Whole Foods Market Demonstrates ToMo

Whole Foods

One day on the local train in Boston, two men were overheard discussing ways to better their customer service.

In fact, they even made plans to visit their competitors and figure out their tactics in order to better the company for which they worked.

“These two men weren’t tech CEOs or members of the hottest start-up incubator. They were employees at a local Whole Foods Market grocery store. They wore their Whole Foods hats with pride, and reveled in working for the only store in their neighborhood that still hand-stacked produce,” wrote Neel Doshi and Lindsay McGregor in “Primed to Perform: How to Build the Highest Performing Cultures Through the Science of Total Motivation.”

Why were two Whole Foods employees so passionate about their jobs? The authors explained it had to do with total motivation, ToMo for short.

To start, there are six foundational motives behind people’s work. Those six motives are play, purpose, potential, emotional pressure, economic pressure and inertia. The authors explained that the reason why you work will affect how well you work. For example, you could be driven in your work because you believe the purpose of your job in coaching individuals is changing the world. Or, you are driven to work because you need money to live. Whatever your work motives, ultimately in order “to build a high-performing culture, you must first understand what drives peak performance in individuals.”

When the first three motives – play, purpose, potential – are maximized in a company’s culture and the last three – emotional pressure, economic pressure, inertia – are minimized, the highest levels of ToMo are achieved. And those high levels were found in Whole Foods.

“Whole Foods creates far more play, purpose and potential (the three direct motivators) and less emotional pressure, economic pressure and inertia (the three indirect motivators) than many of its peers,” wrote the authors. “As a result, it produces triple the level of total motivation versus the average of three competitors. This high level of ToMo is what drove the two Whole Foods team members to keep thinking about their business even on their commute home, and it is also what made Whole Foods a market leader.”

In the coming weeks, I’ll explore the motives and ToMo in more depth. For now, I challenge you, Affiliate, to take this quiz to understand what drives you. Send it out to your Coaches to understand what drives them. It will be a great starting point to understand what motivates you and your staff to work in your business.

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at heather@peakemedia.com.