A Manager’s Guide of How to Motivate Your Employees Effectively in the Hospitality Industry

Categories and tags:
Autumn 2019

As most managers and business owners are aware, employees play a pivotal role in the delivery of service quality and retention of satisfied and loyal customers. So the question is, how do you retain employees in an industry which is known for its unsociable working hours and low pay, and promote a positive working environment for your staff? 

Research shows that:  

  • 30% of employees leave their role in the hospitality industry within a year of starting. 

This could potentially create major issues for hospitality managers as they could end up losing talented employees and have unfilled positions due to the industry’s unpredictable nature. Organisations must maintain productivity, considering the happiness of its employees both within the workplace and at home. Research has proven that an effective work-life balance can lead to improved employee engagement and work productivity. 

So, is keeping your employees happy a lot easier said than done? 

To help you understand your employees better, we have come up with a few recommendations to keep your employees engaged in the workplace…

RECOGNITION – In business don’t just assume that your employees are happy in the workplace if they get their job done. People like to feel appreciated because it shows them that their work has been successful and what they do is meaningful. For an employer to show recognition, it doesn’t require anything big – it can be the little gestures that are the most memorable for an employee. This isn’t as straight forward as you think, as everyone has their own preferred method of recognition; some are “extrinsically” motivated whereas others are more “intrinsically”. Individuals who are extrinsically motivated will respond better with forms of physical rewards to recognise their good work, whereas those who are intrinsically motivated rely on verbal recognition from their managers and like to be told that they have done a good job. It is therefore important for managers to understand what forms of recognition work best for their employees to get the most out of them.  

COMMUNICATION – If you don’t have communication in a business or between an employer and their employees, it can create major issues. No matter what position you have in a business, communication is a vital part of what you do and without it, it’s extremely difficult to work effectively with the people around you. If you have open and honest communication, it makes not only your life, but everyone’s lives a lot easier. This allows people to express their views and work together cooperatively. New innovative technologies such as Microsoft Teams or Facebook for Workplace enable enhanced connections and collaboration between staff, 1:1 or in groups, creating a virtual office where everyone can get the information they need. This is beneficial because in an industry where people are rarely sat at a desk, technology can provide them with access to business information through their mobile phones whilst on the go. 

OPPORTUNITIES TO DEVELOP PEER RELATIONSHIPS – One of the most difficult facets of any job role is working with other individuals. Dealing with challenging colleagues and employers can test an individual’s ability to build relationships and succeed in their work. Therefore, providing opportunities to develop employees relationships with their peers is an essential factor. This could be achieved in many ways, such as through social media, team volunteering for the local community, group work placements or excursions, and more traditional methods like having a staff party.

In Summary 

The engagement of your employees can directly correlate with the quality of their work. Employees will exceed expectations if they’re happy and being given the opportunity to thrive, which will contribute to improving employee satisfaction and motivation. This also has the added benefit of increasing the businesses success and reducing the risk of staff turnover.  

Do you have any exciting employee engagement techniques? Let us know in the comments below… 


Joanna says:

Very interesting read, having worked in the hospitality industry, it can cause lots of issues when you have low staff retention or poor motivation within your team. Trying to work on opportunities to develop peer relationships can be hard as if you do social events or team building, and you work at a hotel for example, someone will miss out as the hotel is open 24/7 and will need staffing. Getting recognition is also so important at work, and with clear communication hopefully it can help motivate employees within the hospitality industry.

Motivating Employees Effectively says:

Hi Joanna,
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts on the topic with us! Retaining employees is such as big issue in the hospitality industry due to how fast paced and time-consuming particular roles can be, and keeping employees motivated within their roles can therefore be problematic if they are working such long hours every week. You made a very good point in saying that developing peer relationships is even harder if you are working within a hotel due to it being open 24/7 and always needing someone to be on site – having worked in the hospitality industry yourself, do you believe employers are actively encouraging peer relationships within the business? If so, how are they doing this, and does it actually work in your opinion?

Ashley says:

Very good article. Agree with what it’s says. Particularly recognition. Easily overlooked but pivotal for success!

Motivating Employees Effectively says:

Hi Ashley,
Thank you for taking the time to read our blog. We are glad that you agree with the points we have made. As you have stated that recognition is key, what ways of recognition would you appreciate from your employer?

Aimee says:

Very formative read. Having worked in the hospitality industry I understand the points that have been made throughout this blog.

It is difficult to do the best of your ability if your team are not willing to support you and are demotivated in their job. Managers have a responsibility to listen to all their members of staff, in order for them to do their best, which will result in the event running smoothly. Keeping the guests happy is very pivotal if managers want their customers to return to the venue again and again.

Being recognised by the managers is very important in staff morale and could be an effective way of motivating staff to perform better.

Motivating Employees Effectively says:

Hi Aimee,
Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on the topic with us!
We agree that if you don’t have the correct support system behind you it can be problematic. Having worked in the hospitality industry, what helped you to stay motivated in the workplace?

David says:

As someone who works in the Hospitality industry, I can personally say that this article hits every point what an employee wants and needs from his managers and without these points, an employee loses motivation very fast. Without any recognition or communication, an employee will instantly become unsatisfied and want to find new opportunities. In the hotel I currently work at, we undergo 1 to 1s every couple of months to be able to present our feelings which are heard and acted upon as well as get personal recognition with small rewards to it.
However, I have met people who have been in the industry as either concierge or porters who don’t really care about recognition or communications but these are people who don’t expect much from their lives and live it as it is and don’t dream of being anything more. I think this is a mindset of the older generations which is why the younger generation needs recognition and communication from their managers or they will move on as they know they can find another job, unlike the older generation who feel threatened and struggle to find anything.

Motivating Employees Effectively says:

Hi David,
Thank you so much for taking the time to read our blog. We are glad you realise the effects that motivation can have on staff and that your company use one of the techniques we suggested to keep employees satisfied in their job role and that it is successful. Are there any other ways you would suggest that we could use to motivate people?

Lauren B says:

Love this blog! I completely agree that working long extensive hours can really take a negative impact on employees. However as event managers in development, We are told from day one that the hours are long, so it’s a given that our job can make us quite unsocial in our day to day lives.
Saying that, it is crucial for the employer to build good relationships with the employees to keep the motivation of excellence in place. Perhaps to keep the employees satisfied, come up with a benefits programme or incentives that acknowledge the hard work event managers and their staff are putting in.

Motivating Employees Effectively says:

Hi Lauren,
Thank you for taking the time to read our blog. We agree that the events and hospitality industry can be extremely strenuous. Your point about keeping employees satisfied with benefit programmes or incentives is a great idea. If you were the employee what incentives or programme would you appreciate?

Jess says:

Great read. Appreciation is a great motivator and the little things really do mean the most. Communication is a small but vital thing for all employees, in any industry.

Motivating Employees Effectively says:

Hi Jess,
Thank you for taking the time to read our blog and share your thoughts on the topic. What do you find are the best methods to keep you motivated in the workplace?

Sophie says:

Really good article. An easy read. Very relatable to someone who has spent a large portion of their life working within both the hospitality and catering industry. Effective communication with employees is essential to running a business. This helps to increase employee enjoyment and further enhance motivation levels.

Motivating Employees Effectively says:

Hi Sophie,
Thank you for taking the time to read our blog and share your thoughts. We here all agree with your point and feel that communication is an essential asset for a manager to possess. What do you think can be done to enhance communication in your opinion? Do you have any other methods of communication in mind that haven’t already been mentioned in this blog entry?

Charlotte says:

This article is such a good read and states some issues within businesses. This article has showed so many issues you can have especially with communication and colleagues who aren’t participating in a correct order. Your ideas for 1-1 groups for others to know their task and what is expected of them. I completely agree with what this article is stating.

Motivating Employees Effectively says:

Hi Charlotte,
Thank you for taking the time to read our blog entry. Do you feel there are any other methods of communication that managers could implement to ensure their subordinates understand the tasks they are given more effectively?

Lauren says:

Great article, shows a really good insight into the industry and good ways of showing staff the appreciation of the work they do as that can be greatly over looked sometimes.

Motivating Employees Effectively says:

Hi Lauren,
Thank you for reading our blog and taking the time to share your thought. What do you find works best for keeping you motivated in the workplace?

LM says:

Great article.
As a hospitality manager, I find it utterly bonkers at the way some owners of small businesses have treated individuals new to our Hospitality world.

I have always made it a key part of my role to ensure I do all I can to assist my team grow, develop, learn and NOT be taken advantage of.

The newly qualified EM’s are the future of our industry, If we don’t train them, teach them & develop them in the roles they WANT to be in (not just roles that we have) then this can make them want to leave.
Example: taking on Jnr EM’s and have them solely in housekeeping as it’s better for the business, it can be at the detriment of the EM)

Hospitality is not a career to get into likely.
You literally put your life on hold, to make other peoples better…but the rewards are fantastic.

If I’d have allowed some of my managers affect me, my career would have been very different

Give praise & credit where it is due,
Train when someone requires it,
Do not tell… ASK where they feel they need help and beyond all LISTEN!

Motivating Employees Effectively says:

Hi Lisamarie,
Thank you for taking the time to read our blog and share your thoughts on the topic with us. It’s great to hear that you realise the effects on employees if they don’t have the right support system behind them and aren’t given the correct training. Is there anything else you feel motivates staff that we haven’t already mentioned?

Emma says:

Very enlightening article, especially for readers not well known to the field of business and management!!! I agree with points made and feel as though it is stuff that is easily over looked! Very well structured and easy informative read

Motivating Employees Effectively says:

Hi Emma,
Thank you for taking the time to read our blog and leave your thoughts. In your opinion, which point(s) raised in this blog entry do you feel are the most important for managers to consider?

Julie says:

Very interesting read, sometimes a simple “well done” can make all the difference. People need to be appreciated. Good article.

Motivating Employees Effectively says:

Hi Julie,
Thank you for reading our blog and sharing your thoughts. We all agree that a simple “well done” or even a “thank you” can go a long way to recognising good work. Do you have any other methods of recognition that you find work for you and help you to feel appreciated?

Gemma says:

I love this!
Having worked in hospitality, I can personally day that the number one reason for me leaving my position or changing jobs is bad management.
In an industry where customer satisfaction is arguably the most important factor in hospitality, it’s easy for managers becoming overly demanding which becomes intrusive on our personal lives, especially when short staffed!
I can conclusively say that the advice in this article would have made a big difference To my happiness in this industry!

Motivating Employees Effectively says:

Hi Gemma,
Thank you for reading our blog entry and sharing your experience. It’s unfortunate to hear instances such as your own, and this is exactly what we want to combat. We agree that in such an industry, the wellbeing of the employee can not be overlooked, and we feel that in order to reach peak customer satisfaction, you need to satisfy your employees too. You raise an interesting point about being short-staffed. Would you say that you were being overworked due to this? Also, if all of the points raised in this blog were appropriately addressed by your managers, would you have been more inclined to stay in the hospitality industry?

Chloe says:

Couldn’t agree more with the points stated above! Having worked in hospitality myself, even a small thank you as recognition for your hard work goes a long way! It just makes you feel like someone has recognised that you are working hard and appreciates it.

Motivating Employees Effectively says:

Hi Chloe,
Thank you for reading and commenting on our blog. We agree that a simple thank you can go a long way. Are there any other ways in which you feel managers could recognise the good work of their staff?

Jan says:

Great article. A business is only as good as its staff. If a manager looks after their staff and welcomes their input and listens to their views the staff will willingly work harder and the business and it’s reputation grows.

Motivating Employees Effectively says:

Hi Jan,
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. on the subject of communication, do you feel more should be done by managers to listen to their staff? We believe communication is not just about the managers getting their word across, but also about listening to their staff. Would you agree with this?

Ceri Johnson says:

Very good read.

Completely agree with all that’s said particularly around recognition- it can make the world of difference to an employee and how they are feeling

Motivating Employees Effectively says:

Hi Ceri,
Thank you for reading our blog and sharing your thoughts. In your experience, what has worked best for you in the past when you have been recognised for good work?

Tracy says:

A good read, I have to say though that the key points could also relate to any workplace. Recognition of good work with a simple well done or even thank you sometimes goes a lot way in making employees feel valued.

Motivating Employees Effectively says:

Hi Tracy,
Thank you for your feedback. We agree with you, about how the points raised in this blog are applicable to most workplaces. We understand that most industries have similar issues, and most of the remedies we have discussed are also transferable. Are there any other ideas you have that could help make employees feel more appreciated?

Katy says:

So glad this article touched upon recognition. The power of recognition in an individual’s development is always over looked, especially in a busy industry where individuals are working very hard for long hours. The negative consequences of continual lack of recognition is really damaging to morale and can cause a lack of confidence and stop people reaching their full potential. It is so important that people are recognised not only for exceptional performance, but for effort and personal goal achievements.

Motivating Employees Effectively says:

Hi Katy, Thank you for taking the time to read our blog. We feel that recognition is one of the most overlooked ways to motivate staff and we are so pleased that you agree that it is so important. What form of recognition do you feel is best to motivate staff?

UoG Noise Blog says:

Some really interesting information here, it is so important for event managers to understand how to motivate staff efficiently. The hours that come with working in the event industry are very tiresome, it is important that managers recognise that and use recognition to help encourage their employees.

Motivating Employees Effectively says:

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog! We completely agree with your point about the long working hours within the event industry – are there any methods event managers can use to recognise their staff that you feel work best for the industry?

Comments are closed.