Nearly everyone makes an impression on someone else every
day of his life. At the same time, nearly everyone is
forming an impression of someone else. It happens in
private life, in business, in offices, on farms, in
schools, in government-wherever people are involved with
people. It happens both unconsciously and consciously, and
with a purpose. There is no end to the process.
You, as a manager in the service industries such as the
hotel, resort, restaurant, or other travel business, are
judged not only by the good meal, the restful night's
sleep, or the weekend of fun that your guests enjoyed.
You are judged also by the friendliness of your staff,
their alertness, their attitude, how they look, and the
way they do their job. What did your staff do to send a
satisfied guest or customer on his way or bring him back?
Your success in business will depend on how well you-the
manager-build these impressions.
How well you do this job
depends on how well you can manage people-your employees.
The most important asset of any business is its human
family of workers -managers and employees. Increasing the
capabilities and productivity of your staff is simply
smart business management. From the purely humanitarian
standpoint, it is also a moral obligation.
Getting people to work for you and with you as a team-and
keeping them working is never simple. However, these
skills pay handsomely in many fields. They are an
especially important key to your success in the service
How to Motivate and Inspire
How do you increase the business value of the people who
work for you? Above all, remember that they are people,
each one an important part of your business family-not
just a cog in a human machine that goes through certain
muscular motions every day with time out for refueling and
maintenance. Remember that your staff has heart and
brains, feelings and ideas-and is made of the same raw
materials as you. Their energies are there to be used for
their own good and for yours.
Some ways of harnessing these energies:
1. Seeking and using your employee's own ideas.
2. Keeping employees informed.
3. Expressing personal interest in employees.
4. Instilling pride in work well done.
5. Providing effective supervision.
These techniques are discussed in detail below. They
concern various methods of directing your employees toward
your main objective-building a profitable business by
satisfying guests and customers.
As you put these techniques to use, you will find the job
only half begun. The employee still needs more answers to
this very important personal question: "What is there in
it for me?" This is not a cynical question. It is another
way of asking: "How much am I worth?" As owner or manager,
you ask yourself the same question? So do your workers.
And you must provide answers for them as well as for
What incentives will you give them? Your success depends
on your answer.
Seeking and Using Employee's Ideas
To feel very much a part of the hospitality service
business and to be given an incentive, each employee must
understand that he is free to contribute ideas. Management
must encourage employee ideas and provide the necessary
mechanism for obtaining them. Suggestion boxes and
idea-discussion employee meetings are a couple of
possibilities. Encourage employees to think about problems
of the business. Some excellent ideas for their solution
may be forthcoming. As manager, carefully consider all
ideas, and if adopted, commend or reward the giver. If not
adopted, a word of explanation and appreciation should
always be given.
For example: Suppose new guest room lamps or bedspreads
are needed. Ask the housekeepers to make suggestions. They
may come up with usable ideas, and you have alerted them
to this opportunity to contribute. You have built in their
minds an appreciation of your thoughtfulness in seeking
their ideas about the problem.
Keeping Employees Informed
Successful service industry managers build good attitudes
in their employees by keeping them well informed of
affairs of the business.
Important methods of informing employees include personal
communication, use of a bulletin board, regular employee
newsletter or newspaper, individual written notices and
For example: meetings are one of the best forms of
management-employee communication. They should be kept
short and purposeful. There are two types of meetings, the
regular stop meeting and the problem or opportunity
Staff meetings are usually held for supervisors and
department heads. However, all employees should be invited
to a staff meeting, probably once a month or perhaps once
each quarter. Topics could include coming events, business
trends, notable achievements, and employee recognition.
The problem or opportunity meeting is called when someone
has a problem or an idea worthy of consideration and
assistance by others in the organization. After the first
meeting, the manager usually sets a period of time for
considering the problem or idea. The parties get back
together for a follow-up meeting to resolve the matter,
having had time to think it over and reach some
conclusions. This form of communication and mutual effort
contributes importantly to the organization's spirit of
These procedures make each person feel important to the
success of the business. The employee recognizes his value
and sees how his efforts help create success.
Holding regular meetings for the employees is one of the
best means of motivating your staff and building
self-esteem. The manager can write up the minutes of the
meeting and distribute these to all concerned on the same
day the meeting was held. This practice summarizes the
most important points and makes them readily available for
future referral and use.
Expressing Personal Interest
Another way to create motivation is the personal
conference held in private with each employee.
For example: managers or supervisors should find time at
least once each year to sit down in private with each
employee. In a friendly manner, discuss both business and
personal matters. Such talks smooth out problems and
difficulties which may be blocking the motivation of the
employee. The talks are also helpful to you, the
supervisor or manager, as you may receive information
which would come to you in no other way.
Suppose Mary, a waitress, seems to have lost spirit and
goes about her duties with no enthusiasm. If everything
outwardly seems satisfactory, such as health and basic job
conditions, the manager should carefully consider the
action he will take and then invite her to his office for
a private talk.
The first step is to discuss her work. Find out why her
attitude towards the job is poor. She may feel a lack of
acceptance by other staff workers or feel insecure or
discriminated against, or there may be other sources of
dissatisfaction or trouble. Personal or family problems
may be vexing her. If her problems are business-related,
they often stem from feeling "out of things."
In this case, the second step is to get her better
acquainted with her working associates, perhaps by
involving her in making plans for some special social
activity of the workers, appointing her to some committee
or asking her to assist the manager in some particular
project. This procedure will give Mary a feeling of being
someone special, of receiving special privileges which
have considerable motivational value. If the problems are
of a home or personal nature, perhaps some assistance from
a friend of hers or relative could be suggested or
arranged to help solve the problem.
Instilling Pride in Work
One definite advantage of employment in the service
industries is that much of it is still of a "craft"
nature. Craft work with the hands produces a complete
finished product that can be admired (with accompanying
Examples: When the salad girl completes a beautiful and
tempting salad, she can take justifiable pride in her
accomplishment. The same can be said for the waitress
serving a delicious meal and the housekeeper who turns out
a clean and attractive room. These are tangible products
of work and thus the old-fashioned pride of skilled
accomplishment can still flourish in this industry.
Management should show public satisfaction with
accomplishment by occasionally complimenting and
expressing appreciation to the employee for work well
Furthermore, increased automation in manufacturing will
force a growing number of persons to look for jobs, as the
labor supply exceeds the demand. Many will find their way
into the service industries.
A job in tourism is often seen as a privilege, since most
jobs in this industry have a measure of glamour and
excitement. Managers can build pride, and this should be
done to keep good workers and attract new ones. Employee
status can be elevated by following the suggestions in
this bulletin. Respect and pride for all employees is the
foundation for increasing status.
Pride in work well done also builds morale. Morale can be
defined as an emotional attachment to the business itself.
It is the end product of skilled management and is
reflected in each individual and in the general tone of
all employees toward their employer and towards each
guest. When employee satisfactions and needs are being
met, excellent morale is the certain result. Morale thus
becomes an important indicator of the quality of employee
management and should be carefully watched and measured as
an integral part of the total management process. Any
weaknesses which may appear should promptly receive
attention and correction by the manager.
Providing Effective Supervision
The supervisor is the basic managerial element in the
business organization. He forms the essential link between
the general manager and the workers. The entire
organization is dependent on him. He must follow the
fundamentals of good management- planning, organizing,
motivating, and controlling. Actually, his functions in
the latter two are more important than the former, but
nevertheless, he does operate within all of the management
Usually, the supervisor is responsible for the training
needed within his department. He owes each person under
him the opportunity for training and self improvement and
should be entitled to similar opportunities himself.
The worker must have good and effective supervision to
perform to the best of his ability. Poor supervision
brings about the opposite results. According to an
authoritative source, one-third of all employee job
changes can be attributed to poor supervision. Thus,
quality of supervision will largely determine the level of
employee performance. Since much personal motivation is
derived from a competent supervisor, your efforts as
manager to improve the quality of supervision will reflect
directly in higher employee motivation, achievement, and
Supervisors should be given the opportunity to
occasionally "brush up" on improved techniques of
leadership. Special courses in supervision and technical
aspects of the public hospitality business are offered by
the Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Motel
Association, Stephen S. Nisbet Building. Michigan State
University, East Lansing, Michigan, 48824. Write for free
catalog of courses. Review Extension Bulletin E-484,
Recruiting and Training Employees in the Service
available from your County Extension Office.
Here are some check points for testing supervisor
What is to be done?
Do you state clearly what is to be done?
Are materials, tools, and supplies ready or ordered?
Do you indicate what equipment and tools are to be used?
Does employee understand what to do?
How is it to be done?
Do you explain clearly how job is to be done?
Does employee understand the method to be used?
Do you consider if there is a better way to do it?
Do you provide for the employee to use his own judgment?
Why is it to be done?
Do you explain why the job is important?
Does employee understand why you chose this method?
Who is going to do it?
Do you state clearly who is to do it? Is employee capable
of doing it?
How is he likely to react to your instructions?
Does he have enough authority to do it?
Has he time to do it along with other work assignments ?
Is there a loophole to permit "buck passing?".
Where is it to be done?
Do you indicate where job is to be done?
If materials or equipment are needed, do you indicate
where and how to get them?
When is it to be done?
Do you state clearly when the job is to start?
Is it clear when the work is to be completed?
If urgent, do you indicate urgency or priority over other
What are your own feelings and attitude toward the
Are you friendly but firm?
Do you confidently expect the instructions to be carried
Did you follow up to see if instructions were carried out?
Faithfully following these guidelines will be of great
value to your organization-and to yourself.
To effectively motivate, a definite system of incentives
or rewards is necessary. Such a system requires a
combination of several groups of incentives, the most
important of which are:
1. Recognition-both monetary and nonmonetary.
2. Social prestige.
The first thought concerning recognition is usually money.
Good pay is vital. However, there are others of major
importance-steady work, comfortable working conditions,
good working companions, good supervision, the actual
nature of the job itself, and opportunities for
advancement. Good pay is essential to employee
satisfaction and must be carefully considered in all
personnel matters. The employee should not feel that he is
underpaid. Pay is the best and most tangible form of
recognition of the employee's worth to the company.
Besides actual pay increases, other forms of monetary
recognition commonly used are a bonus plan, profit-sharing
and extra pay for reducing costs (cost reduction
When considering a bonus plan, first think about its
-To produce extra efforts from participants.
-To favorably direct their efforts.
-To provide extra compensation according to the
financial success of the company and department. To
raise morale and enthusiasm of all the staff.
-To increase the profitability of the company.
Any extra reward system should have the following
-Clearly understood and meaningful to all.
-Judged to be equitable.
-Be results-oriented and reflect employee performance.
High producers should get the big bonus and low
producers a low bonus or none.
-Be closely linked in time to the performance upon
which the bonus is based. A quarterly or semi-annual
period is suggested, but annual is often used.
-Evaluation should be as objective as possible.
Good communication is an essential element in the bonus
plan. When formulating the plan, seek free exchange of
ideas. The manager must be willing to listen to employees
and make constructive changes in the plan when needed.
Suggestions concerning a bonus system:
-All employees should be eligible.
-If employed in a profit-making department, the bonus
should be directly related to the profit of that
department. If not in such a department, the bonus
formula is determined by the supervisor.
-Overhead expenses, over which the employee has no
control, should be considered separately when
determining departmental profit. Appropriate
statements of revenues and expenses chargeable to the
department must be prepared according to an
accounting method clearly understood and recognized
as fair by all.
-All persons involved in the bonus should be able to
periodically measure themselves during the year. (A
financial report of some type should be made
Some suggested rules:
-Must be an employee for 1 year before being eligible
for a bonus.
-Performance should be objectively rated by supervisor
as being unsatisfactory, satisfactory, or superior,
etc. If unsatisfactory, he would not be eligible for
a bonus and the supervisor would explain why to the
employee. If satisfactory, the employee would receive
the regular bonus, as determined by formula. If
superior, he might receive more, perhaps twice as
To determine a bonus for managers and supervisors, use a
variation of the bonus plan. A group of major factors
needed for success in a given department is
outlined-cleanliness, training ability, service, volume,
profit, quality, or cost factors. Assign a point value to
these, such as "0" for unsatisfactory "1 " for
satisfactory and "2" for superior. At the end of each 6
months, the general manager objectively rates the
supervisor on each of the agreed upon factors. For
example, if five factors were being evaluated, a score of
"10" would be the best possible. This total is equated to
a percentage for the bonus, such as 20 percent of the base
salary. If total point score were " 9" the bonus would be
15 percent, etc. Annual salary increases could also be
equated to average bonus percentage for the year.
The supervisor or department head might also be awarded a
bonus based upon increases in total sales volume. His
extra reward could be a percentage of any sales gain plus
a percentage of the profit, providing that gross profit
amounted to a certain percentage of gross sales. These
percentages would be agreed upon by the manager and his
supervisors or department heads through mutual discussion
and consideration. Thus, subordinates and the manager
work out the details of the bonus plan together.
Another possible arrangement is a sliding scale of bonus
payments in which increments in sales and profits yield
step increases in the percentages of bonus paid.
Details of any proposed plan should be approved in advance
by the Interal Revenue Service. There are two types of
profit-sharing plans-the cash plan and the deferred plan.
Some companies have both. This is called "combination"
There are several important considerations in formulating
a profit sharing plan.
-The employee must be with the company for 1 year
before being eligible to participate.
-The amount received by each participant should be
related as closely as possible to performance. Some
may receive more and others less. (See applicable
concepts and principles under Bonus Plan.)
Under the cash plan, profits to be distributed are paid in
cash currently-usually quarterly, semiannually, or
annually. Total profit to be distributed to the employees
is usually an amount fixed by a formula. For example, one
company's employees receive 33 1/3 percent of net profits
before taxes, but not over 15 percent of the payroll.
Under the deferred plan, a trust fund is set up to provide
employees with future benefits. The fund is created by
contributions from participating employees and from the
company, according to a formula. The deferred plan
provides retirement, death, supplemental unemployment,
health insurance, and disability payments. Also, some
plans provide for loan and withdrawal privileges which
make possible immediate financial assistance in time of
These plans have a certain advantages: (1) profit sharing
tends to become a unifying force drawing management and
employees together, (2) such plans are definitely work
incentives, since every employee can see that the
profitability of the business and his own personal welfare
are necessarily related, and (3) each worker has an
incentive to be more creative and think of ways to
increase sales and reduce or eliminate expenses.
An alternative to profit sharing which might be more
understandable and appealing to certain groups of
employees is cost reduction. Every employee knows that
when he breaks a dish, for example, there is a cost to the
company. If he knew that he would share in the amount
saved by the company by being more careful and efficient,
he would have much more interest in helping reduce costs.
Here's how the program works. A certain base period for
comparing subsequent periods, is established. All
expenses in future periods are compared with the base
period. Any savings in costs are shared with the
employees, usually a certain percentage. The formula used
by a steel corporation is a payment of 37 1/2 percent of
the savings to the employees. In the service industries,
expenses have to be adjusted to the volume of business and
inflationary cost increases which occurred during the
periods being compared. The relationships can be readily
figured and savings determined.
Nonmonetary recognition can be tangible or intangible.
Examples of tangible recognition: pins or plaques for
length of service or special accomplishments; announcing a
promotion with a story and employee's picture in the local
newspaper, or advertisement in the local newspaper
featuring pictures of key personnel, highlighting their
training, experience, and outstanding services.
Intangible means of recognition are less formal. A kind
word of praise: "Joe, the gardens and lawn look just
great. We've really got a good grounds' man" builds good
will and is recognized by both parties as respect and
recognition. Or, take employees out to lunch at regular
intervals, arrange a party for them, such as at Christmas,
or send each one a card on his birthday, or when sick.
Present-day management theory says it is no longer
sufficient to satisfy only subsistence needs. Such a
policy is too limited to motivate employees enough for
today's competitive business conditions. Superior employee
performance will be obtained only when his social and
self-esteem needs are supplied on the job. "More money"
often becomes an insistent demand when management is
concerned only with satisfying minimum cost-of-living
needs. When the "whole person" is involved within an
enterprise, the employee is often content with less money
than he might make elsewhere, simply because he enjoys his
work and experiences self-esteem and accomplishment
through his work.
Prestige is built in the relationships between people.
Employees, like everyone else, feel a strong need to
belong and feel accepted. These are important factors in
good employee management. The intelligent and efficient
manager carefully considers them when he formulates policy
governing work incentives for his business family.
Let's consider the social and relaxation needs of your
staff. Suppose you encourage a 10-minute rest break for
the housekeepers. If you provide an attractive room where
they can sit down and enjoy a few minutes of each other's
company and a little refreshment, important social needs
have been fulfilled. Employees become better acquainted
and develop friendships. Such a management policy
encourages employee cooperation and provides incentive to
work toward the best interests of all of the employees and
Or, encourage social events or special dinners for:
achieving some goal, an employee's retirement, a special
event in the life of the business such as the anniversary
of the founding date, or similar occasion. You might plan
recreation programs,-bowling and softball leagues,
swimming, golf, or other grouporiented sport.
Ambition falls off when employees do not have enough to
do. The only way to solve this problem is to establish
reasonable work production standards for each job. Study
and evaluation of standards and worker production should
result in a reasonable level of output for each position.
Living up to these standards brings a sense of
Workers will be more productive and interested if they
feel they are in the right job, best suited for the
occupation in which they are employed, and being used to
the fullest capacity. Periodic checks of employee's
production and talks with his supervisor will establish
his level of performance. Appropriate adjustments in his
job assignment help to keep his work up to his
capabilities and are of long-term benefit to both worker
Some places of business look fine from the outside, and to
the customer, but much less attractive behind doors in
the work areas. This is detrimental to morale. Also, there
are indirect, bad effects on habits and sanitation
standards. Working areas should be made light, airy,
comfortable, orderly, quiet, and clean. Actual tests have
proven that morale and productivity are much higher when
employees work in pleasant and clean areas than when
the work environment is unattractive and depressing.
Self-Achievement, Advancement, Growth
Self-achievement (also called self-fulfillment or
self-actualization) tops all other considerations as an
additional incentive especially for the more ambitious and
Simply stated, a person knows he can climb the business
ladder as far as his ability can take him.
This incentive is especially powerful for younger members
of an organization. To motivate and keep the services of
the most intelligent and capable of your younger
employees, you must offer opportunity for advancement.
Openings for positions of greater authority and
responsibility occur from time to time, and each business
can offer its own particular inducements.
This group of needs differs from others in that it is
concerned with the employee's view of himself. Examples
are the opportunity for recognition, status in the
community, respect, distinction, attention, importance,
and appreciation. These are the most difficult needs to
Recognition of achievement as previously described, is a
good example of improving an employee's view of himself.
Pins, plaques or recognition in the newspaper are
excellent ways to denote worth to the company. Self-
improvement, hence self-esteem, can be improved by sending
your people to special schools or short courses, or
paying for home study courses or similar improvement
Enhancing self-esteem improves feelings of selfconfidence,
strength, worth, and usefulness to the business
organization. Denying this need leads to a feeling of
inferiority which brings about discouragement.
These are practical employee management suggestions which
will bring about more productive and better satisfied
employees. The team approach and provisions for high
quality supervision are essential elements in motivation.
Use of specific incentives (rewards) in monetary and
nonmonetary forms constitute tangible results for the
employee. Employee who are recognized for their worth to
the company and rewarded accordingly will multiply this
value in guest satisfaction and profits.
Implementing these suggestions in no way implies lack of
leadership. In fact, such procedures actually increase
leadership ability. Each employee is invited to assist
management and is expected to participate in plans and
discussions. Thus, management and employees have similar
responsibility in maintaining good leadership. By
following these recommendations, the manager can build a
better management team and strengthen his position as