Work Values Assessment

Work values taxonomy used by us is based on the Theory of Work Adjustment (TWA) developed at the University of Minnesota (Dawis 2005) and as included in O*NET. This theory postulates that job satisfaction is directly related to the degree to which a person's values and corresponding needs are satisfied by his or her work environment. The TWA identifies six primary work values each with a corresponding set of sub need areas.

Work values are difficult areas to assess and typically assessments are long and cumbersome. Tucareers assessment is however short and easy to undertake. However the test takers may need some thought and insights about their need areas to provide accurate responses. The work values assessments are recommended and used by us in career assessments for college students and working professionals

This assessment questions asks one to choose between options and also give the importance level of each option. An example question would be request the test taker to compare his/her need and also provide the extent of importance to try out his own ideas versus a need to being paid at par with other workers. Another example is to compare an opportunity for advancement versus the need for getting a good salary.

The 6 different work values areas and their sub need areas are defined below.

Achievement - Individuals with this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

  • Ability Utilization - Individuals like to make use of their individual abilities.
  • Achievement - Individuals like to get a feeling of accomplishment.

Working Conditions - Individuals with this work value like job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

  • Activity - Individuals like to be busy all the time.
  • Independence - Individuals like to do their work alone.
  • Variety - Individuals like to do something different every day.
  • Compensation - Individuals like to be paid well in comparison with other workers.
  • Security - Individuals like to have steady employment.
  • Working Conditions - Individuals like to have good working conditions.

Recognition - Individuals with these work values need advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

  • Advancement - Individuals like to have opportunities for advancement.
  • Recognition - Individuals like to receive recognition for the work they do.
  • Authority - Individuals like to give directions and instructions to others.
  • Social Status - Individuals like to be looked up to by others in their company and their community.

Relationships -Individuals with these work value need to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

  • Co-workers - Individuals like to have co-workers who are easy to get along with.
  • Social Service - Individuals like to have work where they do things for other people.
  • Moral Values - Individuals like to be never pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.

Support - Individuals with these work values like to have supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

  • Company Policies and Practices -Individuals like to be treated fairly by the company.
  • Supervision, Human Relations -Individuals like to have supervisors who back up their workers with management.
  • Supervision, Technical  - Individuals like to have supervisors who train their workers well.

Independence - Individuals with this work value need to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

  • Creativity - Individuals like to try out their own ideas.
  • Responsibility - Individuals like to make decisions on their own.
  • Autonomy - Individuals like to plan their work with little supervision.

You can browse the different careers requiring the different values on the ONET site and can use examples of suitable careers while interpreting report to candidates

In the next post we look at the Skills Assessment.


  • Dawis, R. V. (2005). The Minnesota Theory of Work Adjustment.