About Drives

Key features

  • Measures: motivation at work
  • Suitable for: recruitment, development, internal resourcing, motivating individuals
  • Average completion time: 30 minutes
  • Languages available: 10

How an individual performs at work depends on more than just their capability. Possessing the requisite abilities, skills and behaviours is not enough – it is the individual’s motivation and engagement in combination with capability that produces optimal performance. Therefore, understanding what motivates your staff is a key piece of the talent management jigsaw. People thrive in environments where there is the closest match between the job, organisation and their capability and motivations.

Drives is an online questionnaire that focuses on an individual’s values and motivations at work. Its purpose is to measure the factors that help stimulate and energise people in their daily working lives. Once you understand what motivates your employees, you will know how to keep them enthusiastic, driven and effective.

Drives can help create a positive culture within your organisation, help you get people engaged and reduce employee turnover.

The Drives questionnaire

Drives measures four domains of human motivation that energise and drive an individual to behave in different ways at work – Challenge, Connection, Esteem and Personal:

  • Challenge: factors that relate to an individual seeking challenge and personal development in a number of different ways.
  • Connection: factors that impact on how someone regards other people and how important relationships are to them.
  • Esteem: factors that relate to people finding a sense of worth from their role in a way that motivates them.
  • Personal: factors that impact people on an individual level and that enable them to live the life they wish.

Contained within each domain are four drives (scales); each of the 16 drives are further categorised into three indicators (sub-scales).

Achieving Pioneering
Learning Personal Growth
Positive Impact Affiliation
Service Supporting
Authority Recognition
Acquisition Professionalism
Security Stimulation
Autonomy Well-being

How it works

Drives sample question Example question - click to enlarge

The Drives questionnaire includes a series of statements about motivation at work. The respondent has to rate each statement, indicating how important it is to them personally at work. 

Drives tied response question Tied response - click to enlarge

The statements are grouped into blocks of four. In each block, they are asked to rate each statement on a scale indicating whether the statement is 'Not important’ to 'Extremely important' to them at work. In each group of statements, the respondent should avoid giving the same rating to more than one statement. If they do give the same rating to several statements they are then asked to put these in rank order.

The Drives questionnaire typically takes around 30 minutes to complete.

Using Drives

Use Drives to optimise organisational engagement and culture fit

Drives can be used to help create a more harmonious culture across an organisation, resulting in high levels of employee engagement and a close fit between employee drives and organisational culture.

It allows you to conduct an audit of your existing employees and helps you gauge the current culture. You can then build on this culture, and make informed decisions about whether the business is being run in the way it was intended, or whether changes are needed.

Use Drives in decision-making

Drives has a wide variety of applications but in many contexts it is used to make a decision about those who have been asked to complete it.

Selection: selection decisions are probably the most common decision type, and whilst there is substantial evidence for using questionnaires such as Drives in this type of scenario, it is important to use them appropriately. Generally speaking, it is advisable to use Drives as one of a number of measures. Typically, Drives acts as an aid to interview: you can combine Drives scores and interview scores to form a more rounded and complete view of the candidate so that the decision made is fair and robust. The results from Drives can enable you to focus on the likely areas where development may be required and consider in more detail the candidate’s likely strengths.

Internal moves: this may cover a number of scenarios, for example, promotion, restructure, mergers and acquisitions. Whilst many people may not immediately understand the need for extra information when they have previous historical information to draw on, there is usually a strong requirement for extra objective information. There is likely to be a different emphasis from their existing role and therefore the key is being able to assess their future suitability and potential fit for the new role or organisation. Using Drives allows you to compare candidate’s results against the demands of new roles. As for external selection, it is strongly recommended that accompanying interviews are also carried out to enable you to explore the results more comprehensively.

Assessment and development centres: in the scenarios described above, there may be a situation where the Drives scores are feeding into a wider assessment or development centre. As Drives gives candidates the opportunity to provide information about themselves, it is naturally complemented by approaches that give others the chance to observe behaviour for themselves. Using a combination of self-report and observer assessment goes some way to ensuring that the disadvantages of one approach are counterbalanced by the advantages of the other. For example, a candidate with a lack of self-insight may present themselves somewhat differently in the questionnaire than the observed exercises. The primary (observed) and secondary (Drives) evidence can then be combined to enable decisions to be made on the basis of the key requirements of the role.


There is a range of benefits to using Drives for both the organisation and individual employees:

  • Reduce employee turnover: by identifying the factors that are making employees disengaged or demotivated, you can focus on ways to keep them enthusiastic and driven, therefore reducing the risk of them leaving.
  • Increase employee engagement and productivity: by focusing on an individual’s drives, you can have meaningful conversations with your employees, and understand what personally drives them to perform at work.
  • Support recruitment and development: by matching the motivations and values of an individual to a job and the organisation, you can assess employees’ suitability and potential fit as well as identify any development needs.
  • Help create a positive working culture: by understanding your employees’ motivations, you can create a positive culture.
  • Customise to your own values: Drives can be tailored to the values model of your organisation, with individual questions being mapped onto your key values or similar.
  • Designed with the manager in mind: the Management Report has been specifically designed for line managers, and does not require qualifications or training to use.
  • Create a great candidate experience: using our complimentary candidate report, you can give candidates an overview of their individual drives in an easy to understand format.
  • Multiple uses: recruitment, onboarding, individual development, leadership development, organisational change, succession planning.


There are four reports available in Drives. All reports have been designed, trialled and developed to be easy to understand and highly graphical – providing you with a clear illustration of results and their implications.

Drives Assessment Report

This report provides a profile and narrative overview of a person’s key motivations across the 16 scales within the Drives model, and can be used as part of assessment and development processes. It is designed for an organisation to use with a trained practitioner, and gives them an easy to interpret view of how to motivate a candidate and how they will fit into their new environment.

Download a Drives Assessment sample report (PDF)

Drives Management Report

This report provides practical guidance on how to engage people in the workplace. It is designed for use by a line manager, to help them get the best from their people.

Download a Drives Management sample report (PDF)

 Drives Coaching Report

This in-depth profile report provides a detailed breakdown of an individual’s motivations using the 48 indicators that make up the overall Drives model. It is designed for use by a coach, to help an individual gain a detailed insight into their personal drives. 

Download a Drives Coaching sample report (PDF)

Drives Candidate Report

This report provides candidates with an overview of their individual drives. It has been designed to offer candidates appropriate feedback on the Drives questionnaire, including their hot and cold spots and what this means for them. 

Download a Drives sample report (PDF) and a Drives Candidate sample report (PDF)

When to use different reports

Application Assessment ReportManagement Report Coaching Report 
Recruitment Y    
Individual development  Y Y Y
Internal resourcing  Y    
Leadership development  Y   Y
High-stakes recruitment  Y    
Organisational change  Y Y Y
Motivating individuals  Y Y Y

The Candidate Report can be used in any scenario where the person completing Drives requires written feedback.



Drives is currently available in ten languages; however the range of languages will continue to grow further throughout the year. Download our language availability factsheet (PDF) for the full list of languages covered. If you can’t see what you want from our published list of languages please contact us to discuss.


Please contact us for details of our flexible, no-nonsense pricing structure for all online assessments.

Customisation options

Drives can be tailored to the values model of your organisation, with individual questions being mapped onto your key values or similar.

Other options for customising your assessments are also available – such as using your brand identity and language in assessment and reports, capturing bio-data specific to your organisation and integrating with your existing applicant tracking and talent management systems. Find out more about customised assessment options.

Getting started

Users of the Drives Assessment Report and Drives Coaching Report must hold the British Psychological Society (BPS) Test User: Occupational, Personality certification or equivalent. For those who do not currently hold this certification, we run a Talent Q Accreditation Training course.

We also offer a one day Drives Masterclass which qualified practitioners can attend in order to learn more about Drives specifically.

The Drives Management Report can be used without any training.

Once you place your order (including confirmation that you hold the appropriate qualification), your access to Drives is immediate. You will receive unique login details to the assessment system by email.

Our customer service team can take you through the system online so you are up and running as soon as you need to be.