It should be National Motivation Day every day in hospitality

01/07/2013 - 14:43
Team motivation isn’t a ‘special event’ for the F&B sector it’s the backbone of our business, says Jerry Brand, entrepreneur and managing director at Caternet...

Apparently it’s National Motivation Day today - not another in the never-ending list of ‘specially-themed days’ I hear you cry; sadly, that’s exactly what it is.

Interesting that we feel we need some kind of special landmark day to remind us to motivate our teams. Surely in the F&B sector it’s National Motivation Day every day? Or at least, it should be.

Of course, the reality is probably the reverse for many businesses. In a climate of financial uncertainty, it’s common knowledge that the hospitality sector continues with the struggle to control costs, make money and stay competitive - meaning it’s often easy to push this stuff towards the back of the list of priorities – after all, time is money, right?

Well yes, it is – but it’s important not to forget what keeps the wheels of your business turning every day; your people.

Motivation is something that drives all of us every day to get out of bed in the morning. And it doesn’t matter if you’re the restaurant manager, a chef or a waitress, everyone needs motivation. I like to think it’s not all about paying the bills either – there is more to it than that.  People need a reason to work hard, they need a reason to believe in the business and they also need an even bigger reason if you expect them to go that ‘extra mile’ for you and their colleagues.

Team work
People have to enjoy what they do and this means team work. Everyone pulls together when the going gets tough and celebrates when success is achieved; the environment is supportive, management give praise for a job well done and are engaged fully in the day to day operation of the business. Team work is about relationships, it’s about people, healthy competition and also a willingness to help others. We all have off-days but above all, it’s also about going into work most days and feeling pretty good about it.

Empowerment
Your staff also need to have to have a say in what they do and how that affects the business as a whole – this means empowerment. Nobody likes being simply dictated to. Everyone likes to feel like they are responsible for their own destiny and how the decisions they make day to day can really make a difference. This is about giving everyone a voice, no matter how small; it’s about asking for opinions – but also listening to them. And it is also about giving people enough opportunity and responsibility to ensure they really care about their role.

Communication
Your people also have to be remunerated properly and this means good communication. It’s important that the working opportunities are fair and equal to all staff according to their level of authority regardless of age, gender or race. But it’s not just enough to say it you need to prove it too. This is not just about financial reward and promotion but also about opportunity.  Part of this is also about good coaching, mentoring and regular feedback. Lack of communication can really affect morale so it is vital to keep talking.

Leadership
Motivation is also about strong leadership at all levels and this simply means employing good people who are right for the role but also for the business, its culture and its work ethic.

Get these few things right at the start and you’ll have the right environment for motivating your staff as a self-sustainable process.

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