A Lesson in “How Not to Motivate Employees”

I’ve heard of some pretty bad bosses in my 27 years in business and have witnessed some very poor tactics in attempted workplace motivation, but this has to take the cake.

The NY Post today reported about a restaurant owner in Manhattan that cursed out his employees and threatened them with their jobs for not accumulating enough e-mail addresses from patrons.

About the only thing worse for this restauranteur would have been for him to verbally abuse his staff with an outburst during the dinner hours with his restaurant full of patrons.

It seems from reading the article that employees know their boss’ personality and were not surprised by the outburst. I’m sure it will get some of them to start collecting the e-mail addresses he demands, but, at what price.

Mr. Ponorovsky (the restaurant owner) is creating a ‘compliance’ culture at his place of work and could very well be considered a bully boss. His approach may reap short compliance with his demand, but I doubt it will create results long term.

This type of approach, which I’m sure has manifest at other times, will have employees on edge and can not, under the emotional stress, deliver high levels of customer service necessary in the restaurant industry.

Or, maybe, he’ll continue to succeed despite his approach, but I would still argue profits would be higher if he were to adjust and create a ‘commitment culture’ at his restaurant where his employees did what he requested because they were committed to helping their employer be successful, instead of just doing it so they can continue to collect a paycheck.

I may go patronize the restaurant just as a show of support these abused employees and order a glass of water, sit there for 2-hours with friends but leave a big tip.

What do you think?