire to fulfill a requirement. You eat because you must to survive. You work because you require financial rewards or want to feel part of a team.

The Maslow Hierarchy of Needs

The consideration of needs has shown the most traction for the actual basis of motivation. One of the most famous reviews on the subject dates back to 1943 and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

Conceived by American psychologist Abraham Maslow, the groundbreaking work he produced was his paper “A Theory of Human Motivation.

With a focus on what makes a person happy and what individuals did to achieve those objectives (instead of the standard approach at the time to look at what was wrong with a person), he devised five levels of need:

Man on mountain with vast view


The most basic needs and requirements to sustain our survival. Food, sleep, water, and air.


The need for security whether it’s by way of physical security (such as a roof over our heads), financial stability (savings or retirement funds) or general health and well-being.

Love and Belonging

Also known as social needs, this includes a sense of community in a family or social network or being loved by others.


Include the desire to be recognised or to achieve prominence and stature. These needs are common in professional settings but are also huge factors in a social environment.


The highest and most complex level on the Maslow hierarchy, this involves the fulfillment of potential – where an individual looks to their personal growth and reaching their highest capabilities.

Most often cast as a pyramid, the foundation of the hierarchy consists of the basic requirements for survival. As we meet primal needs, we yearn for more significant growth and achievement.

Maslow’s theory does have detractors – mainly those who claim that our ambitions do not easily align along a one, two, three step process.

Yes, that may be true, but when looking at where motivation comes from, the hierarchy helps define what sparks an individual’s specific drive.

Let’s look at our earlier example of the two co-workers, of equal talent, skill, and knowledge, with one driven by time, the other by money.

With the hierarchy as a general guide, one might surmise that the employee-driven by the extra free time grew up in a household that revolved around family. Their upbringing was such that greater value came from spending time with loved ones.

The employee aiming for the bonus may have grown up poor, or conversely in a family with financial security. Either way, their value of money, no matter the reason, help define their motivations.

This tells us two things.

First, once specific needs are met, or if we find it unnecessary to fill particular requirements, our motivation moves toward unrealised pursuits.

Second, the things that motivate may also be a learned behavior. In the case of the employee growing up with financial security, their environment taught them the value of having that safety, and they resolved to never go without.

Why is Motivation So Important?

So why does knowing your motivations matter?

For one, knowing what moves you leads to seeking out conditions and experiences that result in higher overall well-being.

Failing to grasp what drives you may result in dissatisfaction, or unhappiness with the way things are instead of you creating the life you want for yourself and your loved ones.

Second, with the knowledge of specific motivation, you can help spur others to realise their goals.

Man climbing overhanging rock against sky

Do you have people that directly report to you? Much like our scenario, you can identify what drives them to better performance and results.

If you’re a parent, you can identify what triggers your child will best respond to help them reach their potential.

To inform that identification, two levels of motivation further define where a person’s incentivisation may stem.


This originates from an individual’s inner desires and fulfillment for their personal satisfaction. For instance, a person who pens poetry for their own enjoyment and not for publication does so for intrinsic reasons.

From a professional standpoint, you find intrinsic motivation in someone who enjoys their work for the knowledge gained or the satisfaction they receive versus any monetary rewards it provides.


On the opposite end of the spectrum, extrinsic, as the name suggests, comes from outside aspirations. In both a personal or professional setting, this involves tangible rewards or recognition – anything from trophies to monetary prizes to general praise or acknowledgment.

Whether intrinsic or extrinsic, knowing which is more important to you (and others) will ensure you gain more from your pursuits – personally and professionally.

How Do You Improve Your Motivation?

The reasons we lose motivation are legion.

A bad grade in school.

Poor feedback from a supervisor at work.

A recently ended relationship.

Those, of course, represent the extreme scenarios, but they do prove the point that challenges in life exist, and if not careful, they can easily derail us.

Man walking away across sand

How then do we keep our heads high and motivation up?

Here are a few points to help push your forward:

Don’t Aim for the Result, Instead Appreciate the Journey

This may seem to run counter to conventional wisdom, but in only looking ahead to the finish line, we fail to see the road the race is run on. Without a clear focus, we often stumble.

Instead, break it down, focus on how you will get from point A to point B to point C, and anticipate and prepare for any challenges you might face. That way you know your way around the course and can more easily take on adversity as it appears.

Control What You Can, Don’t Worry About What You Can’t

Many times when we aim for a specific goal, a lot of “what ifs” start to creep into our heads.

Heading to a job interview – “What if they don’t like me?”

Giving a presentation – “What if they don’t listen?”

Even asking someone out on a date – “What if they say no?”

The world is full of variables that we don’t control – from personal relationships to professional tasks and beyond – and never will. Being hung up on those outside forces is a disservice to the time and effort you put into achieving what you set out to do.

Zero in on what you need to be successful and let go of any fear of the unknown. The more focused on what you need to do, the more motivated you’ll be to succeed.

Seek Out Positive Reinforcement, and Be Positive Yourself

If you surround yourself with negative information and negative people, you’re bound to find yourself brought down to a similar level. If you quest for positivity, the opposite will be true.

Sure, you can’t always dictate who or what you’ll be around (an unhappy co-worker, for instance). You can though infuse uplifting stimulus through music, books or other media.

Ultimately, you might be unable to eliminate your exposure to negative elements totally, but you can expose yourself to factors that help boost your positivity and in turn your motivation.

Final Thoughts

Motivation is often a concept that doesn’t always receive the attention it should. Typically, we go about our lives paying little notice to how to achieve the goals we set for ourselves.

To truly be fulfilled though, we must seek out what will make us better. Not just for our well-being but those around us.

Take time to understand and appreciate what motivates you, and seek out ways to feed your aspirations. Not only will you fully understand why you get out of bed each morning, you’ll also look forward to it.

About the Author

ALAN is CEO of CD as well as a qualified executive coach and a seasoned business mentor. He challenges progressive business people to step-up & realise their vision.