About Work Life Motivation

The methodology and web system are a collaboration between Chris Burton and Sirius Concepts Ltd.


The chief architect of the WLM methodolology is Chris Burton, a specialist in Organisational Behaviour. In 2011 Chris commenced a research project to study the factors which most influence motivation and engagement, particularly when the going gets tough. Having identified a number of suitable groups Chris elected to conduct his research with the assistance of soldiers returning from active service in Afghanistan. In circumstances of extreme pressure and personal risk, these men and women manage to remain highly motivated and engaged; Chris was interested in understanding why this might be, and whether the same principles could be applied in other situations and organisations.The research identified four factors, one of which helps describe the role of leaders in building and maintaining engagement. Critically, the research also demonstrates the extended importance of the close relationships that people experience in their workplace.

Work Life Motivation was developed as a way to measure and improve motivation and engagement using the principles identified through interviews and surveys conducted with soldiers participating in the research. Their stories show that engagement isn’t just another word for communication, nor is it something leaders “do”; real engagement is driven by relationships and the day to day interactions that people have with each other at work, in their teams and social networks, and it is therefore at this level that Work Life Motivation focuses.

Since its inception Work Life Motivation has evolved into a powerful web based diagnostic used by organisations, coaches and consultants to help leaders and teams understand what’s contributing to and constraining engagement. Work Life Motivation reports provide actionable information that can be used immediately to start making improvements without having to wait for permission or for an organisation wide programme. By focusing at team level, Work Life Motivation empowers people to improve things together rather than placing all the responsibility on just a few.