Motivating Staff and Volunteers in International Food Event

By John Dudovskiy

Motivating Staff and Volunteers Employee motivation tools can be divided into two categories: tangible and intangible. Salary and monetary bonuses is the main form of tangible motivation tools, whereas intangible motivation tools include sense of contributing to a great cause, recognition of employee performance by managers in verbal and written ways, celebrations of group and individual achievements etc.

Both, tangible and intangible tools of motivation are going to be used in relations with chefs and sales assistant before and during the International Food Event.  Tangible motivational tools offered to staff include financial compensation of £8 per hour.

A set of intangible motivational tools to be used in this event include verbal encouragement of staff at all stages of the event, explanation of contribution of the event in terms of increasing the levels of cross-cultural awareness, and contributing to good cause as the profit to be made from the sale of food and ingredients are to be donated to the selected charity.

Moreover, application of Hertzberg’s Two-Factor Theory (1959) assists in explaining staff and volunteer motivation practices in International Food Event. Two-Factor Theory makes a clear distinction between hygiene factors and motivators.

Hygiene factors include salaries, adequate working conditions, appropriate management-employee relationships, acceptable levels of work-life balance etc. Hygiene factors are expected by employees to be in place and their presence may prevent dissatisfaction amongst employees.

However, the presence of hygiene factors is not sufficient for employee motivation and employee motivation can only be achieved through the application of motivator factors.

Accordingly, motivator factors to be applied in International Food Event include creating challenging, yet rewarding working environment, recognition of contribution of chefs, encouraging the sense of personal achievement due to the participation in the event etc.

Alternatively, the issues of motivation at the event can be explained using the framework of Theory X and Theory Y proposed by McGregor (1960). According to Theory X employees are viewed as irresponsible, idle, and lacking initiatives. Theory Y, on the other hand, acknowledges employees as self-motivated, disciplined and aiming to realise their full potential with mutual benefits for their career development, as well as, achievement of organisational aims and objectives.

Adherence to employee recruitment and selection process specified above ensures that only Theory Y individuals are attracted to International Food Event as employees and volunteers so that they do not have to be supervised in a constant and close manner during the event process. Moreover, assigning each event participant with specific responsibilities and granting decision-making powers in their areas of responsibility to a reasonable extent have positive effects on the level of their motivation to perform their duties effectively.

It is important to note that there are differences between motivating paid members of staff and motivating volunteers. These differences relate to the absence of monetary compensation to volunteers and this absence needs to be compensated with non-tangible motivational instruments.

A range of such instruments to be employed in International Food Event in relation to volunteers include communication of possibilities to make new friends and have fun, sense of contribution  in increasing the levels of cross-cultural awareness of event participants, and supporting a designated charity that will benefit from the sales of food and ingredients during the event.


McGregor, D. (1960) “The Human Side of Enterprise” McGraw-Hill

Category: HRM