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The Sykes Group
2476-115 Nimmo Parkway
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
Tel: 757-427-7032
Fax: 757-427-0929



Motivation Article

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Motivate Your Team!  Eight Quick Tips to Motivate for Success

By Ed Sykes


Motivation is the key ingredient for success in any organization.  You can have all the technical skills in the world; however, if you can’t motivate your team, you will not achieve success.  As a leader, a majority of your job is to motivate others to succeed so that everyone’s goals are accomplished.   

The following are eight quick tips to motivate your team: 

1.   Everyone Has Motivation

Your employees are motivated on some level.  It is your job to find the level of their motivation and move your employees to the next level. 


2.   Listen to WIIFM

I wake up every morning listening to a very important radio station, WIIFM. I hope you do too.  WIIFM stands for What’s In It For Me?  To truly be a motivator, you must always be in tune to your employees’ WIIFM.  Find out why it is beneficial for your employees to do a task, etc.  Once you find out the employees’ motives, you find out how to motivate them. 


3.   It’s about Pain or Pleasure

Motivate your employees toward pleasure or away from pain.  You motivate toward the pleasure by providing recognition, incentives, and rewards for doing a good job.  You motivate away from the pain of a corrective action, losing a position, or doing a poor job.  The key to this motivation is to be consistent with all your employees at all times.


4.   Give Me a Reason

Do it because I said so!  Well, with our educated workforce these days, that doesn’t work anymore.  Employees like to know why tasks are being requested of them so that they can feel involved and that the task has worth.  Let your employees know why doing the task is important to you, the organization, and for them.


5.   Let Me Understand You

Take time to show sincere interest in your employees as people.  Understand what your employees are passionate about in their lives.  What are their special passions?  What are their personal needs?  What brings them joy or pain?  What are their short-range and long-range goals?  Once you understand the answers to these questions, you can move them to a new level of motivation, because you cared enough to ask the questions and show interest in their success.  Once you understand your employee’s needs and goals, they will take more interest in understanding and achieving your goals.


6.   Make Me Proud

Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon.”  Give your employees the opportunity to be proud of their work.  Reward team members publicly for a job well done.  Give them an opportunity in a team meeting to explain how they accomplished the job. Have your organization’s Director, President, Vice President, etc., give recognition to these employees by personally sending a note, recognizing them in an organizational or team meeting, or creating a “Hall or Wall of Fame” recognition for employees that really have gone beyond the call of duty.


7.   Expect the Best

Expect the best and your employees will rise to that level.  How do you do this?  You do it with the words you use.  Are you expressing positive expectations, or are you using words (kind of, sort of, we’ll try, we have to, we haven’t done that before, and that will never work) that communicate negative expectations?  What does your body language say about you?  Does it say, “I’m ready to take on any challenge, and I expect you can also;” or does your body language say “Please don’t give me another problem. I can’t handle it.” 

Do our recognitions and rewards move our employees to do their best?  Do we consistently communicate our standards and expectations for the best?  Do we coach our team to always do better? 

8.   Walk the Talk

Our employees model our behavior.  If we are confident about a major change in the organization, our employees will follow our behavior.  If we come in late and leave early, guess what will happen?  Remember, even when you don’t think someone is watching…they are always watching.  Set the example for others to follow. 

Apply these eight simple rules of team motivation and you, too, will have the skills to motivate your team to be inspired, innovative, self-directed, and highly productive employees.

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Suggested Motivation reading:

Are You Singing Your Song of Success? Five Secrets to Following Your Dreams and Achieving More Success in Your Life

Leadership Starts with Tough Decisions:  Five Leadership Skills for Outstanding Team Building

JumpStart Your Employee Motivation: Ten Motivation Secrets to Empower Your Team

Appreciate to Motivate (The Key to Successful Team Building)

 The Secret to Living Your Dreams: Five Success Techniques to Achieving More Success in Your Life!

Seven Change Management Secrets to Creating a Winning Culture of Change
Are You Building Your Foundation of Success: Six Secrets of Motivating Yourself for Success

Employee Motivation, Don Imus, and Team Building: Five Secrets of Motivated Teams

Motivate Your Customer Service Team for Outstanding Customer Service: Six Secrets of Customer Service Motivation

Life Before Downsizing: Six Secrets to Managing Change and Creating Opportunities for the Future

Success Starts with a Can Do Attitude: Three Secrets to Creating More Success

Coaching: How to Succeed in Half the Time Using a Personal Coach

Leadership Techniques for Anyone: How Kermit Shared Five Leadership Secrets with the World

Eight Leadership Techniques for Outstanding Teams

Adversity: Your Seed of Greatness (Three Secrets to Using Adversity to Become Great)

Connect the Dots! Your Roadmap for Success

Every Super Hero Needs Theme Music. What’s Yours?

Seven Secrets to Being the Leader Everyone Wants to Follow

Have You Appreciated Someone Today?

Nine Ways Johnny Carson Can Help You Run Outstanding Meetings

Five Secrets to Gaining Credibility with Your Team for Outstanding Results

How Appetizing Is Your Feedback? (5 Steps to Giving Effective Feedback)

Ten Techniques for Motivating Others Through Chaos

10 Action Steps to Motivate Yourself to Great Accomplishments

Eight Ways to Motivate Part-Time Employees

Delegate to Accelerate Success (How to Prepare Yourself and Others for Success)

The Greatest Gift of All - The Gift of Empowerment

Leadership Secrets for Challenging Times  

Goal Setting Secrets to Jumpstart Your Life



Want to learn how to motivate your team members to achieve more? Our team motivation Team Building, Leadership, Change Management, or Assertive Communication workshops can help you motivate team members to achieve more.  


Also read our articles on motivation skills, team building, leadership, presentation skills, customer service, etc.


Call us at 757-427-7032 or e-mail us at for additional on how to motivate your team.

Ed Sykes is a professional speaker published in the areas of leadership, change management, customer service, motivation, and teamwork. He works with business and government organizations who want to reach the next level of success and individuals who want to perform at their best. You can email him at, call him at (757) 427-7032 or visit his Web site at

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Last modified:
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