How to Motivate an Employee Who’s Underperforming in Your Café


Be the one who gives them that energy boost to turns things around.

Have you ever worked for someone in the past? If the answer is yes, you already have a clear advantage in regards to this topic. You know how it feels, the lack of motivation, something that can bring negative results for the company you’re representing. Another subject worth mentioning is that this situation can happen to anyone, even the most competitive workers have dealt with this, and it’s very difficult to get out of that hole by yourself.

A Café shop owner must know how to motivate an underperforming employee, sometimes cleaning the shop or maintaining equipment can get dull. Here’s when solid leadership enters the game with total commitment to making a difference. This is done in order to avoid the worst outcome for the company and the employee!

Responsibilities as a Leader

When you are the founder or manager of your own business like a coffee shop, things are completely different. The mindset is complex, the responsibilities are heavier, but the vision is broader. There are different tools that can help you monitor the performance of your employees to stay ahead of this issue. It can help you save some money, time, and stress by going directly to this person just to start the correct diagnosis. Go deeper, find what’s troubling him/her, it may be something private, like marital problems, depression, a health condition, etc. But it can also happen due to bad communication, lack of focus and many other factors that are around. 

How to Motivate an Employee Who’s Underperforming at Your Café
be open to ideas

You need to know this: Every employee is a different world, and when it comes to getting motivated towards one goal, their ways are also divergent. In other words, you need to know your staff very well. The more you spend time with them, the easier it will be to deal with internal problems. Also spending more time with them will make it easier to find solutions to problems and to maintain the whole team together.

Many studies have come to show that more than 50% of workers – no matter their backgrounds, beliefs, or ages – need to feel that their efforts are meaningful to the company they constitute. That’s a critical fact that needs to be acknowledged more often if you ask me.

Keeping the motivation-wheel running is no easy ride, it takes a lot of effort, time and dedication. There’s no special formula, and no manual, just the right amount of trial and error. Top leaders believe in the power of intuition and emotional intelligence. That is how they experiment and find which methods are working, and which ones are failing.

How to Motivate an Employee Who’s Underperforming at Your Café
communication is key

Life and Work: The Proper Balance

Every Human Resources (HR) expert will tell you the same about something truly important. Your employees are not machines that can be programmed with a given set of configurations, your plans can fail or succeed at certain degrees, making it difficult to motivate an underperforming employee. Commit and go to great lengths in regards to your staff culture. Communicate the rules, establish priorities and goals, and stay closer to your team. This should resemble the friendship you have with others outside the workplace.

Ask every employee about their idea of balance between work and life. You can even send questionnaires to each one of them with interrogatives like: How many working hours are you able to cover per week? Which day works best for a weekly meeting? Does this profession complement your personal life? In which way? With that kind of knowledge on your side, it’ll be easier to distinguish the weak and strong points behind this complex balance. Hear what your staff has to say, there’s no better procedure.

How to Motivate an Employee Who’s Underperforming at Your Café
balance out priorities

Trust is Key

Building confidence among workers takes time, that’s why you need to start early with this particular effort. Experience has taught me one priceless truth, the power of feedback. One of the greatest motivators I have found throughout the years is just that. No matter if it’s positive or negative, because these two have different purposes and effects. On one hand, positive feedback inspires people to keep doing their best; while on the other, provides a great opportunity to self-correct and fix bad habits.

Recognition is the last step, and a very important one. Some employees will come and deliver outstanding results, and you need to be there praising their dedication and contribution. Same goes for those who are underperforming because at times you’ll see how hard they are working to just stay afloat. Committing to this exercise always brings serious benefits, as your staff will feel compelled to keep doing their best, and your company will benefit from these ongoing initiatives to motivate an underperforming employee.

How to Motivate an Employee Who’s Underperforming at Your Café
trust your employees

Identify the Problems, Set the Goals, Communicate Them

Like doctors do, the first step is the diagnosis of the problem. Try to discover the different sorts of problems that your team is facing, at both levels, collective and personal. Create different channels of communication, in which your employees can reach out to you if things aren’t going well, such as weekly meetings, private conversations, your phone number, e-mail and so many more.

Workers love when you set a certain amount of goals that are clear, and easy to understand. According to a study, this practice increases the levels of commitment up to 3 times. Be sure to do these 3 things:

  • Provide a road map with a transparent goal.
  • Tell them how to achieve success with their different angles in mind.
  • Explain how valuable are all members of the staff, in order to make things in the best way possible.

The morale of your team is a crucial factor for your business, it’s the backbone of your success, and it’s the catalyst of scalability in most cases. Take care of your employees by being open and allow them to be a part of your “work family”. Make them feel part of something greater, true, and meaningful. Take advantage of any useful detail in order to make routines more enjoyable. Their aspirations need to be essential to you, that reciprocal understanding is what turns small companies into solid respectable brands.

How to Motivate an Employee Who’s Underperforming at Your Café
love your work family

Wise words to stand by. With all the information above that we’ve mentioned, we’ve helped quite a few cafe owners turn the ship around! We hope this has helped you just as much too, remember it’s never to late to build up that team you always wanted! Be sure to read more of our helpful content here, you might even want to learn how to brand your own shop.


Brand My Cafe helps small & medium-sized businesses, cafes and foodservice brands grow their identity through custom coffee cups, coffee sleeves & more. Join our exclusive Facebook group Restaurant Brand Builders to brainstorm ideas with passionate other passionate owners!

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