Tags: , , , , , , ,

Trickle-Down Motivation: How to Spread Excitement in Your Organization


Ben Goldstein


You know how it is. You go to a conference, seminar, or meeting, and you get fired up. You start looking at your business with an energy and excitement that may have been wanting in the last few months, or worse, years. I recently returned from a conference and was motivated to get back to working diligently and productively on my business. Luckily for me, I had my quarterly meeting scheduled just two days after my return home.

Now, let me first explain something. When you have four restaurants, it gets to the point where you aren’t serving the guests, and you aren’t even serving your staff anymore — you’re serving your management team. As we continued to grow and elevate into this position, I instituted quarterly meetings where all eight of my managers could get together and discuss updates, changes, announcements etc. It’s always a good idea to get everyone in the same place face-to-face, and we always have a good time. Lately though it had started to feel canned and what I wanted more than anything was to get my managers walking away from our quarterly meetings feeling as fired up as I did walking away from my conference.

So with just 48 hours from my plane touching the ground back home to starting our meeting on Friday night, I formatted the meeting to be just like a mini conference. First, I gave a PowerPoint presentation about our business, its focal points, why it’s awesome, and what a great job they do. Then I bought them a nice dinner — and by bought, I mean I traded some of our grub to another local restaurant for some of their grub in return — and then we broke into four little rotating stations.

This was where the magic happened. Each set of managers rotated through the four different stations, which included Financials, Goal Setting, Positive Reflections, and a brief review with me. At the Financial table they saw their location’s January P&L versus the budget and got a chance to ask questions and review it with our accountant. At the Goal Setting stations they set three goals, one personal and two professional, and got assigned an accountability partner from another store to help keep track of their progress on the goals. At the Reflections table they listed accomplishments from the last six months and how they could expand on them in the future, and at their table with me we scheduled an in-person review in their store, discussed their staff evaluations and got assigned a book for reading during the quarter. (Everything from The One Minute Manager for our newer management tribe members to Think and Grow Rich for my more senior managers).

I literally used the accountability tool and the positive reflections tool straight from the conference materials I had been filling out just days before and even put out my copies for them to peruse and get ideas from. I was absolutely thrilled at the level of excitement and enthusiasm they all received from the new format and structure. Everyone LOVED the meeting! They RAVED about it! They couldn’t wait to work on their goals and create new systems, refine processes, and outline new guidelines and benchmarks. Since when have they been excited about processes?

The biggest reward was the fact that two of the four stores had their monthly staff meeting the very next day and they BOTH instituted some of the tactics that we had done just the night before. They had their associates set goals, reflect on accomplishments and break into groups to give feedback and work together. The awesomeness didn’t stop there. The day after that, Sunday — our busiest day of the week — not only did we hit higher numbers than we had in the five or six Sundays before, but I got not one, not two, but THREE personal emails from guests saying what a great experience they had and how wonderful the service had been.

I love how that motivation and feeling moved from the conference through me, to my managers, down to their individual staff members, and from them into our guests. All because I decided to miss three days of work and at-home responsibilities and give my business the best gift it could get: An inspired and motivated owner. Make sure you’re giving the very best to your guests, your staff and your managers, and they’ll make sure you get the very best in return.