National Clothesline
Have you ever bought a new gadget or toy for your kids or yourself and seen that mildly
annoying “batteries not included” sticker?
Getting the right batteries for your
new gizmo is similar to finding the
right motivation for your employees.
The end goal is the same: energy for
action, but you need the right
connection to trigger that flow of
Motivating your team can be more
art than science, but here are four
techniques that will increase your chances of finding the right fuel:
1. Focus on the bigger picture. One of the most universal motivational triggers is
connecting a current action with a bigger vision.
For example, when you started your business, it’s very likely that you had some motivation
beyond having a business for business’s sake. You might have wanted freedom to build a better
life for you and your loved ones. What drives you is the bigger picture, not the daily to-dos.
Your team is no different. If you’re seeing a lack in motivation or productivity, it’s probably
because they’ve lost the connection between what they are doing and their “why.”
Actively search for their “why” during conversations, so that when there is a lack of
motivation, you can be there to remind them of the big picture. Help them see how their puzzle
piece fits in to build a larger picture.
2. Emphasize the importance of process. Sometimes teams procrastinate because they
don’t think there’s any harm in putting off certain tasks. Little do they know that what seems
inconsequential to them is actually a cornerstone for your next steps.
You might need to explain the chain of events that are necessary to accomplish the big goals.
No step is unimportant. Like they say in theatre, there are no small roles, only small actors.
In your business, there are no small steps, only small thinking. Of course, this only applies if
you don’t have unnecessary redundancies. If you do, it’s a good idea to do an audit and clean
out the cobwebs of your procedures.
3. Pay attention to what excites them. The best kind of motivation doesn’t come from
you; it comes from people themselves.
When you’re having a conversation with someone, pay close attention to what they say and
how they say it. Chances are, they are giving you clues on how to best motivate them in that
I like to call these clues “keywords.” They are words or phrases that stand out from the rest.
Keywords are more charged when spoken. The person will lean in or sit up straighter. Their
voice might get louder or more pointed. Their eyes might widen when they say their keywords.
4. Use positive reinforcement. One of the best ways to lay the groundwork for future
motivation is to acknowledge and reward successes.
If you motivate someone to take action, but don’t acknowledge the accomplishment, they will
be jaded when you approach them again in the future for something else.
Recognition of past successes is a motivator for future progress. Failing to do so can lead to
bitter and defensive employees.
Leaders need to be a constant source of motivation. Your team should come to you to
recharge their batteries, not leave feeling more drained. Pay attention to their needs.

Neil Schroeder has been
in the marketing industry
for the past 15 years. He
is president and creative
director of the Golomb
Group, developing direct
response, social media,
in-house promotions and
web site campaigns for
drycleaners throughout
the nation. He can be
reached by phone at
(800) 833-0560, by
email at
or on the web at
Motivate employees in 10 minutes