In any business, it can be difficult to motivate employees. When a person goes to work day after day, it can be hard to get them excited about going to work and doing their best. Most business owners don’t know how to motivate staff in the workplace.
This can be especially difficult in the restaurant field. Many people who are servers, cooks, dishwashers, hosts, hostesses and even managers can have trouble getting motivated.
As the restaurant owner, it is up to you to come up with genius ways to motivate your employees. There are many big chain restaurants who can boost staff morale using cash incentives.
There are several financial bonuses that big chains can afford to offer their employees so that they work their hardest. Unfortunately, there are many smaller chains or family owned restaurants who cannot afford these methods of motivating employees.
If your business cannot afford to offer cash incentives, you would need to come up with other ways. There are several ideas for motivating your employees that won’t cost you a dollar that you should consider.
Top 15 Easy ways to Motivate your staff
Here are 15 effective motivational techniques that you can try with your employees:
1. Win a Day Off
Most people love getting a paid day off. It is a day that they can do anything that they want, but they won’t need to worry about losing out on any money. If you want to know how to motivate employees without money, you should create a contest where the employee who performs the best each month would be offered a paid day off.
This won’t cost you much money in the long run, and all of your employees will work harder to win the day off. When it comes to running the contest, you should choose the winner by who hasn’t missed any work, who hasn’t come in late, who is willing to take an extra shift if necessary, and who is a team player.
2. Create a ‘Wall of Fame’
If you need to know how to motivate employees without incentives, you should consider creating a ‘Wall of Fame’. This is where you would take a particular wall, specifically one that customers will be able to see when they come in, and put a photo of the chosen employee on the wall.
Not only will their co-workers and customers see that they are hard workers, they will know that you think that they are a hard worker. This type of recognition is enough to motivate employees to perform at their best.
3. Celebrate Anniversaries
If you want to know how to motivate staff when money is tight, you should consider making a big deal about your employees’ anniversary dates. Many businesses, especially the restaurant business, have a quick turn around when it comes to workers.
A customer can go to your restaurant one day and see the staff and go back three months later and they may not see a familiar face. This is a great reason to celebrate employee anniversaries.
You can bring a cake for the employee who is celebrating an anniversary, and you can give them a t shirt or a hat to wear for the day so that customers know that they are celebrating an anniversary as well. Not only will the employee get the recognition that they deserve, they could also end up making more in tips from customers.
4. Star Employee Parking
One way to award the employee who has worked the hardest is to create a ‘Star Employee Parking Space’. This would be a parking space close to the door with the employee’s name and photo posted in front of it.
This type of incentive will make the employees work harder so that they get a better parking space for the month, and so that they can get the recognition that they deserve. Sometimes it takes recognition and not money to make an employee work harder.
5. Praise Goes a Long Way
Many restaurant owners have so much on their plate, that they don’t think to praise their employees for a job well done. Many restaurant owners don’t speak to their employees often unless they are reprimanding them.
When you see an employee going above and beyond the call of duty, you should let them know. When an employee sees that they are appreciated, they will be more likely to work harder to get the praise that they crave.
6. Ask For Employee Input
If you want to know how to inspire workers without incentives, you should ask them what they think. If your employees have ideas that can make the day to day running of the business smoother, you should give them a forum to give their opinions.
You should also encourage your employees to let you know if they have any ideas of how to make the restaurant a better working environment for everyone. When your employees see that you value your opinion and that you are open to doing things to help them, they will be more motivated to work harder.
7. Free Meals For Working Employees
Anyone who is running a restaurant knows that it costs a great deal less money to make a meal from the menu than what the restaurant is charging. If you want to show your employees that they are valued, you should offer them a free meal during their scheduled break.
Not only will this type of benefit boost morale, it will also give your employees the energy that they need to be on their feet during their long shift. Most restaurant employees don’t have the money to spend to buy a meal or they just don’t want to spend it.
When you provide a meal, they will appreciate your generosity, and will likely thank you by working hard.
8. Keep the Workplace Fun
If your employees have fun when they go to work, they will likely work hard while they are there. If you set down too many rules that don’t really matter, your employees won’t enjoy their workplace as much. Keeping things light and fun will make your employees want to work hard.
9. Promote Internally
The best ways of motivating your employees is to let them work their way up to the top. If you have a position open as a server, and you don’t offer it to a hostess or another employee first, it can have a negative effect on morale.
If an employee sees that they are in a dead end job with no chance of promotion, they likely won’t work as hard as they could be. This type of environment will also be the reason that your employees leave for other job opportunities.
If you have any open position, you should first offer it to your current employees. If someone wants to apply for the position, let them. When employees see that they can work their way up in the business, they will work harder.
10. Find Out What Motivates Your Employees
It is impossible for any restaurant owner to read their employees’ minds. If anyone knows what it will take to boost your employees’ morale, it is your employees. If you don’t know what will work, ask them for some ideas.
You can run a staff meeting and ask your employees to come up with intensives that don’t include cash to make them work harder. Chances are you will get some excellent input, and you can put some of their ideas into action.
11. Have an Open Door Policy
When dealing with your employees, you should let them know that you have an open door policy. If they need to complain about something or someone, they should feel comfortable doing so.
The more open and honest your employees feel that they can be, the better the chances are that they will feel appreciated and important. This is an excellent way of building employee morale.
12. Lottery Ticket Giveaway
If you want to boost morale and create a contest that won’t cost you much money, you should consider a lottery ticket giveaway. You can set up the contest where you would choose the best server, host or hostess, cook, and dishwasher who is performing the best, and at the end of the month give them lottery tickets.
Not only will it show them that you see how hard they work, you are giving them a chance to win millions of dollars. The best part about this idea is that it will only cost you a few dollars.
13. Create a ‘Brag Board’
A ‘brag board’ is a bulletin board where employees can write down an accomplishment of their own or something nice about their co-workers. The board can either be in the main lobby of the restaurant or in the break room.
It is a great way for employees to brag about themselves and their co-workers and to get the recognition that they deserve.
14. Start a Team
If your city or town has a softball league or a bowling league, you should consider starting a team to join. When you and your employees have a chance to spend time together outside of the office, it can forge a stronger bond.
When the whole group is working together as a team, it will help them work harder as a team when they are on the job. Also, a team will create unity and pride for your restaurant. This is one of the best ways to boost morale without giving your employees financial compensation that you may not be able to afford.
Playing together on a team is also an excellent excuse to have a party together after the season is over.
15. Comment Cards
Leaving comment cards on the tables is a great way to boost morale. These cards are a great way for customers to leave compliments regarding the service that they received, the meal that they ate, or anything that they enjoyed about their visit to the restaurant.
When your employees know that customers will be filling out these cards, they will be more likely to work as hard as they can to make the customers’ visit their best one ever. If an employee is mentioned or if a particular dish is mentioned, you can praise the appropriate employee in front of the rest of the staff. This will give them the recognition that they need to want to work hard.
There is much more to running a restaurant than ordering supplies, hiring employees, and keeping the books. Keeping your employees happy is one of the most important jobs that you have. If you can keep your employees motivated, they will always be on top of their game.
You will have less people calling out each week, and less people leaving your restaurant for better opportunities. If you take just one or two ideas from this list, you will have an excellent chance of keeping your employees happy and working to their full potential.
All you need to know is how to motivate your employees to their fullest potential.