Motivating casual employees in hospitality

The Hunted Gourmet
September 2015

Industry Research
Motivating casual employees in hospitality:
Today and tomorrow.

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I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ……………………………………………………………………………….. 3
II. INTRODUCTION & PROBLEM STATEMENT ……………………………………………………. 5
III. GOALS AND OBJECTIVES………………………………………………………………………………7
V. METHODOLOGY ………………………………………………………………………………………. 12
VI. TIMETABLE AND KEY PERSONNEL………………………………………………………………. 19
VII. FINDINGS………………………………………………………………………………………………… 20
IX. REFERENCES……………………………………………………………………………………………. 36
X. APPENDIX……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 40

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I. Executive Summary
This study examines the attributes that motivate casual employee’s within their
workplace. The context of the study is a catering business called,

The Hunted Gourmet.’
The Hunted Gourmet

Through developing a knowledge of these attributes, managers at will have the ability to more effectively attract and retain workers , and this is essential
to its ongoing sustainability.
Many studies have examined the motivation of employees within the hospitality
industry, but few speak to the context of a the regional, high-end catering business
setting such as
The Hunted Gourmet. Thus to fill this gap, this study adopts a mixed
methods approach , utilizing interviews and questionnaires – to offer an insight into
what motivates casual employees at
The Hunted Gourmet.
Interview and questionnaire respondents were asked a range of questions concerning
motivation, in addition to ranking the main motivators to work and stay within the firm.
Findings were expected to show that money or wages would be the main motivator to
work and it was, however, other factors were also popular choices and these included:
x having fun and meeting new people
x flexible hours
x autonomy within the business.
The respondent’s age also appeared to be a significant factor influencing employee
motivation, with the twenty-one and under age group generally indicating that money,
having fun, and meeting new people was important to them in the workplace. While
the thirty plus age group were motivated by autonomy, more money and recognition.
This is significant for the future of the company and warrants attracting employees from
each group.

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The findings also support some changes in management thinking. Decision makers need
to recognise that different motivators matter more or less to diverse age categories.
Additionally, by promoting flexible hours, a fun working atmosphere as well as money
will help
The Hunted Gourmet attract young effective staff.
The findings, however, also indicate , that no matter what attributes are promoted,
young casual employees will leave the business to seek other careers. Employees under
twenty-one mostly agreed that their hospitality work was just a stop-over job.
The Hunted Gourmet will be required to work on those attributes of motivation that will
encourage good staff to be retained within the business. Thirty years plus of age
commonly have a shift in priorities to your mid to late twenties and this demographic
regards job flexibility and recognition as more favorable attributes.

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II. Introduction & Problem
Introduction to The Hunted Gourmet
The Hunted Gourmet is a high-end private and event
catering business, which has been trading successfully
for over 20 years. This business proprietor is Meryan
McRobert who is a chef of high standing, and who is a
passionate gourmand. Meryan is highly committed to
furthering on the success of her business, and is generally an engaging entrepreneur.
This business has a history of succuss, and this is significant as business failure is
common in the hospitality industry,
notwithstanding a sector-wide ethic of hard
work, odd hours and demand turbulence.
Major clients of
The Hunted Gourmet include
international, corporate Thoroughbred Horse
Breeding Studs such as Coolmore, Darley and
Emirates. Large corporate functions catered by
The Hunted Gourmet are often upwards of 1000
pax. Smaller private events such as private
dinners, weddings and general local functions
make up all other catering income.
The Hunted Gourmet has a focus on
generating an outstanding service
environment, whereupon operations
are professional, the business concept

Meryan McRobert and
team at The Hunted Gourmet

her professional
provide us with the highest quality catering
and service at the many corporate
functions we host each year. Excellence is
always achieved regardless of whether we
are entertaining a thousand people at a
cocktail party, or thirty at an intimate client
lunch –
Darley Stud
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mirror’s a clear idea of the customers’ demands and back of house deliverance
coordination is highly effective. In this environment, the service contact point between
customers and
The Hunted Gourmet are the front-of-house staff. These staff need to be
highly motivated and trained to generate positive outcomes for the business, so much
so that the overall customer experience and indeed the long term business success of
The Hunted Gourmet is very much tied to the staff members.
Taken as a whole the business has been effectively marketed and has a strong
permanent staff base of twenty employees. Casual workers within
The Hunted Gourmet
can be upwards of 150 people over a yearly period with many of these employees often
only contracted for minimal shifts.
In the context of this study, a ‘casual worker’ is defined as one who can be employed
on a temporary basis, depending on the needs of the employer.
Problem Statement

is a high-end catering and event business which relies heavily on
exceptional service delivery
‘ Meryan McRobert, Business owner.

The Hunted Gourmet .Exceptional service is connected deeply to motivated employees. Employee motivation
can often elude this business due to:
x Short term and seasonal employment
x The regular rotation of casual staff working within the business
x Menial tasks, such as polishing glasses or folding napkins.
x Demanding clientele and environment
x Deficiency of long term incentives
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Multiple incentives are often required across various demographics to influence staff to
want to do their best work. Motivated staff are a premium resource in a rural and
regional areas and are difficult to come by.
mployee motivation is defined as the eagerness or drive in an employee
that directly influences their level of involvement or performance in the
The purpose of this study is to determine what factors influence the motivation of The
Hunted Gourmet
employees. Short-term financial incentives are often the popular
choice to foster motivation and are generally considered favourably by employees,
however recent research has indicated that there are other factors that can significantly
influence motivation.
III. Goals and Objectives
Noting that the largest part of The Hunted Gourmet’s is casual employees, and that
these employees largely provide the customer interface points, this research aims to:
Goal 1
Discover the key factors that motivate casual staff working within The Hunted Gourmet.
Goal 2
Align casual employee motivation with the future business operations i.e. plan staff
attraction and retention models.
The problem of motivation has not been previously addressed within
The Hunted
. It is anticipated that this research will provide recommendations to enhance
retention and motivation of casual employees in the business, enhancing the long term
market viability.
IV. Research Background- Literature Review
Literature review
Previous research on motivating employees in various hospitality services is extensive.
Work motivation is psychological process resulting from the reciprocal interaction
between the environment and the individual that affects a person’s choices, effort and
persistence (Latham and Ernst, 2006) . However, there is a lack of research examining
employee motivation in the hospitality industry, and even less in the context of
small/medium catering enterprises.
Theories of Motivation
The more traditional explanations of motivational theory include Maslow’s hierarchy of
needs (1943), Hertzberg’s two-factor theory (1974), and expectancy theories proposed
by Vroom (1964), Porter and Lawler (1975) and finally Locke and Latham’s (2004) goal
setting theory. Latham and Pinder (2005) believe there have been few fundamental
new models on work motivation since. Poulston (2009) stated that several motivation
theories that emerged from the last half century are so enduring, their application to
current problems continues to be appropriate. Drawing together different motivational
theories assists a business to review the attributes of motivation to work.

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Motivation Attributes
The term ‘motivation‘ can be used in different ways, at its core, it refers to any sort of
general drive or inclination to do something (Wildes, 2008). Motivation is categorised as
extrinsic (outside) or intrinsic (inside). Extrinsic motivation refers to the influence
on attributes of external factors; examples include wages, commend/praise and
standing. Intrinsic motivation refers to attributes that come from the inside, examples
include challenging tasks, pride in making a difference, professional development from
performing a job well. Intrinsic motivation is considered to be the reason why people do
things a certain way without any external rewards.
Workplace motivation focuses on the attributes of employee motivation and
demographics within the casual work force and the hospitality industry. These include
economic rewards, intrinsic satisfaction and social relationships. (Shin and Lee, 2011)
Economic rewards comprise the pay and fringe benefits, which can satisfy a variety of
needs including basic needs for survival (Maslow) , as well as a need for self-esteem and
status (Gursoy, Maier and Chi, 2008), and these dominate the motivational theory.
Economic rewards have significant motivating power as they symbolise many intangible
goals and the satisfaction of needs. However, within the academic literature, there is
controversy about the strength and effectiveness of money as a motivator (Kovach,
1995, Latham and Ernst, 2006).

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The Growth of Casual employees
The hospitality industry within Australia has experienced some substantial changes in
employment patterns and arrangements over the past forty years (Enz, 2001 and Lowry,
2002). These changes include a growth of casual workers. This trend is suitable for the
hospitality industry due to their inherit reliance on labour to fulfil the industries basic
functions of customer service in mostly seasonal conditions (Poulston, 2009). Theorists
have argued that the growth of casual employment has seen the greatest
transformation and motivating these employees has become a common area for
debate. Casual employment is not easily defined due to different legal definitions but
Lowry (2002) explains that, in the broadest sense, casual employees are those who are
not offered job security and are scheduled to work according to demand.
Generational Differences
A generation is defined as an identifiable group that shares birth years, age, location and
significant life events. The shared experiences will influence the person on many
aspects of their life including their work related values, attitudes and behaviors. For the
first time in the history of the contemporary workforce, employees from so many
different generations are working side by side and closely both with people who are as
young as their children or as old as their parents (Prewitt, 2000). Baby boomers,
Generation X and Y and the upcoming Millennials are competing for the same jobs
There are large amounts of research completed on the different motivational attributes
of the generations (Gursoy et al, 2008) and it is important for
The Hunted Gourmet to
give consideration to the current generations characteristics of those seeking casual
employment. In particular, ‘how appealing is the casual work offered by
The Hunted
to each generation?’.
The most recent entrants to the workforce and the largest employee group of
Hunted Gourmet
is the group, Generation Y. This generation generally have high
expectations, enjoy having fun at work and require a supportive and nurturing

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environment (Buultjens and Cairncross, 2007). They lack long term commitment and
attachment to an organisation (Choi,Kwon and Kim, 2011), which can be a significant
challenge to the hospitality industry.
While each of these four generations brings a highly valuable and diverse skill set,
mindset, and perspective to the workplace, it is critical to understand each generation
individually in order to maintain a good generational mix, which in turn will result in a
continued competitive advantage in hospitality.
Generation Z -Zeds- Born between 1995 – 2010
Managing Motivation
Kruja, Ha, Drisht and Oelfke (2015) believe that managers need to motivate employees
continuously and provide ongoing feedback. Employees need to feel good about
themselves , have a sense of accomplishment, enjoy a challenging work environment
and be given responsibility to be highly motivated within their workplace. Managers
should also provide job training so employees can be fully skilled. Kusluvan (2003) states
that the most important factor is that managers support and recognise employees.

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II. Methodology
Research approach and design
A mixed methods research approach was adopted to examine employee motivation in
The Hunted Gourmet.
Mixed methods research is a methodology for conducting research that involves
collecting, analysing, and integrating or mixing quantitative and qualitative research and
data in a study. The research design is inductive based. This is best suited to the study of
human behaviour and enables more flexibility in the research design.The purpose of this
form of research is that both qualitative and quantitative research in combination,
provide a better understanding of a research problem or issue than either research
approach alone. Data triangulation can be an effective mechanism to increase the
validity of claims made based off qualitative methods. Triangulation can occur by
matching qualitative and quantitative results together, thereby backing up claims within
the research.

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The research phases
While the findings of this study cannot be broadly generalised, they do provide a better
understanding of motivational factors within casual workers employed in the business.
The Hunted Gourmet is a small to medium business that employs permanent and casual
staff. Semi-structured interviews with the business owner and event manager/front of
house head were undertaken to identify the prevalent issues in motivating casual staff.
Data Collection
The qualitative data was collected via phases. Phase one was semi structured interviews
with management. This was conducted with business owner and event manager. Phase
two involved semi structured interviews with two current permanent casual staff
Concurrent Triangualation
Visual Model

Qualatative Data Collection
Semi structured interviews
Document and literature review
Quantitative Data Collection
for casual staff
Qualatative Data Analysis
Thematic analysis
Quantitative Analysis
Statistical analysis

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members and two past casual employees of The Hunted Gourmet who had worked for
more than two years with the business. These responses were analysed by theme
analysis. Phase three involved observations within the workplace over the Stud Open
days, a large catering event held at several horse studs over three days.
The quantitative information utilised in this study came from data collected voluntarily
via casual employees surveys. The questionnaire was designed by the researcher into
four parts, these parts consist of A, B C & D:
A. Basic demographical questions that assisted the researcher to analyse the data
based on segments after the surveys were returned.
B. Employees were asked to rank five incentives from 1-5, questioning how
motivated they were for each incentive. The aim is for the rankings to reveal
what employees value the highest and what is important to them. These
rankings were also considered with their answers in other parts of the survey.
C. Employees were asked to rank eight statements with levels of agreement, from
strongly disagree to strongly agree. These statements were intended to deal
The Hunted Gourmet management styles within their workplace and
included statements on various motivating factors such as financial rewards to
D. The last section asks employees six multiple choice questions. This was reduced
from the initial nine questions as the business and researcher thought the
questionnaire was to lengthy for employees to complete. The multiple choice
questions asked employees about their feelings towards the business on areas of
communication, how important they are to the business and whether they are
motivated in their current position.
The quantitative research was carried out by issuing 30 employee questionnaires
voluntarily to staff who work for
The Hunted Gourmet in casual positions. The
employees work in various positions, mainly service and front of house working
positions. The surveys were distributed in the month of August 2015 at catering events

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held off site. Surveys were handed out by various site supervisors and collected in
sealed envelopes to maintain privacy of employees answers. The questionnaires were
then handed to the researcher in the sealed envelopes.
The qualitative research approach and design was commenced with interviews with the
business owner, and the front of house supervisor. This was a semi structured interview
based on their understanding of motivation within a hospitality business. Semi
structured interviews are one of the best approaches to gather in-depth data as they
allow the researcher insights into the business from the words spoken by the
From these interviews, it was decided to conduct further semi structured interviews
with two current and two past staff with motivation questions relating to
communication, management, incentives, non financial incentives and income. The
four respondents contacted were advised of their privacy in their participation and were
willing to be interviewed. The two past employees had left the business to pursue their
careers in other areas of hospitality. Interviews took place over early August 2015.
It was also agreed that the researcher would carry out observation analysis within a real
function. This was a participant observation and was carried out to reaffirm respondents
theme analysis. Casual employees would be observed under real workings conditions
on how they responded to their supervisor and their overall commitment to tasks.
Employees were not told that they would be observed as the process of being told could
have an effect & therefore change their behavior. The observation did not reveal any
other attributes relation to motivation within staff.

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Finally, due to the short time available to complete the analysis and the impossible
logistics of gathering staff together at the same time, it was agreed that casual staff
would complete a short qualitative survey. The qualitative type of survey does not aim
at establishing frequencies, means or other parameters but at determining the
of some topic of interest within a given sample population. This type of survey does not
count the number of people with the same characteristic (value of variable) but it
establishes the meaningful variation (relevant dimensions and values) within that
To assist the reader in how the survey responses will be analysed a short summary
x The first part of the survey was about collecting demographic data to determine
the different responses from the responders demographics. While the
demographics are known from the business HR records we still asked this
question. While these surveys were distributed to similar employees, this
information can give us insight into what is affecting their outlook on motivation
compared to which demographic they belong to.
x Part B of the survey was a ranking question and was simply analysed by a
cumulative count and then put into a chart.
x Part C of the questionnaire was a ranking section with eight statements from
one through to six, ranking meaning 1 as strongly disagree and 6 as strongly
agree. For each statement, the most common rankings chosen by the staff were
calculated into a percentage for the 26 surveys. To do this, all of the rankings
were compiled and then divided by 208 (the total number of points possible).

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This was then multiplied by six to get the average ranking for each individual
statement and then analysed.
x Part D of the questionnaire was tabled for management and put into pie charts
for each response and analysed.
Thirty questionnaires were completed but only twenty six were deemed usable due to
four incomplete surveys.
Ethical considerations
Within semi structured interviews, staff were advised that the business owner and
manager would not be aware of who was interviewed and their identity would remain
anonymous. Throughout observations within the workplace, staff were not informed
that they would be monitored by myself. I would work alongside of them as I often do.
This was done so that staff would not change their behavior if they were aware of the
observation. This is often considered ethically grey , however no personal information
was recorded, it is merely an observation of cognitive development between
supervisors and staff on motivation techniques. Staff were formally advised that the
surveys would remain totally voluntary and anonymous and had been approved by the
business owner.
Lastly the questionnaires were gathered from a sample of casual employees within
Hunted Gourmet
and the results are based on the data collected from these casual
workers. This survey does not necessarily represent the entire casual workforce of
Hunted Gourmet
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Questionnaire / Surveys
Completed by casual staff –
Distribution will be at a large
catering event. Confidential.
Answers will be hand written
– simplest option


Individual semi structured
Interview with business
owner & supervisor .
Individual semi structured
Interview with two casual
staff – 1 Gen X and 1 Gen Y
Individual semi structured
Interview with two past


Secondary Data
Internal Data: personnel data from The Hunted
External Data: Academic journals, trade &
industry publications, web

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Robyn Gaiter
Business Owner
Meryan McRobert
Event Manager
Fiona Scott
Current & Past Permanent
Casual Staff
Casual Staff

III. Timetable and Key Personnel
List the key personnel who will be responsible for completion of the project, as
well as other personnel involved in the project.
Provided below is information on the expected timetable for the project. The
project is divided into stages with a schedule for each stage.

Description of Work Start and End Dates
Stage One x Identify problem/s
x Research background
x Decide research methods
and questions
29th June to
3rd August 2015
Stage Two x Conduct research and
x Collect data
x Analyse data
4th August to
5 September 2015
Stage Three x Report findings and
x Identify strategies to
implement within the
5 September to
15th September 2015

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IV. Findings
The exploratory approach was used for this research and analysis followed Robert Yin’s
(2011) the five stage method for analysing qualitative data. To do this, firstly the data is
compiled into a logical order, secondly the data is disassembled and the key themes are
identified, thirdly, the data is reassembled around key themes to observe links, fourthly,
reassembled data is interpreted to express coherent concepts as they appear in the data
and lastly a conclusion of the summations from the analysed data.
Phase one commenced with of the semi structured interviews with the business owner,
Meryan McRobert and the general manager, Fiona Scott . These are successful women
who have been managing the business profitably for over twenty years.
From these interviews, comments were noted:

Positive Response Negative Response
What is motivation
(General conversation)
Working hard to achieve a
Positive Behaviour
A persons behaviour
Making money
What motivates you? Achievement
The work itself
Making money

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Management practices
that effect motivation
Respondent 1:
I try to find good staff who
have some kind of
connection to the business
or from good schools or the
young people of previous
I try to offer flexibility to
staff and work in with their
Respondent 2: Having a
good team is the key, they
will motivate each other.
If your motivation is positive
it generally rubs off on the
other staff – even when they
come in grumpy!
Communication is key, even
when I feel I have said
something ten times.
Respondent 1:
Sometimes staff just
need a good bullocksing
We ask a lot from staff
at times. Long shifts
working in the middle of
a paddock in a marquee
in terrible weather
conditions. Staff get
worn out.
Respondent 2:
Sometimes I think the
staff have no idea how
to be effective! Often
they are not generally
supportive and spend a
lot of time whingeing or
trying to get out of work.
I often assume what
motivates me, motivates
Penalty rates should
motivate anyone.
A great manager is
able to interpret an
employee’s motivators
Respondent 2:
If I have a casual staff person
who is negative I will
compliment them. Eg,
‘That’s a beautiful scarf you
are wearing, you obviously
have style, I need staff with
style to do …” Usually a
compliment will change
their attitude.
Respondent 1: Mostly I
have little spare time to
interpret staff
motivators, on the job
you are just too busy
and I rely on others to
do this. Sometimes
when the pressure is on I
just raise my voice.

Several themes emerged from these semi structured interviews. Management believed
that employees needed to be well presented and have the confidence to deal with

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people in a manner appropriate to the business. They also needed a strong work ethic
and to understand that there was a maturation process,
‘you cannot be a supervisor
after one shift’.
Training and required job skills ‘could be taught on the job’.
The high labour turnover was seen as a problem especially in a tight field of casual staff.
Management also believed that for most generation ‘y’ and ‘millennial’ saw the
employment within the hospitality industry as a
‘stepping stone to getting a real job’.
These comments are interesting and show an overall lack of commitment towards
casual staff as they are turned over fairly regularly. While Human Resource practices
are generally targeted at permanent staff, this is not an option for
The Hunted Gourmet.
With the decline in permanent work, sometimes casual work is the only option available
for workers.
The second phase of the semi structured interviews proved to be more insightful.
Lengthy discussions followed by thematic analysis uncovered the following issues.
The analysis of the interview data found that casual staffing often relied on who was
available at the time of the function. All of the respondents felt that little regard is given
to the priority of employing good staff.
‘It feels like we get a new bunch of employees at
every large function’
said one respondent, “this takes up valuable time explaining basic
workplace duties like setting a table”.
Management confirmed that ” we spend little
money on advertising for function staff, people are employed via my connections, school
and family friends”.
All respondents gave similar reasons for high employee turnover
including the pressure of school or university studies, moving away to the city, changing
careers to more reliable or daytime hours and some treating the casual work as a filler
or until something
better came along. Small hospitality businesses in rural areas have
very few qualified staff, hospitality students will often work on larger functions but they
are also in training mode. This puts a lot of pressure on the more senior casual staff.

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Performance management
The lack of recognition and feedback available to casual workers on a job well done was
mentioned several times. This reflects a lack of focus on treating the worker as an
individual and can often leave the worker with a sentiment that they are
just a means to
an end.
Short term incentives and rewards
In determining the satisfaction of incentives, it was agreed to concentrate on short term
incentives as opposed to long term incentives due to the short time staff are employed
within hospitality service. Most agreed that penalty rates for weekend work was a
motivator and given the nature of hospitality, weekend work is customary. The current
attitudes towards cutting penalty rates for casual workers sends out a clear message to
employer groups who have recently advocated the removal of such rewards. Aside from
ethical issues associated with fair wages and reward, abolishing penalty rates may see a
greater level of turnover, lower levels of commitment and job satisfaction and a poorer
level of customer service.
Other incentives such as a Christmas party, meals and drinks were also mentioned. One
respondent explained that “I have been working with
The Hunted Gourmet for several
years and have not once been to a Christmas party, sometimes it would be nice to be

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thanked”. While Christmas and hospitality are extremely busy times, management will
be advised that often small tokens go a long way.
There was a general agreement by management and staff regarding the apparent lack of
training for casual workers. “Often staff are thrown in at the deep end and its sink or
swim”. Training can assist casual employees achieve work goals and in turn will be more
motivated to return to the workplace.
Receiving wages was considered a very popular motivator. It was mentioned regularly
across all phases. Management stated that
“We pay very fairly at The Hunted Gourmet,
often above the award rate”.
All respondents were in agreement that there pay was a
fair wage but occasionally late in receiving the money. As per the literature review it
was found that money is a real motivator for employees to work in the first place but a
good working environment is a greater influence in keeping them longer.
High-quality work atmosphere
Another popular motivator among the respondents was having a good work
atmosphere and having fun. This also included having autonomy and being given
responsibility. One respondent thought that ‘
higher wages does not necessarily make
you happy but feeling good at and about work does’.
For management this could mean a shift in attitude as the views of casual employees in
this research clearly indicates a need for some Human resource management of casuals

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This research was completed using the input of casual employees who are currently
employed at
The Hunted Gourmet. The qualitative data employed the use of frequency
analysis and the responses were mapped into graphs by using Microsoft excel.
Casual employees were surveyed for the purpose of allowing us to discover what it is
that is most motivating to them working within
The Hunted Gourmet. As qualitative
research is limited in its ability to draw conclusions that are representative of a total or
sample population, data triangulation can be an effective mechanism to increase the
validity of claims made based off the qualitative methods obtained from the semi
structured interviews. Triangulation can occur by matching qualitative and quantitative
results together, thereby backing up claims. In order to best evaluate which factors are
most and least critical to staff, the study has been split into different sectors. These
sectors came from the semi structured interviews and from the literature review. They
x Communication
x Income
x Non financial incentives
x Long & Short term incentives
Demographic Statistics
Twenty six people completed the survey correctly. Of these, 10 or 8% were male, 15 or
59% were female and 1 or 4% were transgender. Within the age range 16 of the
participants were under the age of 25 and 9 of these under 21. 80% of the age group
under 25 were female. Twenty thee participants were either single or living in a Defacto
relationship with the majority having completed high school only. It should be noted
that due the young age of respondents it could also be expected that most had not yet
completed their education. Nineteen or 73% of the respondents had worked for
Hunted Gourmet
for less than two years.
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For comparative purposes, the prototype casual
worker for this study was;
x female,
x approximately aged under 21,
x single
x with a high school education.
Sex status
Age Range
Male Female Transgender

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Marital Status
Length employed at The Hunted Gourmet
0 2 4 6 8 10
Under 21
0 5 10 15
High School
Cert ii/iii

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Part B of the survey asked respondents to rank certain attributes to what motivates
them. While we expected that wages would be a popular motivator and give a low
cumulative score, it actually scored 2nd of the 5 most important motivating incentives.
The surprise here was that what motivated the 21 and under group most was having fun
and meeting new people. Findings varied slightly among age groups with flexibility being
somewhat important, ranking 3rd. The prestige of working for
The Hunted Gourmet was
noticeably unpopular which was originally thought by management to be ranked in a
better place than this. Throughout the initial interviews with management and senior
staff this was thought to be a major motivator.
The following table displays the respondents rankings from 1 to 5.

Ranking Motivator
1 Having fun within the job & meeting new people
2 Wages
3 Job Flexibility
4 Recognition of good work
5 The prestige of working with The Hunted Gourmet

0 5 10 15 20
< 1 year
1-2 yrs
2-4 yrs
> 6 years

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Part C of the survey asked staff to rate several statements regarding The Hunted
. This revealed interesting information regarding incentives. Overall most
answers were in agreement to the statements with the strongest agreement being the
statement that
The Hunted Gourmet is a good place to work. Participants were also
strongly agreeable to the financial incentives of working. The statements of the
possibility of promotion and gaining proficiency in the job were the least agreeable
within this section of the survey.

PART C Strongly
SD % D % SWD % SWA % A % SA %


Genuine interest
Care about employees
Places great emphasis on creativity
Promotion influences my performance
Financial incentives
Achieving recognition and credit
Gaining proficiency at my job
4 15
3 12
3 12
5 19
3 12
3 12
4 15
1 4
2 8
4 15
1 4
2 8
4 15
2 8
1 4
2 8
3 12
2 8
5 19
2 8
4 15
2 8
3 12
4 15
11 42
14 54
10 38
7 27
8 31
9 35
9 35
5 19
5 19
11 42
5 19
10 38
6 23
3 12

Within this section numbers of 3-5 employees strongly disagreed to all statements and
while it is expected that the statements of the possibility of promotion and gaining
proficiency in the job were the least agreeable. Also of concern is the first statement on
management showing a genuine concern in motivating employees. This can effect
motivation if an employee feels neglected.
Part D answers and graphs are listed below, and this part was the most favorable
section towards the business. Concern for management here is that there were staff
members, although low numbers, who displayed strong issues towards the business.
Some felt that there work is of low contribution to the business and two respondents
felt that they were neither financially rewarded or thanked. This could be due to time
poor supervisors or perhaps management and supervisors having issues with this

Page 30 of 45
employee. While most employees felt motivated at work, nine respondents felt
somewhat motivated. ‘Somewhat motivated’ could result in mediocre customer service

and a standard not positive for
researched further.
Given time this should be

The Hunted Gourmet. 1 Communication at The Hunted Gourmet is ______________________________
(A) Highly effective and makes me feel like an integral part of the team.
(B) fairly strong and allows me to understand most of what is going on in the company on a daily basis
(C) lacking in certain areas and could use some improvement
(D) poor and leaves me feeling left out and in the dark in many circumstances
2 My boss or immediate supervisor__________________________
(A) talks to on a regular basis about work and shows a great interest in getting to know me personally
(B) talks to me fairly regularly and is generally helpful and friendly
(C) talks to me only when necessary or when problems arise
(D) rarely talks to me and shows little interest in getting to know me personally
A, 6
B, 16
C, 3 D , 1

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3 I feel that my work__________________________
(A) is very valuable to the business
(B) is necessary but sometimes unrecognised
(C) does not contribute as much to the business as I would like it to
(D) is completely pointless
4 When I do a great job on a function within The Hunted Gourmet, I am _________________
(A) financially rewarded
praised and personally thanked for a job well done
(C) Both A & B
(D) Neither A nor B
A, 12
B, 11
C, 1 D , 2
A, 13
B, 8
C, 3
D , 2

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5 At work, I feel ____________________________
(A) respected and highly valued
(B) appreciated
(C) often overlooked
(D) under appreciated and ignored
6 I am ________________________ within my current job at The Hunted Gourmet
(A) very motivated
(B) somewhat motivated
(C) unmotivated
(D) very unmotivated
A, 5
B, 12
C, 6
D , 3
A, 12
B, 10
C, 2
D , 2

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V. Conclusion and Recommendations
The hospitality industry has faced many challenges throughout the years in terms of
motivating, managing and retaining its worthwhile human capital and
The Hunted
is no different. Motivation within staff is hard to measure due to factors that
vary between individuals, however we do know that employee motivation is vital to the
success of the business. We know this from various researchers and from experience
within the hospitality industry. Motivation problems can lead to issues such as poor
productivity, staff retention and morale which in turn leads to poor customer service.
Recognition of the problem is the first step and the business is to be commended for
acknowledging this and allowing the research to take place. Based on this research
employers must acknowledge that employee groups change and have differing needs
and with changes employers will need to recognise and evolve to succeed.
While there are numerous studies on employee motivation, few exist for the small, rural
enterprises in hospitality. This research was developed to better understand casual
personnel’s motivation and commitment to
The Hunted Gourmet. The findings from this
study are by no means conclusive as it is based only on a small sample. The research
discovered that money is indeed a major motivator. Employees also believe that having
fun, fair wages and job flexibility were all high motivators for casual staff. There were
differences of opinion from some respondents on the recognition of a job well done and
achieving tasks within the casual staff. This shows that the casual permanent staff have
A, 15
B, 9
C, 1 D , 1

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different motivators than that of the casual staff. This is to be expected as autonomy
was a recognised motivator within the research.
One speculation is that wages and fun pale in significance to gratitude and proficiency if
casual employees feel that their time at
The Hunted Gourmet will be short lived. The
other speculation is that age is pivotal in these results. Casual staff under 21 are the
largest demographic within this business and this is due to two factors. One, is that they
are the cheapest to employ and therefore profitable to the business and the secondly, is
that they are keen to work the hours that that hospitality demands. Again if the
employee sees their position as temporary employment, fun and money will be an
important factors. It is proven within many studies that workplace fun is motivator and
ultimately a boost to the hospitality business. With the employment of Generation Y
and Generation Millennial, the industry will see changes in cultures as these generations
bring new perspectives to the workforce. However, it cannot be left unsaid that most
young casual employees will leave the business regardless of the motivators developed
to keep them.
Keeping this in mind the business needs to work on those attributes of motivation that
will encourage good staff to want to work within their industry. Motivation to work can
be essential for employees to endorse their work, thereby attracting others to work for
The Hunted Gourmet. According to the analysis in this study, The Hunted Gourmet
would do well to strategically market to employees under twenty one to attract them to
work and the aim to retain workers over thirty years of age. This makes sense as it is
common for priorities to shift in your mid to late twenties and this demographic regards
job flexibility and recognition as more favorable motivation attributes.
Spending more effort on training so that a positive impact is developed between server
and customer. This will build the casual employees confidence within the service
orientation and ensure job satisfaction. The business will achieve the high level of
customer service from the job satisfied casual employee. Furthermore allowing the
casual employee to have input into the process of staff training will show a greater

Page 35 of 45
commitment to the employee and the result will be highly motivated employees. The
issue of casual employee commitment is important to this business as committed
employees are more reliable, tend to work harder and perform better.
Motivational attributes within The Hunted Gourmet
Under 21
• Fun
• Meet friends
• Money
Over 25
• Money
• Flexibility
• Promotion
• Communication
• Recognition for
• Money
• Empowerment

Page 36 of 45
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VII. Appendix
Appendix 1

Semi structured interview questions and responses within
casual staff

The Hunted Gourmet Please note: the highlighted areas are the common themes within the discussion.
What are the factors affecting motivation in this business?
Money, penalty rates, job flexibility, recognition of good work, having fun at work,
meeting new people, parents making me get a casual job, working with good people.
Are you aware of different motivators for different age groups?
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Yes. Very much so. Most Younger people need pushing. The older staff have more
respect and work harder. Young staff are too casual.
Young ones need more manipulation and often encouragement.
Has the motivation of casual employees increased over the past few years or have
you noticed a decline?
Gotten better, smarter. Still needs some work. Depends on the staff that you are working
with – some really good – some really bad. Young people can be difficult.
What are the factors that you believe would enhance motivation within The Hunted
Better communication. Keep the good staff.
We are asked who were the better performers by management but they never seem to
get those good ones back.
Acknowledgment of work well done. Sometimes we feel that we are just a means to an
end. Longer shifts & shorter shifts – we either work very long shifts (10-16 hrs)or really short
Incentives -providing meals, drinks, xmas party, higher pay for those who are better at
their job.
ƒ Does The Hunted Gourmets current culture positively / negatively affect motivation
within the business?
I believe we are mostly positive. Sometimes we get too busy and forget about others.
Sometimes we are given to much to take on and treat staff poorly.
Management is sometimes evasive.
ƒ In your opinion, ‘What actions can be taken to improve the motivation capacity within the
Communication – better explanations of what’s happening.
Respect among all staff
Employing better staff
Employee retention – it appears there is no attempt to keep the good staff
Give employees a voice, often we have good ideas but no one wants to listen.

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Appendix 2
Casual Employee Motivation Questionnaire
DO NOT put your name anywhere on this paper
General Information
Please circle the appropriate option
What is your sex?
Male Female
What is your status?
Single Defacto/In a Relationship Married Separated Divorced
What is your age range?

Under 21 21-35 26-35 36-50 51-69 Over 69
Education Level
High school Certificate II/III Trade/Diploma Degree Other……………………………..
How long have you been/were employed by
Less than 1 year 1-2 years 2-4 years 4-6 years Longer than 6 years

The Hunted Gourmet?
PART B – What motivates you to work?
Please rank the following incentives from Most motivating (1) to Least Motivating (5)
________________________Salary/hourly wage
________________________Job Flexibility
________________________Recognition of good work
________________________Having fun within the job & meeting new people
________________________The prestige of working with
The Hunted Gourmet
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Please rate (circle)the following statements about your work at The Hunted Gourmet
based on your level of agreement from
1 (Strongly disagree) to 6 (Strongly Agree):
1 Management shows a genuine interest in motivating employees
Strongly disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6 Strongly agree
2 Management seems to care about employees on both professional and personal levels
Strongly disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6 Strongly agree
3 The Hunted Gourmet is a good place to work
Strongly disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6 Strongly agree
4 The possibility of getting a promotion influences my performance
Strongly disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6 Strongly agree
5 Financial incentives motivate me to do my best work
Strongly disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6 Strongly agree
6 Achieving recognition and credit motivates me to do my best work
Strongly disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6 Strongly agree
Gaining proficiency at my job and mastering my position motivates me to do my
best work
Strongly disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6 Strongly agree
Seeing the positive impact my work has on the business and with our clients motivates
me to do my best work
Strongly disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6 Strongly agree
Please circle the multiple choice answer that best fits your feelings about various aspects
of your current job at

The Hunted Gourmet:
The Hunted Gourmet

1 Communication at is ______________________________
(A) Highly effective and makes me feel like an integral part of the team.
(B) fairly strong and allows me to understand most of what is going on

Page 44 of 45
(C) lacking in certain areas and could use some improvement
(D) poor and leaves me feeling left out and in the dark in many circumstances
2 My boss or immediate supervisor__________________________
(A) talks to me on a regular basis about work and shows a great interest in getting to know me
(B) talks to me fairly regularly and is generally helpful and friendly
(C) talks to me only when necessary or when problems arise
(D) rarely talks to me and shows little interest in getting to know me
3 I feel that my work__________________________
(A) is very valuable to the business
(B) is necessary but sometimes unrecognised
(C) does not contribute as much to the business as I would like it to
(D) is completely pointless
4 When I do a great job on a function within The Hunted Gourmet, I am _________________
(A) financially rewarded
(B) praised and personally thanked for a job well done
(C) Both A & B
(D) Neither A nor B
5 At work, I feel ____________________________
(A) respected and highly valued
(B) appreciated

Page 45 of 45
(C) often overlooked
(D) under appreciated and ignored
6 I am ________________________ within my current job at The Hunted Gourmet
(A) very motivated
(B) somewhat motivated
(C) unmotivated
very motivated
Thank you for completing this Employee Motivation questionnaire.
Your participation is greatly appreciated.
These questionnaires will remain anonymous.
These questionnaires have been approved by Meryan McRobert (Merv).