Ask Skip: How can I ensure all of my employees feel valued and motivated?

All Ask Skip” Questions that appear in this blog are actual questions submitted to me directly from blog subscribers or other inquiries that come in through the main website or via my Social Media pages on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Feel free to submit your own “Leadership, Teamwork or Workplace Communication” question here!

The short answer to your question is:
To ensure all team members feel valued and motivated you have to know what makes each person on the team feel valued and motivated.

The longer answer is:
Leaders must invest time and energy to get to know each team member and their motivation strategy  (meaning what motivates them). Some people are motivated by money, others public recognition and for some private pat on the back and thank you works just fine, and others it may be flexibility in work schedule, etc.

Some people have a ‘moving away from’ motivational strategy meaning they are more motivated by loss or things taken away from them, while others are more motivated by rewards and recognition or what is known as a ‘moving towards’ motivational strategy.

It is imperative for organizational leaders to know their people and contour the motivation strategy for each towards their individual style.

Trying to motivate someone unmotivated by money to do sales on commission is doomed to failure. Motivating a sales professional who is motivated by commission sales by giving them more time off to spend in their personal life will fail as well.

Another issue is a person’s stage of life. What motivates an unmarried 25 year old is different than what motivates a 33-year old married woman or a 45 year old married man with a wife and 4-children.

Also I would invest in learning Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which is a basic motivational philosophy that shows people can not focus on higher level needs and motivations if the basics are covered. By this I mean if someone has uncertainty about the future of their job, or their salary, or if their home is being foreclosed on, this will impact their focus and motivation because human beings need to know their basic human needs of food and shelter are secure.

The bottom line is we are dealing with human beings and each one is unique. Although there are patterns and similarities to human motivation its best leaders invest time to get to know their people and match the approach to each individual.

As another resource you may want to learn more about my “Employee Motivation Equation” which outlines a specific model for creating lasting motivation in a workplace. At you can download a free report and two workplace assessments to help you understand the current state of your work environment as it relates to employee motivation.

Hope this helps?

To work specifically on this and other leadership strategies to improve overall performance on your team you are going to want to participate in the “Confident Leaders Training Camp” either the live TeleClass version or the home study version that will soon be available.

If anyone would like further clarification on this please feel free to leave a comment below and start a discussion for all to learn from.

’til next time, make it a great day!


If you have an issue you are dealing with in leading your team and/or organization that you would like answered in my “Ask Skip” column, click here to submit your own “Leadership, Teamwork or Workplace Communication” question here and you might just see your question answered here in the coming weeks. I also promise to reply directly so that you get the help you need when you need it.