It is not money or personal gain that most people want but intrinsic satisfaction. People will work harder for self-satisfaction than for monetary income. The following are some ways you, as an advisor, can help people satisfy intrinsic needs:

People Need to Feel Important

See people as worthwhile human beings loaded with untapped potential. Go out of your way to express a positive attitude.

Give Praise

Reinforce for continual achievement. All people need praise and appreciation. Form a habit of being “praise-minded” and give public recognition when it is due.

Give People Status

The more status and prestige you build into a committee or organization, the more motivated the members become. There are many status symbols you can use to make others feel important. For example, develop a “Member of the Week/Month” award or “Committee Chairperson of the Month” award. In addition, simply treat people with courtesy to give them a sense of status.


People like to be informed about the organization. They want to know problems, objectives, and inside information. Members feel recognized and important when they are informed. Two-way communication within the organization is necessary to achieve mutual understanding which leads to motivation.

Give Security

People need more than financial security, and they will look to you for intrinsic security. For example, they must know that you respect, understand, and accept them not only for their strong points but also for their weaknesses.

People Need You and People Need People

Members need you to give them what they want and need: intrinsic satisfaction. When you give them what they want, they will give you what you want. This is what motivation is all about. It is not something you do to other people, but something they do for themselves. You give them the reasons and that makes you the motivator—a person who gets things done throughout others.

Develop Purpose

Always explain why. Instill in the members that their assistance is vital for success. Share ways that participation can encourage personal growth.

Encourage Participation in Group Goal Development

Include all members when planning goals. Consider and follow through on members’ suggestions. Remember that we support that which we help to create.

Develop a Sense of Belonging

People like to belong. Those who feel like they belong will more likely invest themselves.

Specific Ways to Increase Motivation

  • Give others credit when it is due
  • Use “we” statements not “I” statements
  • Play up the positive and not the negative
  • Make meetings and projects appear attractive and interesting
  • Admit when you are wrong
  • Use members’ names often
  • Let members in on the early stages of plans
  • Be fair, honest, consistent, and do not show favoritism
  • Be careful what you say—do not gossip
  • Listen to others
  • Expect only the best and be proud when members achieve it

GRAPE Theory of Motivation

Growth: The opportunity to increase one’s skills and competencies, perform new and more complex tasks, and participate in training programs.

Recognition: Receive a promotion, praise for achievements, positive and constructive feedback, and awards. Advisors should print references of an individual’s activities and listen to members.

Achievement: The opportunity to solve a problem, to see the results of one’s efforts, to reach goals one established to create a tangible product.

Participation: Involvement in the organizational decision making, planning, scheduling, and controlling work activities.

Enjoyment: The opportunity to have fun in a warm, friendly, supportive atmosphere.

Information from ACPA Advisor Manual, 6/2011