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In order to handle food safely, your staff need to have the correct hygiene knowledge at their disposal. However, there is another piece to the puzzle of hygiene, and that’s motivation.

Even with all the training and information in the world, a demotivated staff member will always look for ways to cut corners, stay passive, and take risks. They’ll need constant supervision and support, and will look for any excuse to not get the job done.

On the other hand, a motivated individual takes pride in cleanliness and doing things the right way. They’ll go the extra mile and push their limits not for you, but for their own satisfaction.

The key difference between these two states is pride. A motivated staff member sees the joy in a beautifully clean, sparkling kitchen, whilst an un-motivated one does not. Let’s discover how we can nurture staff members’ pride in their job and work environment.

Create a shared vision

Vision is an extremely important component of motivation. Without a clear goal in mind for the state of your kitchen, it’s difficult to guide someone into the correct behaviours and practices to achieve it. With an attractive and compelling vision, however, staff will be self-motivated to maintain high standards.

Help your staff members to envision what it would be like to work in a beautiful, clean workplace. Encourage them to appreciate great design in everything, from a well-planned kitchen to a quality chef’s knife. Share in an admiration for beautiful workspaces and interior decoration, and make steps to make your own spaces more attractive.

Encourage them to invest

The more work we put into creating something, the more we will feel the desire to maintain it. Hygiene is very much the same, and getting staff to invest time and energy into something is a great way to help them be proud of their work.

One way to do this is to ask staff to participate in a deep clean. Take a couple days out of normal business with your team to give your kitchen an extremely thorough clean. Scrub down everything from the cutlery to the ceilings. Once you’re done, tell your staff to organise their workspaces in a way that makes sense for them. Encourage them to personalise their individual areas and make them as aesthetically pleasing as possible.

When staff feel like they’ve injected a little piece of themselves into their space, they’re more likely to stay proud of their workplace and their work.

Nurture competitive standards

One way to keep staff proud of their workspace is to point out how much better it is than others. Competition keeps us sharp and our standards high. Visit a few other restaurants or kitchens and make a point of comparing your own. Are they cleaner or dirtier? Prettier or uglier? Expose staff to high-level kitchens and teach them what quality looks like.

Be strict, but fair

There always needs to be repercussions for incorrect practice, especially when it comes to food safety. However, it’s also important that your staff are comfortable and happy at work. Living in fear makes them more likely to trip up and make mistakes. Make sure that retribution is never an emotional affair and that staff are fully aware of the consequences of their actions before they make them.

Believe in them

Belief is our final, most powerful motivator. Trust that your employees have the potential to be excellent, and show them that you appreciate it when they strive to be so. If you don’t trust your staff, they’ll pick up on it and align their behaviour with your expectations.

We hope that’s given you some great ideas to inspire your workforce and help them be proud of their work.