Employees can be a tremendous source of new customers, referrals and customer retention. However, not every employee invests their time into promoting the business they work for. What separates employees that simply show up to work from those who invest their time and energy into building relationships that ultimately result in more customers?
The employees who bring the most customers to their bars are motivated by more than money. They are fired up, proud and passionate about the bar at which they work. This attitude does not just happen accidentally. An employee with a positive attitude towards their bar becomes that way as a result of the work environment the owners create. Keeping staff morale high is a strategy that is no different than a recipe for baking a cake.
If you are interested in creating more excitement among your staff, and transforming them from order takers into promoters, here are 4 tips for raising staff morale and turning them into ambassadors of your business.
Throw a Staff Party
Regular social gatherings with your staff are a must to get them excited about working for your company. Keep in mind that most restaurant and bar workers are party animals, and half the reason they work in the industry is to partake in the festivities. Regular staff gatherings deepen bonds between coworkers and increase the comfort level people have with their workplace. It also creates excitement and a sense of identity and belonging, which automatically leads to staff feeling more confident in bringing their friends to your venue. If you want to raise the energy level of your staff, one of the easiest ways to do it is to throw a party of legendary proportions, and show them a hell of a good time.
Lead by Example
Nothing inspires employees more than seeing the owners bussing tables, picking a piece of garbage off the ground, or cleaning up messes. When employees see the highest person on the food chain getting their hands dirty, it sends a clear message across the entire team that no one is above any job, and leads to higher levels of respect. Nothing kills morale more than a condescending leader asking their subordinates to do tasks they themselves would not do. If you want your employees to refer like crazy, the first step is to earn their respect by showing them that there is not one task you ask your employees to do that you are not willing to do yourself.
Always Have Something New
For employees to become a source of referrals, you need to constantly give them something new to promote. Think about the task you are asking of your employees. You want them to bring customers down to your bar, but for what reason? What is the occasion? What is special about your venue? What’s the compelling reason someone would go out of their way invite people to your bar? Many owners don’t do much more other than just open the doors, turn on the lights, balance cash outs, and pour drinks when they’re ordered.
To get your staff promoting like crazy, you need to constantly be throwing events with unique entertainment, product offerings, and the right social environment. DJs, product launch parties sponsored by vendors, bands, comedians, celebrities… All add spice to what would otherwise be just another night at the bar. The unique experience is what will drive employees to flood their networks with texts and posts, go out of their way to meet people they don’t know, and invite everyone they know to your events.
Hire slow, Fire Fast
Nothing sours a team more than a negative employee. This type of person hates their job, barely performs the requirements of their positon, and does not invest time into helping the business that employs them. Worst of all, they discourage other employees from promoting, and sabotage any attempts the owners make to promote and market events. For that reason, as soon as you recognize a negative employee on your team, terminate them. No three strikes, no trying to “change” them, just fire them.
Once they are gone and you are choosing their replacement, take your time to find the right person. Whenever possible, go through your personal network. Higher quality labor will usually emerge from people you know and trust. When a suitable candidate has been identified, check their references and be sure they are a solid person. A mediocre marketing message from an outstanding individual has more impact than a great message from a negative person.