How to motivate your employees

Food & Drink: Human Resources

How to keep your employees motivated

By Petra Weslien on February 4, 20163 minutes read

The staff is your most valuable asset as a business owner. But how can you motivate them with limited resources? I’m Petra Weslien, Head of HR at iZettle, and here are my best tips for how small business owners can keep their employees motivated!

Employee turnover is often high in the food and drink business, but as a restaurant or café owner, you can do a lot to boost staff motivation and loyalty.

Money is not the answer

“Higher salary” is for many people the immediate answer to the question of how we can become more motivated at work. But as many studies have revealed, that’s not nearly enough. In fact, salary has very little to do with employer satisfaction (given, of course, that the pay is okay).

No, there are other values at play here. Which is good for you, because it means you can keep your staff motivated even during tough times.

Keep common goals

Make sure that everyone in the staff is clear about what the restaurant’s or café’s goals are and break them down into small goals for each individual. As a manager: take the time to understand what drives your employees and what their personal or work-related long-term goals are. Chances are you can find a most beneficial solution together.

Be transparent

It’s much easier for people to feel involved if they know the current state of affairs. Let them in on the challenges you face and ask for clever solutions to any problems you might have. Also make sure to tell them and reward them when things are going really well. Be frank about failures, and make sure to create a culture in which failures are seen as a chance to learn and do better next time.

Encourage development

Learning new things or developing a creative project is time well spent, also for you as a restaurant or café owner. Make investments in the staff and their courses, certifications and seminars. It’s much cheaper to train your current staff member than hiring someone new with the right qualifications. It also shows that there are career opportunities within your organisation.

It’s much cheaper to train your current staff member than hiring someone new with the right qualifications.

Let the families join the team

One highly motivational factor is time. Cut the workload and allow your staff to spend more time with their families. While doing so, you can also set higher demands when it comes to workplace efficiency. Let the staff bring their families to your parties and give them heavy discounts on food and drinks instead of higher salaries.

Give praise and attention

The mechanisms of loyalty and motivation are in fact very common for all living creatures. Give attention, encourage autonomy, be generous with praise and trust the employees’ competence in completing a task.

Give attention, encourage autonomy, be generous with praise and trust the employees’ competence in completing a task

Employ big ideas

Try to find the kind of people that truly have potential to grow and flourish along with the company.

Find a higher purpose

So more money doesn’t necessarily makes us happier. But do you know what does? Altruism. Research shows that volunteer workers are more happy with their lives than others, because their actions are meaningful. Find a common purpose and create fun and clever CSR projects around that. Everyone will benefit, and your employees will become both happier and more loyal.

Petra weslien Petra Weslien Head of HR at iZettle

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