How to Motivate Staff in the Hospitality Industry

How to Motivate Staff in the Hospitality Industry



Hospo is not always smooth sailing. Dealing with angry customers, facing understaffing issues, or struggling with unmotivated staff members can be challenging. In the hospitality industry, it's crucial for employees to be happy and satisfied at all times, as their attitude directly impacts the customer experience.

To ensure a positive experience for your customers, we've put together a list of 5 employee motivation tips to keep your hospitality staff motivated.


1. Foster a culture of continuous learning

Repeating the same tasks day after day can make employees feel stagnant and eventually resentful of their profession. To combat this, it's important to provide constant learning opportunities. Consider offering one-on-one training, role-playing exercises, and workshops. Occasionally, sending staff members to seminars can also be beneficial.

"One of the main reasons why hotel employees resign is because they feel stuck, like they're not progressing in their jobs." - Rupesh Patel, Founder,

Encourage your employees to see these learning sessions as not only beneficial for their hospitality career but also applicable to their everyday lives.


2. Build a sense of community

In New Zealand, many hospitality businesses employ staff members on temporary work visas, resulting in a diverse workforce with different backgrounds and accents. This diversity can make it challenging to create a cohesive team, which is essential for smooth daily operations.

To foster a sense of community, consider implementing the following strategies:

  • Allow staff members at least 10 minutes to introduce themselves to each other, breaking the ice and encouraging connections.
  • Encourage permanent staff to treat casual staff with respect and make them feel like valued members of the team.
  • Encourage a culture of collaboration and surpassing expectations. Foster demonstrations of teamwork and a shared commitment to exceptional service.

3. Recognise and reward exceptional performance

Why should your team members work hard and exceed expectations if there are no incentives or rewards in place? Without recognition, employees can quickly become demotivated, feeling stuck in repetitive tasks.

If an employee is willing to work an extra shift or consistently goes above and beyond, they deserve more than just a simple "thank you." By praising and rewarding top performers, you create a culture of motivation and encourage others to strive for excellence.

There are many tangible incentives you can offer, such as a bottle of wine or a free dinner, to show your appreciation and make employees feel valued.


4. Provide opportunities for career growth

Many hospitality jobs are often perceived as dead-end positions, especially casual ones. Casual workers frequently desire more stability and growth in their careers.

Empathy goes a long way in an industry where employees need to maintain a positive demeanour throughout their shifts. Take the time to discuss your employees' aspirations and explore how you can support their future goals.

Be transparent about what it takes to succeed in the hospitality industry and provide guidance on training and connections required to advance. Help employees understand how their transferable skills from previous jobs can serve as stepping stones to promotion and growth in hospitality.


5. Personalise business cards for employees

Handing out personalised business cards is a tried and tested method for motivating employees. When you officially provide staff members with business cards bearing their name and your business's name, they feel a sense of belonging and responsibility.

This strategic move also benefits your business. Employees can directly communicate with potential guests or stakeholders, reducing the need for you to answer every phone call or respond to every email.


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