What Drives Employees to Become More Successful?

Those who have a personal stake in your success are counting on you to live up to your potential

By David Cox, SHRM-SCP | February 13, 2018

In September of 2016, my wife and I launched Employerwise Seminars. Our work and my role has evolved over the last 18 months. Today, our business is based on three distinct principles:

  • We believe employees are more successful when their performance reflects the attitudes, behaviors, and practices most desired by their employers.
  • We teach employees how to distinguish themselves, build greater job security, and position themselves for advancement.
  • We offer employee seminars to effectively deliver instruction on-site, which allows employers to schedule group sessions as needed to best accommodate workplace operations.

We can provide the knowledge and insights needed to help employees learn how to become more successful at work, but we can’t provide their motivation. What drives employees to become more successful?


Employees choose to become successful for many reasons. Money, achievement, authority, influence, and a sense of accomplishment are among many of the motives that drive career advancement.

Some assume those who pursue career advancement are egotistical and self-centered. I’ve found the opposite to be true among most successful employees. In fact, throughout my career, almost every successful employee I’ve known was motivated to succeed because of the significant people in their lives.

Today, we think of these significant people as stakeholders. As an employee, a stakeholder would be any individual with a personal stake in your success. Your stakeholders may include:


You need to make a living. You need to help provide for your family, put a roof over their heads, food on the table, pay bills, and meet long-term financial goals. One of the most reliable strategies you can implement to accomplish this goal is to hold a job, become indispensable to your employer, perform quality work, and advance throughout your career.


In most organizations, jobs are not isolated, they’re interdependent. Your co-worker’s personal opinion of you depends on what you do or don’t contribute to the workplace environment. Nevertheless, they must depend on you to be reliable in completing your assigned tasks and fulfilling your responsibilities.

Whatever you fail to do, your co-workers have to fill in the gaps. They’re counting on you to show up for work on-time, every day, and perform quality work. Whenever you fail to do these things, someone else has to do them for you.


Employers count on their employees to do the jobs they were hired for, perform to the best of their ability, and deliver outstanding service to their customers and clients. In addition, employers continually invest in their employees and want them to be successful. Beyond salary, employer investments include the following:

  1. Mandatory benefits – Federal and state taxes, Social Security, Medicare (employer portions), Unemployment Insurance, and Workers Compensation Insurance
  2. Training – Off-site, on-site, and on-the-job
  3. Workplace benefits – Health, dental, and vision insurance, reimbursement policies, retirement plans, life insurance, long-term disability, etc.
  4. Discretionary benefits – EAPs, Short-term disability, accidental death insurance, etc.
  5. Additional benefits – Bonuses and paid time off (PTO) including personal days, sick days, vacation days, and paid holidays

At Employerwise, our purpose remains the same: We teach employees to become more successful at work. When you become more successful at work, you honor your stakeholders, those persons in your life who have a personal stake in your success. Whoever your stakeholders may be, they’re counting on you and are deserving of your best effort.

Up Next: Employee Development is Always About You!

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David Cox


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