Captain William Bligh of the H.M.S. Bounty is a historic figure because of his astonishing motivational skills. His draconian methods motivated the crew of the Bounty to sail half way around the world; unfortunately, he couldn’t prompt them to return the ship once they arrived. Interestingly enough, two later crews serving under the infamous Captain Bligh reacted similarly to his management tactics.
Suffice to say, motivating people is an acquired skill, which partially explains why the hospitality industry’s employee turnover rate runs at about 300%. So how can managers better motivate employees and create a more positive working environment? Following is our short list on that very subject:
• Acknowledgement — It’s only human nature to want to be appreciated. According to “The One Minute Manager” by Kenneth Blanchard, PhD, and Spencer Johnson, MD, you should catch employees doing things right and acknowledge their behavior. They naturally will want to continue doing whatever it is that draws praise.
• Solicit input — Employees want to know that their ideas matter, especially if they know something that you don’t. Take time to solicit employees’ opinions and give their thoughts due consideration.
• Empathy — Dealing day in and day out with the public can take its toll. It’s a hard business, and affording your staff genuine understanding will go a long way to creating a positive working environment.
• Stability — People need to feel like they belong, especially where work is concerned. Give employees the sense that their jobs are secure and watch them solidify into a team.
• Good pay — If employees are making a decent living, why would they jeopardize their jobs? Good money is an excellent motivator.
• Prevent stagnancy — Keeping your people professionally challenged is an effective way to stave off job burnout. Allow employees to evolve within their jobs by giving them more responsibility.
• Career advancement — Growth potential within the company gives employees a better sense that they’re on the right job track. Look to create promotion opportunities for your people to advance their careers inside your business.
• Loyalty — Loyalty toward your employees is essential to instilling mutual trust and creating a cohesive, professional staff. The essential first step is to relate to your people as individuals, not merely as names on a work schedule.
• Positive work environment — Is your business a good place in which to work? Are the managers supportive? Do they try to work with the employees, or do the employees simply work for the managers?
• Equitable treatment — People want to be treated fairly. Everything from discipline to scheduling should be handled equitably. Nearly every decision management makes will effect their employees’ ability to earn a decent livelihood.