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The Y Model

In the post, What Employees Want, we discussed the importance of knowing the purpose, mission, and values of your organization in order to drive performance. Today, we are going to talk about how to link your mission and values to those of your employees – current and future – in order to engage them in the business.

Once you understand the purpose of your business, you must link it to the individual goals and values of every employee and potential hire. This is a heck of a lot easier to write than it is to do, granted – and it’s the foundation of the culture of your business.

At Driven for Life we created what we call the Y Model. The Y Model shows how to hit the sweet spot of employee engagement while furthering your business. It’s where the individual goals of the person collide with the goals of the company. Where those two intertwine is the place where top performance is driven.


Let me give you an example to explain. There is a small company based out here in Southern California called Nest. They make these awesome thermostats that basically program themselves. They can connect to your smartphone letting you change the temperature of the house before you get home, automatically adjust the temperature for you based on scheduling preferences, and give you tons of data to know if you are saving energy and money. The values of this company are pretty evident. They exist to help homeowners save energy. The goal of the company is clear – getting everyone on the planet to use technology wisely in conserving the biggest resource drain most of us have in our homes, the thermostat, and thus help the environment.

Now, what sort of person do you think works at this company? Probably not someone who drives a Hummer everywhere, right? By knowing the values of a company upfront, prospective employees know whether or not they will be a fit. Now, not every company has a product that people can so easily connect with yet you still may know the culture of the company because it has become a part of the brand. Zappos is an internet retailer of shoes, yet they are known for fun loving, happy people eager to be a part of the team. It’s not their product out there changing the world – it’s the employees. No matter what you sell or what service you provide, the goals of your company are demonstrated in every interaction you have with an employee, customer, or prospect. Especially if hostility or uncertainty are evident – we have a greater memory for unpleasant interactions.

Now, once you have begun to attract and retain the right people for your company, you must get to know them better. While nothing beats face time (actual face time – not the app) for building relationships and understanding what matters to your people, we do recommend the InnerMetrix ADVanced Insights Profile. This is available through us or any individual or company certified by InnerMetrix.

We use this profile because it offers the most complete look at individuals available. While some profiles only measure behavior, the InnerMetrix assessment combines the behavior aspect, values and motivation, and the approach to thought and decision making. This provides a complete look at what, why, and how.

When you take the time to get to know the motivations of individual employees, you will be able to engage them by creating the link between the values they hold, your company, and importantly, the critical role they play in helping to reach that vision.

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