Wednesday, December 21, 2005

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 motivation and you, too, will have the skills to motivate your team to be inspired, innovative, self-directed, and highly productive employees.


Ed Sykes is a professional speaker, author, and success coach in the areas of leadership, motivation, stress management, customer service, and team building. You can e-mail him at, or call him at (757) 427-7032. Go to his web site,, and signup for his newsletter, OnPoint, and receive the free ebooks, "Empowerment and Stress Secrets for the Busy Professional"


Powerful Thoughts

by Nan S. Russell

In 1881, the New York YWCA's proposed typing lessons for woman brought protests citing "the female constitution would break down under the strain." I wonder how many women believed that and didn't sign up? Or how many would-be-travelers listened when "experts" determined that riding a speeding train of fifteen miles an hour would cause them to suffocate in tunnels as blood spurted from their noses? These incorrect thoughts are amusing now. But, don't laugh too hard. We have plenty of our own that limit progress and hold us back.

Once Roger Bannister ran a mile under four minutes, proving that the human heart could hold up when running that fast, others quickly followed. And once Olympic champion, Vasily Alexeev broke the weight lifting barrier of 500 pounds, other weight-lifters broke his record knowing it was possible. Yet before he could do it himself, Alexeev's trainers changed his limiting belief by rigging 501.5 pounds of weights to look like 499.

Our thoughts are powerful. What we belief to be true, often is. One of my favorite stories involves an elementary school teacher who was delighted the first day of school to see what a smart class she'd been given. Next to each child's name were numbers like 138, 140, 154. Taking these numbers as the students' IQs, the teacher worked extra hard to challenge the class. By the end of the year, the progress was remarkable. It was then that she discovered the numbers weren't their IQs but their lockers.

Are your thoughts limiting or invigorating? Self-restricting or self-empowering? Think it's impossible and you'll build your own walls. Think you can't and you set yourself up for a self-fulfilling result. Think you can and your thinking can help make it happen. Take Florence Griffith-Joyner who wrote in her diary before the l988 Olympic Games that she would win the 100-meter dash in 10:54 seconds. She did win in exactly 10:54 seconds. That's because thoughts can determine reality.

Years ago, I told a friend about a promotion that would take me from what I knew into a new discipline. She quickly responded, "Nan, how could you say yes? You won't know what you're doing." It surprised me. I'd never thought of saying anything other than yes. "I'll figure it out," I told her. And I did. My thinking told me I could figure things out. Her thinking told her she couldn't. That difference played out in our careers.

People who are winning at working understand there's power to their thoughts. Power to bring results, create realities and banish walls. Power to overcome challenges, eliminate barriers and achieve what others only dream. Want to be winning at working? Power your thoughts to positively impact your future.


Sign up to receive Nan's free eColumn, Winning at Working, at Nan Russell has spent over twenty years in management, most recently with QVC as a Vice President. Currently working on her first book, Nan is a writer, columnist, small business owner, and instructor.


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Advantages to Outsourcing

by Beneifer Irani

To a layman, outsourcing would seem like a waste of time and money, as well as an unneeded complication. After all, why send business abroad when the work can probably be done better right at home? To a politician, the issue of outsourcing serves as a fortified objection to taking jobs away from 'our own countrymen'. Sympathy towards this issue may elicit a few votes, but nothing more.

But to a businessman, outsourcing is a modern day boon. Outsourcing grants businesses the freedom to dump non - core, yet important sectors of its administration on companies specializing in those very individual aspects. Thus, leaving the businessman free to wholly concentrate on those areas of the company that bring in the real moolah.

The most enticing advantage of outsourcing is the cost effective factor. Human resource and IT services in the United States or Europe are not exactly inexpensive. Let's avoid complicated business jargon and say that outsourcing is basically an option that offers these services at a much, much lower rate i.e., a cheap but highly productive mass work force. Let us take India as an exemplary illustration.

Thousands of highly intelligent people graduate in a variety of fields each year. Almost all of them speak English better than the English, and have dreams of making big money in a short period of time. The boom of BPO's in the last 10 years has given them a chance to realize those dreams. It provides them with the opportunity to stay close to home and earn almost as much as they would if they took up a job abroad. On an average, an individual would earn $ 300 to $ 500 per month. A small sum to an American, but an Indian would be quite happy with that salary considering the conversion rate. It's a win - win situation for your business as well as the company you're outsourcing to.

There is no dearth of candidates willing to suffer incessant night shifts. Due to a constant effort of having to prove themselves, you can be assured of enhanced quality and productivity at all times. The company you outsource to will always be sure to reach your targets, deliver on time, ensure stringent security and maintain a level of productivity which won't tempt you into taking your business elsewhere. Employees are regularly evaluated and terminated if found wanting in any aspect. The entire process of recruitment and the hassles involved with finding (and sustaining) the right person for the job is taken off your shoulders.

By 2006, in addition to human resources and IT services, companies that take on offshore contracts will also offer tax preparation and back office services.
Hundreds of commerce students graduate in India each year and go on to become chartered accountants in a country where there is no dearth of them. Offering these services to countries abroad would be lucrative for both parties. The most advanced security procedures will be employed in this regard.

It all comes down to the money. Let's face it; we live in a material world. And the technical term for material is moolah. So until the day the cons of outsourcing outweigh the monetary factors (read pros), outsourcing; as a legitimate and lucrative way to do business, is here to stay.


Benaifer Irani offers useful advice on outsourcing and BPO solutions. To find BPO services india,web design India,outsourcing services india visit


Wednesday, December 07, 2005

A Sample Interview Thank You Letter

by Heather Eagar

A sample thank you letter that you use after an interview, as a guideline or template, will save you a lot of time when preparing this type of correspondence. Since you'll prepare it before the job interview when you are not nervous and have a clear head, the letter will really increase your chances of making or reinforcing a good impression.

Try using this for your own uses.


Dear Name,

I enjoyed the chance to visit with you in your office today concerning career opportunities with ABC Company. After discussing the future of the company I am convinced that I can make a positive contribution, and believe our association could be mutually beneficial.

I was especially impressed with the information you provided concerning expansion into other markets and the need for an invigorated marketing effort. With my background in advertising and insurance sales and experience as a carnival promoter, I believe I have a lot to offer.

ABC Company has an outstanding reputation in the field and is the type of organization I wish to associate myself with. I pride myself on being an outstanding salesman and promotional specialist, and look forward to a chance to make a positive contribution during this period of growth.

If I can provide any more information that would be of assistance to you, please don't hesitate to call me at the phone number listed above, or email me if that is more convenient. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

Again, thank you for your time.

John J. Doe.

Using this sample letter will save you time and lead to more second interviews and more job offers. However, if your field is not sales or marketing it may not be perfectly suited to your needs. It should be easy to analyze the thank you letter and see which sentences and paragraphs can be changed to make it fit your needs and your profession. With modern word processing software you can customize one version, and then copy the file and make another letter geared towards a different type of job completely. For instance, if there are three or four types of jobs you would consider then creating a thank you letter for each is probably a good idea.

The same of course is true with your cover letter and resume. Different versions for different types of jobs, emphasizing different aspects of your skills and experience will make you more versatile. If, however, you are determined to pursue only one type of job, then you obviously need only one sample letter, one type of cover letter and one type of resume.

This is a personal choice and you are the only person who knows exactly what job would be best suited for you and if there is more than one type you'd consider.


Heather Eagar provides reviews of the top resume writing services that put you in charge of your career so that you can get the job you deserve. Sign-up for your free Job Search Tips E-course.


Monday, November 21, 2005

Hire Like A Fortune 500

by Robert Burko

A recent iLogos Research study revealed 94% of Fortune 500 companies now hire employees online, a stark contrast from 1998, when only 29% of them were doing the same. If you own or manage a small business, that means the vast majority of your fiercest competitors are now spending less time and less effort on recruitment. And that leaves them with more time to, simply put, get a leg up on you.

Sure, it sounds like a threat. But isn't lack of technology an inevitable drawback for most small businesses? Absolutely not. Maybe 10, even 5 years ago. But not today.

Every time we do market research with small businesses, we hear three top reasons why the business has not yet implemented an online hiring solution, in which job candidates apply online: 1. The cost is too high 2. They lack the technological know-how 3. They believe setting up a recruitment software would take longer than just doing it the old-fashioned way

Those are all valid concerns, considering most small businesses operate on a tight budget and without an in-house IT department.

The good news is small businesses are fundamental to the North-American economy. In fact, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses drive the U.S. economy, representing 99.7 percent of all employer firms. In Canada, according to Statistics Canada, businesses with less that 100 employees account for 98% of all employer businesses.

Business software developers are now recognizing the importance of SMBs and designing employee recruitment software that caters to the specific budgetary and technological needs of small business.

It's important to do your research and find the technology that's the best fit for your company. When shopping around for a recruitment manager program, make sure to ask yourself the following questions:

1. Cost: Is the advertised price of this product the actual price my company is going to pay?
Beware of offers that are full of limitations. For example, will you have to pay more if a lot of people apply for your job? Is there a hosting charge for filing all the applicants' resumes? Is there a time-limit for your job posting, after which you have to pay extra charges?

2. Ease of technology: Is the technology really easy-to-use, even if I'm a computer novice?
The best way to find this out is by trying the product yourself. Most companies offer free trials of their products, which are a great idea, as long they are risk free. Keeping in mind question 1, make sure the trial has no hidden charges. Also try out the front-end application process to make sure it's really going to be easy when your job candidates apply online.

3. Setup: How long will it take to get up and running?
You don't want to get stuck with a product that takes so long to setup, that by the time you're done, you could have done everything the old-fashioned way. It's a good idea to talk to a sales representative and ask him/her to explain to you the exact steps you'll need to take to setup for a job.

4. The product: What's included?
What does this product do? What doesn't it do? Some programs offer only the online job posting functionality. Others focus on the back-end, like collecting resumes, organizing, filtering and searching employees, scheduling interviews, etc. When looking for a program that takes care of the back-end, make sure the company will also be able to help you with the posting functionality, whether you're putting up a poster on your store window, running an ad in the local paper or posting on job websites.

5. Service: Will I get a helping hand?
Since most small businesses do not have an IT department, one of the most important questions to ask here is what kind of service will you get. Will you get email support? Phone support? Online Live Help? Will you be speaking to a real business person who knows about the specific challenges you're facing, or to someone who only knows the tech aspects of the program?

Remember it's your company's efficiency that's at stake here, so don't be afraid to ask questions or request a free trial. Hiring online may sound like something only fit for the big guys, but remember this is the 21st century, which means technology and small business are the most important aspects of our economy.


Robert Burko is founder and president of, a web portal and suite of efficiency-improving tools for small businesses. Eliteweb's Recruitment Manager includes unlimited applicants, expert live support, unlimited file hosting and much more. Click on the link to hire employees online absolutely Free for 30 days.