The restaurant industry has a high turn-over rate, so we continually coach and
teach our staff to keep them motivated.
It’s our leaders’ responsibility to get to
know each and every one of our almost
What works? Something as easy as
a smile or a “great job!” goes a long
way. When someone receives a compli-
ment from a customer, we make a big
deal out of it. I highlight all thank-you
notes, comment cards and e-mails in
a monthly staff newsletter. When an
employee has done something extraor-
dinary, we also send a letter home to
family members so they know how
much we appreciate him or her.
When workers go above and beyond,
we buy their lunch or give them a cer-
tificate to go to another restaurant. On
their birthday, we give them a gift card
to a local store.
At one of our restaurants, the
employees work together to plant a
community garden each summer. The
activity has created a great sense of
pride and enthusiasm.
Each year, we have two large
fundraisers for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Susan G.
Komen Race for the Cure. We allow
employees to wear their race shirts
instead of their uniforms, and they
help raise funds for the charities. We
have prizes and celebrations for all—
but the store that collects the most
donations gets a party!
Another way we motivate employees
is by promoting from within whenever
possible. Each of our general managers
started out in entry-level positions, such
as servers or delivery drivers.
Does one thing work for everyone?
Absolutely not. One size does not fit all.
However, getting to know your staff
as individuals, and not just employees,
makes a big difference.
—Nancy Wraight, SHRM-SCP,
corporate director of HR, Avanti’s Ristorantes, Peoria, Ill., and president,
Heart of Illinois HR Council, a chapter of the Society for Human Resource
Avanti’s Ristorante workers in Pekin, Ill., ;nd camaraderie while celebrating their fundraising efforts for
the Muscular Dystrophy Association. P H O T O G
The Problem with Burnout
Up to $190 billion
in U.S. health care costs
and 120,000 deaths
each year are attributed to workplace stress.
of U.S. office workers say
they are stressed at work
on a day-to-day basis.
Sources: Accountemps survey, 2017; Stanford University Graduate School of Business meta-analysis, 2015.
report that work-related
pressure has increased in
the past five years.
of HR leaders blame
employee burnout for the
inability to retain staff.
say employee burnout is
responsible for up to half
of workforce turnover.