A bar manager talking to her team with a smile

Motivating and Inspiring Your Team

Unlock essential principles to help your team feel valued, encouraged and empowered to participate in and contribute to your business's success. 

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

In the hospitality industry, an enthusiastic and driven team can make all the difference between a successful business and a failing one. Unlock essential principles to help your team feel valued, encouraged and empowered to participate in and contribute to your business's success. 

Share Your Vision  

A clear and compelling vision for everyone to buy into is a vital foundation for a motivated team.  

  • Articulate your brand purpose, your 'why', what you want the business to achieve, the values it upholds, and each team member's role in achieving that vision.   
  • Set aside time to communicate your vision to highlight its significance and encourage your team to contribute their ideas and feel a sense of ownership and commitment.  

Individual and Collective Goalsetting

Well-defined and challenging yet achievable goals give your team direction, focus and purpose.  

  • Break down larger objectives into smaller measurable milestones to provide a clear roadmap for progress.  
  • Involve your team in the goal-setting process to empower them and increase their engagement in achieving your objectives.  
  • Regularly review your goals and celebrate success to reinforce a sense of achievement and motivation.  

Performance-based rewards

Performance-based rewards go hand in hand with setting goals for your team. When efforts are acknowledged and rewarded, it inspires your team towards their next objective. 

  • Recognize and reward exceptional performance against specific goals to drive motivation.  
  • Include incentives like bonuses, staff discounts or promotions, or special recognition events like taking your team out for a social dinner or drinks.  
  • Transparently communicate the criteria for achieving rewards so team members know what they're working towards.  

Goals and Rewards Examples

Financial goals: Break down bar revenue goals by shift, week and month with targets set for individual bar stations on specific shifts. Reward with a team cash bonus and a bonus to whoever exceeds their target by the highest margin.

Training goals: Set individual and team training targets for scores on a written test (for example, a cocktail recipe test). Reward with a team tasting of a premium whisky.   

Service review goals: Set targets to achieve a specific level of customer feedback across customer feedback surveys or online reviews. Reward with a meal out if the team reach a 5/5 rating over six months.

Work-Life Balance

Promoting a healthy balance between work and personal life builds loyalty, trust, and a sense of belonging and shows you value the person and not just their work. 

  • Recognize and acknowledge that your team have lives outside of work and demonstrate genuine care for their overall wellbeing.  
  • Offer support and empathy during challenging times and celebrate personal milestones.   
  • Implement flexible scheduling where possible, promote the team using their holiday allocation and time off, and encourage routine and regular breaks during shifts. 

Invest Through Training   

A robust training strategy is the bedrock of a successful bar team. Without training, there is a risk staff will become demotivated, leading to a costly increase in staff turnover.   

Provide your team with opportunities to enhance their skills and expand their knowledge. Training might include internal peer-to-peer sessions and specialist training organized with producers and suppliers.

Encouraging Staff Progression

To inspire your staff, take an interest in their career aspirations and encourage personal development and progression. As they move closer to mastering the responsibilities of their current role, begin preparing them for what's next. Consistently adopt this approach to team development to show confidence in your teams' abilities and potential. 

Lead By Example

Effective leadership starts with setting the right example. Show your team how you're happy to roll up your sleeves and dive into the daily operations alongside them. Encourage your team to share their opinions and offer honest feedback. By listening and responding positively, you will encourage creativity and critical thinking within the team and inspire them to produce creative solutions and better working methods to benefit everyone.

Key Takeaways

  • Vision - Show a clear route to success through a shared vision that highlights the business's goals and values.  
  • Goals – Establish, review and celebrate individual and team goals that are challenging yet achievable.   
  • Performance-Based Rewards - Recognizing and rewarding exceptional performance against specific goals will be a fundamental driver of motivation.  
  • Training Matters - Investing in the knowledge and skills of your team empowers them as individuals and translates into improved performance.  
  • Encourage Staff Progression – Facilitating and celebrating individual progression and achievement will help foster a culture of growth and ambition.

Communicating a clear vision, setting achievable goals, recognizing achievements, and providing training and opportunities for progress are essential factors for motivating and inspiring your team. By championing and investing in your team, you will help everyone feel valued, enthusiastic and empowered to contribute to the growth and success of your business.

Find more training tips, bar knowledge quizzes and e-learning resources when you sign up to the Diageo Bar Academy