top of page

Ways to Effectively Boost Employee Morale and Motivation through the Pandemic

Updated: Jun 12, 2021

Now that many of our establishments in Massachusetts and beyond are moving forward full force through the pandemic allowing no or less restrictions to mask wearing and providing full capacity in the establishments many leaders, especially those in the hospitality industry are having concerns with hiring new associates, motivating their existing team, and witnessing a decline in the morale in their employees after the lull through the pandemic.


As employees return to the establishments it is important for leaders to boost the employees motivation and continue the morale to assure they are satisfied. The following will increase the morale in your team and establishment:


TRUST: Build trust and assure their safety allowing them to know the establishment is doing everything possible to create a safe working environment for them as they return to work.


Empower your team to all build trust in one another by meeting individually and as a team building on what is going well in the establishment and what they can do to improve. Allow the team to support one another and provide their suggestions through this transitioning time helping one another when open positions are vacant assuring the efficiency and effectiveness of the services is completed and is essential to the operation.


Provide the trust, it begins with you as the leader you inspire others by your actions. Follow your values and beliefs, your integrity. If your companies culture is not one with a high-energy and positive personality, work to change it immediately. Communicate the expectations to your staff. Everyone wants to feel a part of greatness and the mission.


WHY: When open positions exist consider your why when posting new opportunities and hiring. Why will the employees want to return to you vs your competitors. It can be challenging to get talented employees to return after receiving compensation from state organizations or possibly as many have left the industry for other opportunities that were considered more stable at the time.

The more leadership can recognize, motivate, and reward team members, the stronger the chances are of rebuilding and retaining staff for the long term.


COMMUNICATION: There is no such thing as over communicating. Initiate team meetings that provide camaraderie and ways for your team to support one another. Assure you team understands and feels their efforts are an important part of the mission. That they matter and the work they do contributes to the mission and overall success. They need to feel like what they do matters and is included.

Communicate your expectations clearly. Outline your expectations as a leader and allow yourself to delegate, then build trust by allowing them to do what they have been assigned to.

Be respectful and thankful. When a team member is doing the right thing assure you recognize them for doing the job well done. Nice job can go a long way when communicating with a team member on a jog well done.


EMPATHIZE: As a leader it is important to provide empathy by listening to the employees concerns that are brought to your attention and provide sincere empathic communication but also initiating your leadership capabilities acknowledging their concerns and providing decisions to best to more forward creating certainty and also calling them out on the bs when they are truly not trying their best.


INCENTIVES: Provide incentives such as possibly a sign on bonus for returning, nominating an employee of the month or quarter providing an inside incentive for your hotel, restaurant or establishment can be key to getting the top talent. Upgrading their title for the additional responsibilities they are responsible for as recognition can go a long way when boosting employee morale.


Provide monetary rewards. Financial rewards, when handled appropriately and effectively for recognition for a job well done can be effective but a temporary solution. It’s a great booster. You can also provide employee benefits and other forms of non wage compensation that may be more important to retaining and employee than the pay itself. In the hospitality industry it can be much easier to provide an incentive from the hotel or restaurant itself along possibly a nights stay or dinner for two or when they have truly went above and beyond a weeks vacation at another property when available.


Provide incentives such as a sign on bonus, retention programs, and pay-for-performance programs, upgrade in title, nominate an employee of the months that are robust enough to be attractive and tied to your goals, so your organization has an advantage over the competition; staff are appreciative of the opportunities.


Understand what motivates your employees. Incentives that provide growth opportunities is a big on retaining top talent. When an employee feels appreciated and is provided the opportunity for growth they will go above and beyond to exceed your expectations so you know they are capable of handing additional responsibilities.


RECOGNITION: Overall letting the employees know what they do is important to the mission and move forward providing the trust necessary for them to perform their duties above and beyond instilling the expectations to their success inspiring them to go even higher understanding where they want to be in a year or two supporting their ambitions along the way.


Creating a leadership role or asking staff to lead a project are an inexpensive and effective way to reward good performance. Offering someone a leadership position or the opportunity to cross train or supervise not only makes for a stronger, more versatile team member, but recognizes an individual for their loyalty and commitment. If you’ve asked a line employee to train a new employee, why not add an upgrade to their title and include on their name badge? As the leader you are letting them know that you trust them to get the job done by your expectations and value their input and want to see them successful. Even when you do not see the greatest ambition in an employee to rise to the occasion, this can be motivational.


Develop loyalty to the organization and greater confidence in what they do. Empower then to take pride in their position and increase self-worth. Associates empowered to make decisions, even with guidance and limitations, will go a step further.


Enhance their benefits can always be an attractive feature. Consider offering additional vacation time that can be used later in the year during the slower months. Possibly provide dinner for two or a nights stay at the hotel for those employees that go above and beyond. This can make hotel more competitive for staff.


What’s the cost of providing versus the costs of high turnover, lost productivity, training, inconsistency, and low guest satisfaction scores? Low morale in the establishment will cost so much more than providing the incentives your employees need to get the job done above and beyond.

There is not always a one size fits all when it comes to leading your employees and motivating the team to go above and beyond. Understanding what motivates each of your team members will enhance your success.


Need more ways to inspire your team from the pandemic? Schedule a complimentary no obligation discovery session with Ack Professional and learn how we will improve your leadership and team building integrity and trust to be the best leader in you inspiring your team to go above and beyond to greatness.


Be the leader you see in the world one that you would look up to inspiring your team to go above and beyond building greatness then raise your standards.


Ack Professional





bottom of page