The importance of employee motivation
A J.D Wetherspoon case study

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Page 5: Training and development

J D Wetherspoon 7 Image 2The company believes in creating a highly committed and motivated workforce made up of people who achieve personal fulfilment through the freedom to act given to them in their daily work. The company sees its workforce as a prime organisational asset that is motivated through a positive organisational culture, pay and benefits, as well as training and development.

J D Wetherspoon recognises that many of its employees will not stay with it for all their working lives, but it wants its employees to develop a sense of loyalty. It pays a rate above that of its competitors, in the belief that employees are more likely to be motivated when they know they are being paid more than the minimum required. The company also bases its pay on reviews of performance, so that the higher pay reflects its positive view of the worth of its employees.

Employee retention

J D Wetherspoon 7 Image 5The company does well at keeping its employees. It feels that its good rates of pay and proper treatment of its workforce are major contributors to this success, which reduces ongoing training costs and also creates a body of committed people. The company has a bonus scheme. All staff receive a bonus, dependant on the performance of the pub where they work. The company also runs a number of incentive schemes eg a monthly draw for examples of excellent customer care, with a paid holiday for two in New York for the winner.

The company also operates a share option scheme enabling employees to buy shares at a guaranteed price. By holding shares in the company, employees are likely to feel a greater sense of belonging and will want to see the company do well. Wetherspoon’s training and development programme is a combination of ‘on the job’ and ‘off the job’ training courses. Wetherspoon’s training focuses on career progression and links training to national qualifications. The company is justifiably proud of its record, in that:

  • 54% of pub management began as hourly paid Associates
  • 40% of area managers were once pub     managers
  • 50% of Wetherspoon’s board were area managers.

The company encourages all employees to feel that if they show the right qualities then they will receive the support they need to advance their careers within the organisation.
Wetherspoon understands the importance of enabling employees to gain relevant qualifications recognised at a national level. In particular, training is closely linked to qualifications offered by the British Institute of Innkeeping, including areas such as licensing law, food hygiene and health and safety.

National Vocational Qualifications also feature heavily in training. Employees are encouraged to identify their own development needs and the company seeks to provide appropriate development opportunities. The company also supports professionally recognised training eg in the fields of accountancy, law and personnel management.

J.D Wetherspoon | The importance of employee motivation