There are three things that motivate employees:
2) A positive work environment.
3) Feeling like they are heard.
What you likely have is a bunch of low-paid wage workers on your hands, working a physically tiring, thankless job that sometimes includes enduring rude, demanding, and even insulting customers. Basically, the work sucks, and pretty much everyone currently working for you would be working a better, higher-paying job if they could find one. This is the reality that you need to accept.
So, how do you compensate for this? Like I said -- money (aka, financial rewards), fostering a positive work environment, and making your employees feel like they're being heard. I'll be a little more specific, if you don't mind me being long-winded. ;)
Money works as a good motivating factor when the rewards are significant. I don't mean a $25 AMC gift card for selling the most Nature's Choice pizzas in a year. I mean something serious, like a 10?onus at the end of the month on all pizzas delivered, or have "double tips" days on days where employees might not be eager to work (like slow days of the week, snowy days, New Years Eve) where you'll match the tips your employees earn. Or you could do things like a "design a pizza" contest, where the employees each craft a pizza and customers vote on their favorite, with the prize being $250 in gas money.
In other words, give your employees something to work toward, rewarding hard workers for their extra effort. If you set goals and give good rewards, your employees will rise to the challenge.
2) Create a positive work environment.
Working in the service industry SUCKS! You have to put up with rude people, loud families with bratty children who make huge messes, and people just in general being d*cks. It gets stressful for workers and managers alike. So to help counteract that, it helps in a BIG way to create a work environment that is positive and upbeat, and maybe even fun! A good example in your area is Rudy's BBQ, Amy's Ice Creams, and the Alamo Draft House. Rudy's is the perfect example of a fun family restaurant, and the employees always greet you with a huge smile and friendly attitude. Amy's adds a show element in their service with ice cream tossing! In all of those establishments, the employees seem to enjoy their jobs. You don't see nearly as many bored, expressionless, unhappy people working there than at, say, Subway.
Make sure to institute NO TOLERANCE policies about sexual harassment and workplace bullying. If you see or hear of ANYTHING like going on, deal with it right then and there (but in private), and don't be afraid to fire someone who is causing a problem. Texas is a right to work state, so you can.
3) Making your employees feel like they're being heard.
This is closely linked to #2. If an employee has a complaint, you need to always take time to LISTEN and take their words seriously. Even if nothing is changed or needs to be changed as a result of their complaint, most of the time your employee will feel better just knowing that they've been heard and acknowledged.
On the more positive side, you can also achieve this goal by listening to your employee's ideas. In Austin chances are you employ some college kids from UT and other nearby universities... in other words, you'll have some smart and creative kids working for you, as well as possibly some older folks who have worked in other fields. If someone comes up with an interesting idea for advertising or a contest or a promotion, take the idea and use it! And make sure to give them proper credit. When employees feel engaged and influential in their own work environment, they'll find the work much more satisfying.
So those are my suggestions! I don't live in Austin anymore, but if I did I'd try your pizza. It sounds great. =) If there's one place where mom-and-pop businesses can succeed, it's Austin!
Answered By: Libby - 11/17/2010