4 Tips to keep your team motivated in the festive season

The end of the year is a time of celebration and reflection, but in the hospitality industry it's also one of the busiest. How to manage the holiday rush, can we keep our teams healthy and motivated, while also meeting our goals as businesses? Read on to find out the advice from chefs and industry specials.
Farzana Alvarado

1. Show your team you appreciate them

“As an employer, I know each member of my team plays a vital role in keeping things running smoothly. This is the time of year to show that I appreciate their skills, talent, and hard work. I introduce incentives, run a staff competition and allow certain perks, like extended breaks here and there.
“I create a rotational calendar, to ensure all staff members get adequate time off, and everyone gets their fair share. Hiring temporary or part-time staff also helps fill the gap, and allows greater flexibility for the rotational calendar.
“A celebratory end of year lunch, dinner, grazing table or get together (that they didn't have to cook!) is a good way to say: thank you.”


Chef Farzana Alvarado
National Chairperson of the South African Chefs Association Women In Culinary, and Chef Brand Ambassador for WWF Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative

Misha Vayner

2. Make sure to stay healthy

“In a leadership role, it’s important for you to feel as mentally, physically and emotionally healthy as possible as your energy and performance sets the tone for your culture at your workplace.


Misha Vayner
Holistic Health and Wellbeing Coach

Nick Wiseman

3. Respect work-life balance

“Space away from the business is hard to create but gives a fresh perspective and clear outlook. When you're stuck in the trenches day to day, it's easy to lose sight of the big picture. Creating that space is critical to stay energized and have clear purpose and direction.
“We try to live it ourselves and we build structures so that the team can too. For us, it's about being international in building the business aligned with these values, rather than being reactive through the process.”


Nick Wiseman
Chef and founder, Little Sesame

Leon Marney

4. Lead by example

“Leaders lead by example—whether or not they intend to. If you show up late, your team will be less punctual; if you take responsibility for mistakes, your team will find the courage to admit to their errors. Show your team what you expect of them instead of telling them, especially during the festive period. If you want your team to trust you and follow your lead, you need to be transparent. Of course, there will be times when you can’t share information, but keeping relevant information to yourself jeopardizes relationships and respect.”


Leon Marney
Chef and director, Revival Gourmet Cuisine

During the rush of the end of the year, take time to pause with your team and show them they are appreciated. With open communication, understanding and mutual respect, the festive season can be an exhilarating and successful time for all of us.

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