Keeping your staff motivated is your one of the most important tasks a leader undertakes. As Zig Ziglar aptly puts it, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” Leading your staff and setting the motivated example they need to follow is one if not the most important task a leader must successfully perform. After all, the guests will interact with the staff far more than with the manager. The question becomes simply – Do you actively motivate your staff?
If you answered “I don’t know” or worse “No”, it is time to evaluate yourself as a leader and really look at the results your team is achieving. A highly motivated team will do the following:
- Work as a team
- Increase repeat guest visits
- Decrease mistakes
- Raise Check Average
- Stop Complaining
- Did I mention raise sales?
So what should you do first? Recognize that you have the power to do two things in motivation of your staff. That is only two things. One is motivate yourself and two is understand you can only establish the environment for motivation but you cannot “make” your staff motivated.
Let’s look at the first step. Motivate yourself. Have you noticed if you are in a good mood the staff seems to follow? Likewise if you are stressed and having a bad day they seem to follow suit. Leaders set the tone, the pace and the attitude of a restaurant. So the question becomes “Is your attitude worth catching?”
Self motivation begins with at least the following:
Read at least 20 minutes a day. Start with Zig Ziglar, Steven Covey, Anthony Robbins or John Maxwell. Good positive books that will offer insight and teach you something.
Listen to positive, educational or uplifting CD’s during your drive times. According to a Gallup Poll the average drive time in America is 46 minutes a day. That works out to 191 hours a year. Use this time to learn something. After that many hours you will be an expert at your subject!
Practice what you have learned. Steven Covey recommends you begin teaching what you have learned immediately. This increases your understanding as you teach someone.
Play your favorite song or comedy routine right before entering your work. This will put a smile on your face as you enter your restaurant and set the example for your staff.
Set goals for yourself, your staff and your business. Evaluate progress on those goals each day. Celebrate successes! Analyze (without beating yourself or the staff up) why a goal was not met and how to improve the chances of meeting the next goal. Remember motivated people are always working towards something specific.
The second step is to establish an environment for motivating your staff. You will have made great strides to provide this environment if you already read, listen to CD’s, walk the talk and set goals. The trick now is to spend time getting to know your staff and why they work.
Get to know why your staff works and what they want out of work. Relate your business goals to each individual’s reason for work. For example if a server is working to pay for a new car, and your goal is to increase her personal sales 5% show her how suggestive selling appetizers makes her car payment.
Set goals and let the staff know what the goals are. Personal goals as well as team goals following the SMARTEST goal setting procedure.
Follow up on goals and the progress daily. You build sales one guest at a time. You achieve goals one step at a time. Your staff must know how they are doing AND what they can to do to improve. This only has to take 2 to 5 minutes at the end of a shift. You cannot afford to miss out on this communication with your staff.
Reward it. Whatever “it” may be. A personal handwritten note, lapel pin or public acknowledgment of a job well done. Just do something to let the staff member know the task was done correctly and worth repeating.
Reward it fast. The receiver has to know what they did and when they did it. The closer the reward is to the action the better. Nothing is more demoralizing than getting a reward weeks or months after the action.
Celebrate Success at every chance. A smile, a wink and a nod as the staff does something right re-enforces the action and increases the chances it will be duplicated.
Remember motivation gets you started, HABIT gets you there. Make motivation your habit and you will there much faster and have fun doing it. A highly motivated staff is worth its weight in gold. You, as a leader, motivate your staff each and every day. It is really up to you to seize control positively motivate yourself so you can positively motivate them. You owe it to yourself and your profit statement. Do it now.