This issue we ask three experts on how to incentivise staff
and motivate the team with more than just money.


Managing anLindy Andrewsd motivating a team certainly isn’t easy. You need to inspire loyalty, build trust and confidence, support staff in their decisions and communicate a clear strategic vision. These are the key elements of my five essential ‘E Principles’ for a successful and motivated team: Engage, Educate, Empower, lead by Example and Entertain.

1. Engage your staffPeople are motivated when they’re engaged, when they feel a valued and essential part of the business. When celebrating successes – from winning new clients to getting a glowing review – always acknowledge the people who helped make it happen. Send an all-staff email or thank and reward outstanding team members in a regular Friday wrap-up. It’s important to regularly ask staff for feedback and even more important to take their feedback seriously, implementing suggestions wherever you can.
2. Educate – Learning opportunities are key to staff motivation, but they don’t have to be limited to formal training. You can impart knowledge in most everyday interactions with your team. Even simple questions are a chance to teach staff more about the role, business or industry. They also highlight the knowledge gaps in your business, and where in-house resources should be directed. Don’t forget to capitalise on your in-house expertise – senior staff members could share their insights through Q&A sessions or mentoring.
3. Empower – Empowered team members are more confident, loyal and motivated, but empowerment goes beyond just delegating decisions. You also need to support your staff – from co-ordinators to directors – to make those decisions. I often hear how people have been expected to make decisions, then ‘hung out to dry’ if their decisions are perceived to be wrong. Make staff accountable for their actions, but don’t undermine their authority or confidence in their dealings with clients.
4. Example – Leadership – Your staff will be inspired by your attitudes and actions, not your mission statement. Lead the way with hard work and a positive outlook. Stay approachable with an open door policy and encourage innovation and forward-thinking by adapting to new ideas and trends. Maintain a clear vision for your business, and regularly reiterate it to your staff. You can show your employees you value them with rewards, as well as fair remuneration, good working conditions and opportunities for growth.

5. Entertain and energise – Every day in the events industry involves big decisions and last-minute dramas, but it’s important not to take ourselves too seriously. Remember, we’re not saving lives! Coming to work should be fun as well as fast-paced and fulfilling, and regular laughter is great for reducing stress and boosting team spirits. Start the week with a relaxed whip-around to find out how everyone’s weekend was, and build camaraderie with regular dinners, drinks or bonding activities.


Michael Walker1. A travel incentive is king! – Cash incentives are often confused with salary and bonuses, and may become challenging if staff expect them year on year. Cash incentives also don’t have the same level of personal impact, whereas a travel experience will create a long lasting memory and contribute to employee loyalty, well-being and so on.
2. Incentives aren’t exclusive to sales – Incentive programs were once associated with a company’s sales team and their performance results. These days however most companies now consider including other non-client-facing staff who still contribute to a company’s overall performance.
3. Rewarding your staff with extra leave – This incentive option has tax advantages with a low cash outlay, but this can be difficult to implement and manage especially for small to medium sized businesses.
4. Gifts and other rewards – Gift rewards like theatre tickets or dinner vouchers can be a low-cost way to motivate staff. However, many of these incentives may attract FBT (Fringe Benefits Tax) unless they are work-related. Other gift options could include electronic devices such as iPads, laptops and other items that may be considered tools of the trade. However, they may still have additional FBT implications to the company.
5. Focusing on staff well-being – Bringing awareness of nutrition and fitness to the work environment is a great way to reward staff performance or motivate your team. Subsidised or fully paid professional courses on nutrition, stress management as well as fitness training or gym memberships are a welcome incentive to most staff and are conducive to a healthier and more productive workplace.


Richard ToddAt Hilton Worldwide in Australasia we are focussed on exceeding the basics when it comes to motivating team members and really making it easy for our team to work. At the base level we provide team member meals, uniforms, dry cleaning, discounted gym membership and additional paid maternity leave. However, we know what motivates one person will not be as motivating to another team member, therefore we provide a range of additional incentives. We believe when it comes to getting the best from our teams the following things really motivate.
1. Recognition – We view recognition as a critical part of our business. Recognising and publically acknowledging team members who have performed exceptionally well helps to keep team members motivated. Globally we have a range of programs that are focused on recognition. Catch Me at My Best is a program enabling guests and team members to acknowledge the efforts of a team member via a well promoted feedback system; and The CEO Light & Warmth Award is a program officiated by Hilton Worldwide’s CEO, recognising outstanding team members who have been nominated by their peers. Award recipients receive international recognition and a range of prizes, including travel and products.
2. Career Progression – Having a career verses a job with real progression opportunities is a key motivator for team members. With over 4000 hotels worldwide we are able to meet most team members’ career objectives.
3. Training and Development – Hilton Worldwide prides itself on providing extensive training to team members via Hilton Worldwide University – an online training portal available to all team members. Courses are provided to help team members develop their skill set for their current role, as well as developing new skills for future roles.
4. Hilton Rewards, Mates Rates, and Discounted Team Member Travel – Our team members have access to Hilton Rewards which offer exclusive discounts at over 100 retailers. We are also able to offer our team members’ friends and family exclusive discounts at our hotels, and team members themselves receive large discounts at our hotels around the world when they stay for leisure.
5. SCOUT Program – While this program does involve incentivising team members with money, it goes above and beyond regular remuneration. The SCOUT Program gives operational events team members 10 per cent of any piece of business they bring to the hotel inclusive of room rental and food and beverage.