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The causes of low employee motivation within Cape Town's fast food industry
Motivating employees in fast food outlets plays a major role towards improving the commitment and performance of workers. However, it has been confirmed that there is low levels of employee motivation in some fast food outlets, which has led to negative results and poor performances. Therefore, improving employee motivation in fast food outlets has become a necessity. The main aim of the study was to investigate causes of low employee motivation in fast food outlets within South Africa. The present author was able to discover the causes of low employee motivation levels such as poor supervision, little or no training, poor pay and poor working conditions. Hence, factors that could improve levels of motivation of employees in fast food outlets were identified; for instance, motivating fast food employees through genuine appreciation, recognition, compensation and inspiration. The researcher further suggests strategies, which may improve the quality of work-life for employees with fast food outlets training and developing employees, reducing their workload; and initiating incentive programs and retention strategies. This will help the management at fast food outlets to improve levels of motivation of their workers, and also assist them to retain their talented staff. The case study method was used for this research since the study involved fast food outlets in Cape Town. The triangulation method was applied to solicit information from staff members, managers and store managers/franchisees. Semi-structured interview questions were used to obtain information from franchisees/store managers, senior managers, floor managers, and supervisors, while closed-ended questionnaires were used to interview other staff members. This study has confirmed that there are no motivation policies at most of the fast food outlets which were studied that can guide employers to motivate their workers. It is clear from the study that there is low employee motivation at some fast food outlets, and hence the researcher has proposed recommendations, which will help the management of fast food outlets to enhance the levels of motivation of employees, and their work performance. It is suggested that employees should be involved in the decision making of their organization; the quality of work-life of employees should be improved; a harmonious working environment should be promoted; and workers should be empowered and allowed to participate in the profit sharing of the organization. This will improve workers' levels of motivation and better results will be achieved for the organization at large.