Nov 17 2023

Positive Messaging Drives Positive Business Change

Written by Orderly Marketing

Within your food and beverage business, only one thing is guaranteed — constant change.

Luckily, business change is a well-explored area. Books on the topic abound, with “Who Moved My Cheese?”, the motivational fable probably the most well-known, in which two mice realised that when their ‘cheese station’ disappears, they need to not only anticipate change but adapt and explore new avenues.

But there’s more than simply expecting employees to adapt. Dealing with any change means understanding the psychological, emotional, and practical aspects.

Here are a few to bear in mind before you make your next change, however big or small.

People care what others think. 

Your personality is who you are when you aren’t being watched. But we can all be guilty of being less than our best selves if we think we will get away with it.

Take the water after festivals here in the UK. This demonstrates what is known as the picnic effect, where we are less likely to pick up after ourselves outside of our own areas.

How do we combat this? In the UK it’s now common to see signage in public parks that say, ‘Most people take their litter home with them’.

In a business, it means making the most of The Social Comparison Theory, as presented by Festinger in 1954 and elaborated on by Wood in 1989. This posits that individuals evaluate their beliefs, abilities, and reactions by comparing them with those of others. Simply, what other people do matters, and you need ways to allow people to draw their own comparisons of where they fit vs their peers.

Are they being wasteful? A good employee? A TOP employee?

Games and competitions that provide feedback on employees’ performance relative to their peers can make the most of our natural competitive natures, driving them to excel and accept changes that lead to improved rankings or recognition within the organisation.

Remind people they are good, and they will be good. 

We like to be reminded we are good people. Most people say they are better than average drivers. While statistically, this can’t be true, we respond well when we feel we are reasonable people acting logically.

That’s why brands like TUI have used wording in their rooms to discourage wasteful over washing of towels unnecessarily, such as “Reuse me again tomorrow. Just like at home.”

They really work, with savings for just one hotel of 129,000 litres of water, CO₂ emissions being cut by 1,676 kg with a re-use rate for bath towels increased to 49.4 per cent. Importantly, when it wasn’t reminding them of their usual good behaviour, that was only an increase of 38.6 per cent. Take time to remind them how good they already are!

A spoonful of sugar…

We are all consistent. The only problem is, it’s with our past behaviour. While the jury is out on how long it takes to form a habit, we know that getting the ball rolling really helps and for many, money talks. Sometimes, it helps to sweeten the deal with financial incentives.

A recent report into incentives and driving change in top hotels gave us food for thought on this topic. HyunJeong “Spring” Han and Rohit Verma, “The Future of Trade Shows: Evolving Trends, Preferences, and Priorities,” Cornell Hospitality Report, Vol. 14, No. 13 has revealed that rewards and incentives could help get more people on board with green initiatives.

From analysing adoption of sustainability programmes in hotels, it was shown that travellers who do not participate would be willing to do so if they were given incentives.

“Although many guests’ green behaviour is motivated by their personal beliefs, the survey found that others would respond to rewards, including frequent guest points or food vouchers. More than 80 percent of guests who are not currently participating (about one-third of those responding) stated that they would take action if rewards were offered.”

Many hotel chains have already experimented with incentives. A few years ago, the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark, offered a free meal to guests who would generate 10 watt-hours of electricity on the gym bicycle. Starwood added an innovative twist to its towel and linens reuse program at many hotels by rewarding customers’ participation with a $5 voucher for food and beverage or a similar amount of loyalty points.

It can work for guests paying to be there, so it can work for employees. A small sweetener could be just the ticket to a more palatable taste of your next big business change.

Can we help? 

Our software can support you in identifying and decreasing food waste, for improved profits and outcomes, while offering gamification to engage staff in waste loss activities.

Contact Orderly to learn how your food and beverage chain can accurately report on food loss and waste and drive real change in your business.