10 Tips to Motivate Employees


Along with increasing soft and hard costs through team member turnover, your sales are in jeopardy as the continuous swinging door of new employees will play havoc, over and over. 

Therefore, here we provide 10 tips to motivate your employees.  Execution on these tips can be achieved with a commitment and top of mind awareness. 

1.  Execution:  Work toward flawless execution, every shift every day.  This comes from a top down mentality with exceptional training and consistent involvement from management. Work toward continuous improvement or “Kaizen” a Japanese term that refers to building upon continuous improvement in the workplace. The belief that everything can be improved, meaning that nothing is ever seen as status quo, yet continuous efforts to improve results in small, often imperceptible change over time.  These incremental changes add up to substantial change over long term without radical innovation.  It can be a much gentler and employee friendly way to institute changes that can dramatically affect and motivate employees to achieve more.   

2.  Daily Communication:  Continue to communicate to your teams the expectations for the day along with any new news to introduce to your customers. Conducting a well-planned pre-shift meeting with three key ingredients (listen, inform and motivate) can set the shift in motion in a positive manner.  This will motivate your team for the day and doing it over and over will pay off. 

3.  Autonomy: Provide enough ownership to team members so they not only feel part of the team but can have involvement with solutions when opportunities pop-up.  Leadership should paint the white lines on how to achieve that WOW experience without giving away the farm. 

4.  Benefits:  This can be as small as a great shift meal program or as great as paid or partially paid medical insurance.  While pay is important in the work force today, team members are attracted to brands that connect to causes, provide unique opportunities for team members and breakout of that sea of sameness with how they care for the work force.  

5.  Training:  There is nothing more critical in the hospitality world then selecting, training and retaining talent.  Train your trainers, setup and maintain a high level of integrity to follow how team members are trained.  If you panic hire, you will panic train.  Take the necessary steps to insure a syllabus or training schedule is consistently followed.   Generally, this is the only time a new team member will have the opportunity to learn it the right way. 

6.  Promotions:  Team members love change that benefits the brand that also impacts their wallets.  Exciting promotions as well as LTO’s that will drive traffic and revenue is a no-brainer.  Gaining feedback from your team members after promotions to see what they consistently like will make them feel like that have a say in the business.  They will not hold back on delivering feedback on what went right or wrong as your employees do not enjoy repeating poor execution.  

7.  Incentives: Deciding when and how to use incentive initiatives can excite and keep team members focused on a specific deliverable.  No need to give away the farm, yet simply challenge team members with driving tactics that link to strategy.  If you have a spring focus on a new beverage platform or Happy Hour program, select some key measurable results to track and then challenge team members to execute. Gift cards, free meals, movie tickets and technology gadgets all work wonders in exciting team members to compete.

8.  Performance Management:  You will always win the war on development when you have a well-planned and consistent performance management tool.  Providing specific, clear expectations on deliverables, then following up on those expectations with key members on your team will not only motivate team members but encourage them to achieve results beyond those expectations.

9.  Clean It Up:  Many studies show that running and maintaining a clean and hazard free restaurant will encourage team work and challenge team members to maintain a clean and safe work environment. Working in a dirty restaurant creates a hazard to both team members and guests, creating a real turnoff to team members.  

10.  Please and Thanks:  These two awesome words are free to distribute and emulate over and over.  Team members love to hear them especially after a long shift where their performance made a difference.  A simple “Thank You Henry for the awesome job you did today behind the bar” will stick with your employee and only drive them to do it again.  The more we ask, the more we get from a performance standpoint.  We simply need to ask it the right way and with respect.  

Want More? Get more tips on how to motivate employess during the 2016 Nightclub & Bar Show conference program.  Check out all the sessions here