Increasing Employee Motivation

Building a strong team is critical to the success of a restaurant, bar, or any business. While it’s normal for employees to sometimes hit a lull in productivity, there are some supporting activities that a manager can implement to boost engagement and strike motivation within the ranks.

7 Incentives to Motivate Employees

1. Create an Aesthetically Pleasing Environment

Your business environment should be a pleasant place for employees to work. The space should be comfortable, functional, organized and fun! The atmosphere can greatly affect the motivation level and feeling that all is well in the workplace.

2. Hire Supportive Managers

The mindset of a manager can impact how motivated their employees are. Employees lead by example. If a manager lacks motivation, it is likely their employees will follow in their footsteps. Employees thrive when they have a respectful, honest, and supportive manager.

Employee and Manager One-on-Ones: Managers should not wait for semi-annual or annual meetings to have meaningful conversations or to have a touchpoint with their employees. If six to twelve months pass from the last one-on-one meeting, employees may lose motivation in achieving team goals or completing projects. Scheduling periodic one-on-one meetings will consistently hold employees accountable and will improve communication between the manager and the employee.

Transparency: Be transparent with your employees. Share business updates and current projects with them on a regular basis so they feel included and part of the team.

3. Provide Plenty of Educational Opportunities

Employees are appreciative and motivated when they have an opportunity to grow within a company. By providing educational opportunities, employees will have the opportunity to grow their skill-set and expand their knowledge. This will motivate them to reach that next step within the company and realize their full potential. 

4. Give Feedback and Recognition

People feel fulfilled by recognition. When sharing feedback with employees, make sure to recognize their exceptional work. This will give them a deeper connection to the business. Seeing how their hard work is recognized by others does have an impact on the company culture.

5.  Ensure Leadership Opportunities are Available

Leadership does not always mean a promotion or an increase in salary. Employees can gain leadership opportunities by securing the lead position on various team projects, which gives them more ownership of their work. When you give employees the opportunity to do something bigger within the company, they will naturally rise to the occasion and embrace the leadership role. If you notice an employee is starting to feel restless in their current role, ask what else interests them. Perhaps two team members that have been doing the same responsibilities for a while would be excited to swap some of their tasks.

6. Implement anEmployee Rewards and Incentive Program

Employees will do more when they are rewarded for doing good work. Even small rewards can make a big difference. If your business wants to reward employees by offering incentives, the incentiveswill need to provide value to employees. Ask employees what they want. Find out what is important to them. Incentives that are important will be the greatest motivator. This could be anything from a prime parking spot to additional PTO days.

A recent study by Genesis Associates, an engineering recruiting firm, found that 85% of workers surveyed felt more motivated to do their best when an incentive was offered. 73% of respondents said the “atmosphere in the office when an incentive is running is either good or very good” and will lead to better overall work.

7. Promote a Company Culture that ValuesWork-Life Balance

Allowing employees to have a work-life balance is crucial to employee motivation. Employees will be left feeling unmotivated and less productive when they feel overwhelmed or burned out. Consider offering flexible (flex) scheduling to employees so they have control over their own schedule to meet their personal needs. Feeling pressured to work long hours week after week will leave employees feeling more stressed, less motivated, and absent from their work over time.

There is more to life than work. From paid volunteer time policies to telecommuting options, every business should strive to provide their employees with a healthy work-life balance that inspires and motivates.

At Society, our people are our greatest resource – and we like to recognize strong performance. To learn more about career opportunities at Society Insurance, click here. Read more on topics like this from our HR Blog Series or contact your local Society agent to learn more about how Society can help your business.


We strive to ensure each new hire will make a contribution to help keep Society moving forward. Beyond the necessary skills required for the job, we look to hire those with additional attributes to create a cohesive environment within our company. Join us and maximize your potential here at Society Insurance by applying at

Latest Articles

Resolving Conflict in the Workplace Amicably

On average, 85% of employees will experience conflict in the workplace (Essential Workplace...

The Benefits of Active Listening in the Workplace

When people on a team struggle to listen to each other,...

Can You Use FMLA for Mental Health?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) guarantees qualified workers the right to unpaid leave for...

Why Remote Teams Need Inclusive Workplace Practices

For most businesses, remote work is now a way of life in some capacity. Advances in technology and...

How to Motivate Employees as a Manager During Uncertain Times

As a manager in the restaurant industry, it can be challenging to motivate your employees during...

3 Reasons Why Authenticity in the Workplace Matters

Regardless of industry, a business is only as strong as its employees. Even the best products,...

Top Advice For Graduates Trying to Start a Career

As of 2020, there is an average of over 4 million students who have graduated from colleges in the...


Originally published January 29, 2019, updated January 18, 2023. Many parts of the country are no...

A Guide to Safe Keg Handling

At one time or another, almost everyone who works in the restaurant and bar industry has been...

2022 Year in Review

Society Insurance is committed to providing blog posts to help business owners optimize daily...

Stay up to date with industry updates by subscribing to the Society Insurance blog!