Link Copied

I answered an AI-powered survey that revealed my innermost motivations, and immediately understood why companies pay thousands for employees to take it

Attuned is a Japanese startup that provides companies with what it calls "predictive HR analytics" to help them understand what motivates each of their employees.

Attuned is a Japanese startup that provides companies with what it calls "predictive HR analytics" to help them understand what motivates each of their employees.
Share Slide

When companies sign on with Attuned, their employees take a 55-question survey meant to assess how strongly they value things like "competition," "feedback," "social relationships," and "autonomy" at work.

When companies sign on with Attuned, their employees take a 55-question survey meant to assess how strongly they value things like "competition," "feedback," "social relationships," and "autonomy" at work.
Share Slide

Companies are paying top dollar for the service. A basic yearly subscription to Attuned costs about $2,000 for a company of 200 employees or fewer, while a premium subscription costs $5,000 minimum.

Companies are paying top dollar for the service. A basic yearly subscription to Attuned costs about $2,000 for a company of 200 employees or fewer, while a premium subscription costs $5,000 minimum.
Share Slide

I recently took Attuned's 55-question survey. Each question presented me with a pair of statements and asked me to indicate which one applied to me more.

I recently took Attuned's 55-question survey. Each question presented me with a pair of statements and asked me to indicate which one applied to me more.
Share Slide

The statements all connected to one of the 11 values Attuned scores people on — in this case, feedback and financial needs.

The statements all connected to one of the 11 values Attuned scores people on — in this case, feedback and financial needs.
Share Slide

I had to decide not only which statement was more true, but how strongly I preferred it over the other statement. In this case, I went with "somewhat prefer."

I had to decide not only which statement was more true, but how strongly I preferred it over the other statement. In this case, I went with "somewhat prefer."
Share Slide

In some cases, my decision was easy and clear-cut.

In some cases, my decision was easy and clear-cut.
Share Slide

In others, the statements weren't so easy to compare. I considered both of the below statements mostly true, so I had trouble picking a side.

In others, the statements weren't so easy to compare. I considered both of the below statements mostly true, so I had trouble picking a side.
Share Slide

Some of the statements were pretty on the nose in terms of which values and motivators they were connected to. Both of the ones below even explicitly asked me what I was motivated by.

Some of the statements were pretty on the nose in terms of which values and motivators they were connected to. Both of the ones below even explicitly asked me what I was motivated by.
Share Slide

At times, evaluating each statement did require some logical hoop-jumping. For this question, I had to determine whether my willingness "to do work that I don't really enjoy" for more money outweighed my tendency to prepare for vacations in advance.

At times, evaluating each statement did require some logical hoop-jumping. For this question, I had to determine whether my willingness "to do work that I don't really enjoy" for more money outweighed my tendency to prepare for vacations in advance.
Share Slide

And in this case, I had to consider whether my fondness for "rational debates" was more significant than the degree to which people can "count on me." That's not a comparison I typically make on a daily basis.

And in this case, I had to consider whether my fondness for "rational debates" was more significant than the degree to which people can "count on me." That's not a comparison I typically make on a daily basis.
Share Slide

Meanwhile, this one just left me scratching my head.

Meanwhile, this one just left me scratching my head.
Share Slide

The very last question presented me with a tough choice between two statements I didn't think applied to me at all.

The very last question presented me with a tough choice between two statements I didn't think applied to me at all.
Share Slide

However, since I disagreed much more with the statement about elite neighborhoods, I ended up moving the slider all the way to the right. Maybe I was overthinking it, but I wanted to make sure I was following the rules given.

However, since I disagreed much more with the statement about elite neighborhoods, I ended up moving the slider all the way to the right. Maybe I was overthinking it, but I wanted to make sure I was following the rules given.
Share Slide

After I finished the test, I was shown my "motivational profile" — the full breakdown of how much I'm motivated by each of the 11 values. Attuned sorts each category into things that I "need to have" at work, things that are "nice to have," and things that I'm "neutral" toward.

After I finished the test, I was shown my "motivational profile" — the full breakdown of how much I'm motivated by each of the 11 values. Attuned sorts each category into things that I "need to have" at work, things that are "nice to have," and things that I'm "neutral" toward.
Share Slide

Apparently, my two biggest motivators are competition and financial needs. That surprised me — although I love competition outside of work, I never thought of it as being integral to my work experience. And even though I want to have my financial needs met, I probably wouldn't have gone into journalism if it were that important.

Apparently, my two biggest motivators are competition and financial needs. That surprised me — although I love competition outside of work, I never thought of it as being integral to my work experience. And even though I want to have my financial needs met, I probably wouldn't have gone into journalism if it were that important.
Share Slide

"Rationality" and "social relationships" were two things it said I considered "nice to have" at work, but not essential.

"Rationality" and "social relationships" were two things it said I considered "nice to have" at work, but not essential.
Share Slide

I didn't have any complaints about my "altruism" and "progress" scores — the bullet points seemed mostly accurate, as far as I could tell.

I didn't have any complaints about my "altruism" and "progress" scores — the bullet points seemed mostly accurate, as far as I could tell.
Share Slide

But I was surprised to see "feedback" so low on the list, because I thought I had indicated several times throughout the test that I valued constructive criticism.

But I was surprised to see "feedback" so low on the list, because I thought I had indicated several times throughout the test that I valued constructive criticism.
Share Slide

The last section of my motivational profile provided examples of work environments I would be a "good fit" or "not a good fit" in.

The last section of my motivational profile provided examples of work environments I would be a "good fit" or "not a good fit" in.
Share Slide

I could see how these extrapolations could be helpful to managers and supervisors looking to find the right roles for their employees.

I could see how these extrapolations could be helpful to managers and supervisors looking to find the right roles for their employees.
Share Slide

When every member of a team takes the survey, managers can see where each of their employees falls on the motivational spectrum. Each blue dot represents how a different employee scored on each value.

When every member of a team takes the survey, managers can see where each of their employees falls on the motivational spectrum. Each blue dot represents how a different employee scored on each value.
Share Slide

CEO Casey Wahl shared his team's 'cultural dashboard' with me — he's the purple dot on each line — and you can see how his values sometimes differ from his employees'. He's less motivated by feedback, for example. Now that he knows that, he tries harder to encourage his employees, even though he said "it's not my natural style."

CEO Casey Wahl shared his team's 'cultural dashboard' with me — he's the purple dot on each line — and you can see how his values sometimes differ from his employees'. He's less motivated by feedback, for example. Now that he knows that, he tries harder to encourage his employees, even though he said "it's not my natural style."
Share Slide

The Attuned survey is not a one-time thing. Subscriptions also include "pulse surveys" — short, 30-second follow-up quizzes that employees take every two weeks to see how their motivators change over time. Attuned uses AI to tailor the surveys to the individual based on answers they've previously given.

The Attuned survey is not a one-time thing. Subscriptions also include "pulse surveys" — short, 30-second follow-up quizzes that employees take every two weeks to see how their motivators change over time. Attuned uses AI to tailor the surveys to the individual based on answers they've previously given.
Share Slide

According to Wahl, the pulse surveys can predict when employees are on the verge of quitting.

According to Wahl, the pulse surveys can predict when employees are on the verge of quitting.
Share Slide

Even though I didn't think my profile was a picture-perfect assessment, I realized the tool could be a huge time saver for team leaders. The ability to know what makes each of your employees tick could lead to increased productivity and lower turnover rates. That alone probably makes it worth the investment, and I can see why companies are shelling out so much money to try it.

Even though I didn't think my profile was a picture-perfect assessment, I realized the tool could be a huge time saver for team leaders. The ability to know what makes each of your employees tick could lead to increased productivity and lower turnover rates. That alone probably makes it worth the investment, and I can see why companies are shelling out so much money to try it.
Share Slide
More from our Partners