Location managers have a lot to think about – stock levels, shift scheduling, sales reports, hiring, training, filling in for missing staff, the list goes on.

Location managers have a lot to think about – stock levels, shift scheduling, sales reports, hiring, training, filling in for missing staff, the list goes on.

Among all of this, they must also find a way to make sure the true reason behind the location’s existence remains the top priority - the customer. At the beginning of each shift, when the manager sets the tone for the coming hours, he or she has just a few moments to ensure that the focus of employees is in the right place.

By drawing directly from the voice of the customer, managers can create a more fulfilling, motivating experience, inspiring employees to be engaged and focused on the customer, not simply on task-based job responsibilities.

An article published in the Harvard Business Review provides a great framework for thinking about employee motivation and engagement. It identifies “the three Ms of motivation” that are crucial to every employee as:

1. Mastery - Employees like to feel that their skills are constantly being developed and that they are learning in their jobs. An important way to do this in a food service, retail, or services setting is to show how their skills and behaviours translate into positive feedback from their manager and customers.
2. Membership - People like to feel that they are part of a community in the workplace and that everyone is pulling toward the same objective. An important component of membership is recognition of individual contributions.
3. Meaning - Employees need to feel that they are part of a larger purpose. They like to see the impact of the work they do and how it positively contributes to the greater whole. They want to feel that the work they do matters.

What is needed is a highly visible tool that can be used at the location level to keep staff motivated and focused on the needs of customers. Comment Poster is a tool that uses feedback in the customer’s own words and tailored to specific individual locations, along with an advanced text analytics engine to drive employee engagement on the front line based on proven motivation techniques. Designed specifically for local, on-site usage, the tool identifies staff mentions and trending topics within customer feedback to create a visible reminder to employees of what matters to customers at their location.

Keeping a low-wage, high-turnover workforce engaged, motivated, and focused is not an easy job, but, with the right customer tools in the right places, it can be accomplished better now than ever before.

  • Gary Topiol is managing director, international at InMoment