Restaurant Managers’ Effect on Employee Motivation

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Abstract

The focus of the study was to investigate the effect that managers have on the motivation and performance of international and intercultural employees at restaurant business settings in the United States. Data was collected from both primary and secondary sources to inform the study. The research revealed that managers have immense influence on employee motivation. Factors such as communication approach, elimination of discrimination and racism, promotion of unity, and empowering of employees are some of the major factors that influence employee motivation and their performance. Managers have the mandate and power to influence these factors. The study recommends that managers should find different ways of motivating their workers as a way of enhancing their performance. In such a highly diversified environment, it is crucial to find ways of eliminating racism, discrimination, and similar vices that may create disunity within the organization.

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Introduction

The performance of employees in a given organization largely depends on their motivation within the workplace. According to Liu et al. (2019), a team of highly motivated workers tend to perform better than those who feel demoralized and dejected. Employee motivation depends on the management approach that an organization embraces. Leaders often have different approaches of guiding their followers to ensure that they achieve specific goals. Gooderham, Grøgaard, and Foss (2019) note that management style often influence motivation and performance of employees in a given setting. In this study, the researcher is interested in investigating the effect of managers on the motivation and performance of international and intercultural employees at restaurant business in the United States. The study will discuss how different management styles have varying impact on workers and their performance in a diverse workplace.

Background

Diversity in the workplace environment is becoming a concern in many organizations in the United States. Studies suggest that the country has made impressive steps in fighting racism in schools, workplaces, within the community, and various other socio-economic and political settings (Xie & Cooke, 2018). However, the problem still persists as many minority groups find themselves being victimized primarily because of their race or religion. Police brutality against blacks is one of the major indicators that the American society is yet to fully overcome the problem of racism. The same problem still persists in many other organizations even though they are not widely discussed.

In the restaurant business, just like in many other similar organizations in the country, it is not possible to employ workers of one race, gender or religion. Even if an organization decides to be racially homogeneous when hiring workers, it cannot restrict people of a given race from visiting the facility as clients. In such a case, the company will be unable to meet the diversified needs of customers. As such, many restaurants hire people of diverse races as a way of meeting different needs of its customers who are of varying socio-cultural practices. It is the only way through which such a company can remain relevant in a highly competitive business environment.

Managing a culturally diversified workforce may be a highly challenging undertaking. Boon, Eckardt, Lepak and Boselie (2018) explains that what one group of people considers a perfectly normal practice may be unacceptable to another group. Immigrants from China and parts of the Middle East find it normal when a manager users dictatorial leadership style. On the other hand, an employee born and brought up in the United States, United Kingdom, or France may detest such leadership approaches and may be demoralized. Finding a common way of balancing expectations and needs of employees in such a setting can be a demanding task. The investigation will analyze how managers can guide such a diversified workforce within a restaurant business setting to ensure that they remain motivated and capable of registering high performance.

Statement of the Problem

The United States is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world because of the increasing immigration that has persisted for over a century. Companies are finding it unavoidable to hire people from different cultural socio-cultural settings. Such a high level of diversity is particularly important because in most of the cases, these firms have to serve customers who have varying backgrounds. In the hospitality industry, diversity is a major concern that companies cannot ignore. Some cultural practices forbid eating of pork while others consider the same product as one of the best delicacies (Kenon & Palsole, 2019). Hiring workers from diverse background is the only way that a restaurant can manage to custom its products to meet such varying needs of clients.

Problem often arises when it comes to the management of employees with such diverse backgrounds. Differences may easily emerge among workers or between a specific employee and a supervisor. Creating an environment where such conflicts can be addressed is one of the most important responsibilities of a manager. Such leaders also have the challenge of developing a system where views, perceptions, and socio-cultural practices of employees do not affect the overall performance of an organization. As Rowley, Bae, Horak, and Bacouel-Jentjens (2017) explain, everyone should feel respected and accepted within the company despite their cultural diversity.

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Rationale

The rationale of conducting this study is to find out how managers can redefine their leadership strategies to ensure that they create an enabling environment for all their employees. It is evident that in the current business setting, it is not possible to avoid diversity (Sheldon & Sanders, 2016). Managers have the responsibility of ensuring that they manage it effectively in a way that benefits the firm instead of becoming an issue that compromise the overall performance. The study seeks to provide recommendations to managers in the restaurant business on how they can overcome challenges associated with diversity and ensure that they deliver the best results in assignments they are given.

Research Questions

The researcher considered it appropriate to develop specific research questions to help in the process of collecting primary data from various sources. The following research questions helped in defining data collected from both primary and secondary sources:

  1. What is the effect of managers on the motivation and performance of a culturally diverse workforce in the restaurant business in the United States?
  2. Do restaurant managers in the United States understand and value the significance of diversity in the workplace?
  3. What are the challenges that managers face when dealing with a culturally diverse workforce in the restaurant market?
  4. What can managers do to enhance motivation and performance of their employees in the workplace?

Nature and Importance of the Study

This study is quantitative in nature as it seeks to use statistical analysis to understand the effect that managers have on the motivation and performance of intercultural employees in the restaurant business within the country. The researcher will rely on both secondary and primary data to respond to the questions outlined above. This study is important to managers in the hospitality industry because it explains how they can deal with the issue of diversity in their organizations. The research explains how such organizations can use diversity as a strength that enables them to effectively meet varying needs of different customers in this industry.

Definition of Terms

The researcher used specific terms which should be defined at this stage of the study. The following are the terms, which were used extensively in this paper:

  • Diversity- existence in a variety of forms or ways (Conrad & Blackman, 2018).
  • Culture- norms, ideals, ideas, and social behavior of a given society or group of people (Campbell, 2017).
  • Intercultural- derived from varying cultures (Syed, Murray, Hislop, & Mouzughi, 2018).
  • Discrimination- prejudicial or unjust treatment of a group of people on the grounds of their gender, race, age, or religion (Brooks, 2018).
  • Racism- discrimination or antagonism against an individual or a group of people specifically on the basis of their race (Walker, 2019).

Assumptions and Limitations

When conducting this study, it was necessary for the researcher to make some assumptions. One of the major assumptions made was that all restaurants in the United States face similar diversity issues when handling their workers. It was also assumed that solutions proposed for one company can be applied to many other similar firms as long as they are operating in the same region. The researcher believes that respondents in this study had the capacity to provide accurate and reliable information based on their experience and knowledge.

Literature Review

The previous chapter has provided a detailed description of the background information and the goal of this study. In this section, the focus is to review existing literature on the topic to understand what other scholars have found out. According to Cao, Zhang, and Ma (2019), when conducting research, it is advisable to start by reviewing existing bodies of knowledge. It makes it possible to identify existing gaps that need further investigation. The review also eliminates cases where one duplicates already existing information.

Employee Motivation

Employee motivation is a field of study that has attracted the attention of many scholars over the recent past. Hewett, Shantz, Mundy, and Alfes (2018) define employee motivation as the level of energy, creativity, and commitment that workers within a company have towards assignments given to them. It is the desire to go beyond their normal expectations and to deliver best results even when they are not being monitored. It is the drive that workers have to help their company to achieve its goals and enhance sustainability despite the challenges that it may be facing. Motivation of employees is often defined by various factors within a company. As Brooks (2018) observes, many organizations desire to have self-driven workers who understand their responsibilities. However, it is necessary for managers to understand the fact that having such a team of motivated employees takes an effort.

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One of the factors that define employee motivation is the workplace environment that the management creates for its workers. Employees get motivated when they realize that they are respected by the superiors. They desire an environment where their opinion counts even when they are holding junior ranks. Some managers limit the ability of their workers to share new ideas about how to improve organizational performance. In such a system, creativity and innovativeness are factors that cannot be driven by the junior workers. Mayrhofer, Gooderham, and Brewster (2019) believe that empowering employees is one of the best ways of motivating them. They will always have the drive to try something new, knowing that their actions will neither be criticized nor be subjected to punishment as long as it can be proven that their focus was to enhance the overall performance.

Improved communication is another major factor that defines employee motivation. In a diversified business environment, cases of misinformation may be very common and can spread easily among workers. If not addressed immediately, it may cause major conflicts among stakeholders that may cripple a firm’s operations (Chiang, Lemański, & Birtch, 2017). It is the responsibility of the manager to create an environment where communication can flow freely among workers. Whenever a rumor emerges, the leadership of the organization should address it immediately through proper internal and external channels of communication. Having an open-door policy may also help in addressing the problem of miscommunication. Employees should have the ability of engaging top managers and seeking clarifications on issues that they do not understand. Doing so helps in building confidence and mutual trust between the management and workers.

Racism and discrimination can affect the motivation of employees in the workplace. The United States is one of the most diversified countries in the world (Lenssen & Smith, 2019). It is common to find cases where blacks, whites, Hispanics, Chinese, and Indians among other races are working in the same department. All of them expect that they will always be respected by their colleagues and that their race shall not be used against them. Addressing racism will help in promoting harmony in the workplace. Every worker will develop a sense of belonging despite the existence of a diverse socio-cultural background. They will focus on enhancing the ability of the company to realize its vision instead of focusing on personal differences. Figure 1 below shows the impact of diversity on employees in the United States.

How diversity affects employees
Figure 1. How diversity affects employees (Feliciano, 2020, para. 11).

Remuneration is a factor that cannot be ignored when one is focusing on employee motivation. Large multinational corporations such as Google and Apple Inc. have realized the significance of properly remunerating their employees as a way of enhancing their performance (Cooke, Liu, Liu, & Chen, 2019). The primary reason why people go to work is to earn enough income that can help them pay their bills. As such, it is common to find an employee moving from one firm to the other when they are promised better opportunities. When the management is keen on creating a team of highly motivated employees, they have to start by reviewing their salaries. This step not only helps in reducing cases of employee turnover. It also makes the workers motivated as they are assured of good pay. Figure 2 below shows that employees value employee’s commitment to diversity

Employees value employer’s commitment to diversity
Figure 2. Employees value employer’s commitment to diversity (Feliciano, 2020, para. 8).

Relationship between Employee Motivation and Their Performance

Employee’s performance is often linked closely to their motivation in the workplace. Marr (2019) explains that it is almost impossible for a team of highly demotivated employees to register impressive performance. Such workers will always be demoralized and would require constant supervision to perform even a simple task. They will be disoriented and uninterested in completing their assignments because they lack hope and do not share the vision of the organization. Managers in the restaurant business have to understand how motivated employees can record improved performance in their workplaces.

Motivated employees do not require constant and close supervision from their superiors. Such workers understand why it is important for them to undertake and complete a given task at the right time and in a given way. As long as they know what needs to be done and how to do it, they will not wait for the superiors to come and remind them of their work. They will always focus on improving their performance every time they undertake a given task (Frynas & Mellahi, 2015). In such an environment where time wastage is rare, the performance of workers will improve significantly.

Motivated workers tend to be more innovative and creative than their colleagues who lack motivation. Creativity requires a mind that is settled and driven by the desire to achieve a better outcome (Michelson, Boucher, Cheng, Huang, & Jia, 2018). As discussed above, when the management creates an environment where workers’ ideas are taken into consideration, they tend to be innovative. They will propose new ways of undertaking different tasks because they know the management will not only take them seriously but also reward them every time they come up with a new concept. A team of innovative workers tends to be highly productive in the workplace.

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Change management is another factor that defines the performance of employees at work. According to Phillips and Rozworski (2019), the ability of workers to embrace change is often defined by various factors, including having an innovative culture and a team of talented and highly motivated workers. As discussed above, in such an environment there is always a free flow of information and any form of miscommunication is often addressed before it can have any major impact on the workers’ performance. It means that even when a new practice or concept is to be introduced in a company, it is easy to convince them that they need to embrace it. The performance of such workers is less likely to drop when implementing change. In fact, every time change is introduced, their performance is likely to increase. The conceptual framework below helps in demonstrating the relationship.

Conceptual framework.
Figure 3. Conceptual framework.

Theoretical Concepts

In this section, the researcher focuses on various theories of leadership that explain strategies that some managers take when directing their employees. As Lasserre (2017) explains, different settings may require different approaches to management that a leader would need to understand. Different theories exist, but in this case, the focus will be on 4 common theories. They were selected based on their relevance to the specific topic in this study.

Transformational Leadership Theory

This theory of leadership has become popular in both public and private institutions around the world. It requires leaders to be charismatic and inspirational when directing subordinates. Such a leader must develop a personal relationship with junior officers to understand their strengths, weaknesses, desires, and capabilities. The leader is then expected to propel them to greater levels of performance by challenging their current performance and helping them to improve. Instead of issuing directives, such a leader is expected to work closely with the juniors and help them when they need assistance. Open communication is critical for a transformational leader irrespective of the setting.

In the restaurant business, transformational leadership is the kind of management needed to improve motivation and performance of employees. Using this strategy, a leader will assess the current capabilities of the workers then develop a way of improving that performance (Wang & Elfstrom, 2017). When the workforce is diversified, individualized attention to human resource management, as proposed by this theory, is of great significance. It allows the manager to treat each worker independently instead of having a generalized focus that limits one’s capacity to understand and appreciate diversity in the organization. The main challenge when using this form of leadership is that when an organization is large, it may not be possible for the top leader to engage and interact with all employees (Mockaitis, Zander, & Cieri, 2018). The best way of overcoming such a challenge is to devolve leadership to small units, each headed by supervisors who report to the top manager.

Transactional Leadership Theory

The transactional theory of leadership is another common concept of management that has become popular. As the name suggests, it focuses on achieving short-term goals when conducting specific transactions (Panibratov, 2017). Its application depends on the situation that a leader is facing at a specific time. Transactional leadership often uses the concept of reward versus punishment (Kennedy, 2017). Those who perform as per the expectation of the manager may be given some form of reward. On the other hand, those who fail to meet the set standards may be punished. The goal is to create an environment of urgency and to ensure that everyone puts all their effort towards achieving a given-short term goal. The strategy is meant to be used for a short period and for a specific goal.

This concept can be applied in defining leadership in a restaurant business in this country. When managing a team of highly diversified employees, there is always the risk that they may take too much time thinking about their differences instead of the common goal they need to achieve. They may end up failing to deliver expected goals because of such lack of focus. A transactional leader creates an environment where personal differences become of less value (Schawbel, 2018). Everyone has to focus on the task at hand to avoid punishment, and if possible, get the promised reward. It promotes unity and teamwork as people try to avoid engaging in activities that may hinder their performance.

Dictatorial Leadership Theory

The concept of dictatorial leadership has been in existence for centuries and it is still practiced in many contexts in current organizations. In this case, a leader monopolizes decision-making and issues directives that must be followed by everyone (Wang, Kim, Rafferty, & Sanders, 2020). There is no room for junior officers to give their opinion on how specific tasks should be handled. Instead, they have to obey their leader and ensure that at all times, they abide by policies and regulations set by the company. This concept of leadership can be effective when a leader is keen on achieving short-term goals in a diversified environment where having a common opinion may not be easy (Franco-Garci ́ a, Carpio, & Bressers, 2019). Instead of wasting a lot of time seeking different views from people who cannot agree on an issue, it is upon the leader to make the right decision and to ensure that other members of the organization follow such a directive.

This concept can be applied to manage diversity in the restaurant business in the United States. However, it should be applied on a short term basis to achieve a specific goal or to uproot a given undesirable practice. For instance, discrimination and racism may affect the motivation and performance of employees in such an environment (Kennedy, 2017). A dictatorial leader can issue instructions banning all forms of practices that may be viewed as being discriminative against anyone based on race, religion, gender, or any other demographic classification. Once such a directive is issued, the manager may have a strict supervisory guideline to ensure that no one disobeys the set policies. It may be necessary to use punitive measures to root out specific undesirable practices within the company.

Great Man Theory of Leadership

The theory has raised controversy among scholars over the years, but many agree with its principles. It holds the view that leaders are born with unique traits such as confidence, intellect, charm, social aptitude, and confidence, which make them great leaders (Wang & Elfstrom, 2017). Such leaders find it easy to guide followers even in highly challenging situations. Such individuals do not rely on what they learn to be successful managers. They have unique interpersonal skills that allow them to organize, influence, and coordinate activities of their juniors. They also find it easy to address controversies and conflicts among junior officers in their organizations.

The theory may not be as effective as the others discussed above in addressing the problem of diversity in American restaurants. Lasserre (2017) still believes that leadership can be learned, and anyone who fails to embrace new skills and knowledge simply because they have natural leadership skills may not fail to understand how to guide employees in this industry. The natural traits that they have are important, but that alone is not enough. They need to know what makes their employees unique and how they can use that uniqueness to achieve specific goals in the organization, especially when dealing with a diversified workforce.

Methodology

The previous chapter provided a review of the literature to help understand the effect that managers have on the motivation and performance of international and interracial employees. In this section of the, the primary goal is to explain the strategy that the researcher used to collect and process data from various sources (Valsiner, 2017). Secondary data was obtained from books and journal articles. They have formed the basis of the literature review chapter of this report. Primary data was collected from a team of interracial employees who have been working in local restaurants in this country. The chapter explains the variables, measures, the process of implementation and the conceptual framework.

Setting

The setting of this research is that of a local restaurant that hires a diversified workforce and serves customers of different backgrounds. In these facilities, it is common to find employees who are whites, blacks, Hispanics, Indians, and Chinese among others. The composition of their employees reflects the diversity of customers that they serve. In this setting, employees work on both permanent and non-permanent basis. However, they are all treated as part of the entire workforce of the facilities.

Participants

It was necessary to collect data from a sample of participants to facilitate statistical analysis of primary data. The researcher was interested in confirming information collected from secondary sources based on data from those who were interviewed. The researcher contacted the management of three local restaurants who agreed to take part in the study. They were contacted through phone calls and the researcher explained the significance of the research and the role that their institutions would play. They were requested to help reach out to some of their employees through various platforms and to request them to be part of the study. They agreed and helped the researcher to reach out to 50 participants. They were selected randomly based on their availability and willingness to take part in the data collection process. The researcher e-mailed them the questionnaire that has been developed so that they could respond to the questions and e-mail back the document.

It was necessary to identify employees of several U.S.-based restaurants located in urban centers characterized by a culturally heterogeneous population to complete a survey that was aimed at identifying their motivation and commitment. The decision to choose urban centers was guided by the knowledge that these are the most cosmopolitan places in the country. The researcher was keen on identifying managers’ leadership approaches and their knowledge about cultural intelligence. The researcher identified restaurants with over 30 employees because many smaller facilities often have a specific working environment, which can distort the findings. The researcher also excluded restaurants which have a clear cultural concept because such facilities often have culturally homogeneous staff. Because of the limited time and challenges of reaching out to participants physically because of COVID-19 restrictions, variables such as age, gender, and socioeconomic background respondents were not be explored.

Measures and Variables

When conducting this study, it was necessary to develop measures and identify variables that had to be observed. The researcher developed research questions that were meant to facilitate the process of collecting data from various sources. A questionnaire was used to help in ensuring that questions were harmonized. Factors such as age, gender, sexual orientation, and political affiliations were not given precedence in this study because of the limited time. The only variables considered were managerial factors (independent variables) that directly influence performance and motivation (dependent variables) of employees in a highly diversified workplace environment.

Analysis

Once data was collected from the sources discussed above, the next stage was the analysis. The information had to be processed to ensure that it makes sense and directly responds to the research questions. This was a quantitative study, and as such, data collected from the participants was analyzed statistically. The researcher coded the information from primary sources into a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet. Data was run and the outcome was presented in the form of graphs and charts to make it easy for interpretation. It is important to note at this stage that the researcher also relied on secondary data to support findings made from those who took part in the data collection process.

Implementation Process

The researcher collected primary data from sampled participants through an online survey. Every one of them was called, informed about the study, before the document was sent to them. They had one week to answer the few simple questions that were in the document and then send the document back through the same platform. After receiving the document from the participants, the next step was the analysis. The researcher used quantitative methods to process the data. The raw data were coded and then entered into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. The researcher presented the output of the study in the form of graphs and charts. Given the fact that there was more than one research question, each question had to be addressed individually even if the method for research is identical. That aspect of the analysis is discussed in the next chapter of this report.

Analysis and Discussion of Results

Chapter 3 of this report has provided an explanation of the method used to collect and process data from the respondents. In this chapter, the focus is to present findings made from the analysis of primary data. The aim of collecting and analyzing primary data was to respond to the questions presented in the first chapter of this document. The researcher had four questions that effectively captured the primary goal of the study. As mentioned in the previous chapter, each question was treated uniquely. The following are the questions used in the study and how participants responded to each of them based on how the question was framed.

What is the effect of managers on the motivation and performance of culturally diverse workforce in the restaurant business in the United States?

The first question focused directly on the topic of this study. The researcher was interested in determining the effect of managers on the motivation and performance of culturally diverse workforce in the local restaurants. The researcher asked participants if they believe that managers influence the motivation and performance of workers. Figure 2 below present the outcome of the analysis of primary data obtained from the participants. It shows that a majority of the respondents (92% or 46 out of 50) believe that managers have a significant influence on the motivation and performance of their workers. Another 4% stated that they were not sure about the issue, and another 4% stated that they disagree with this argument. Based on the majority of the response obtained from participants, it is evident that managers have a significant influence on the performance and motivation of their employees in the field of restaurant business.

Managers influence on employees’ motivation and performance.
Figure 4. Managers influence on employees’ motivation and performance.

Factors such as the leadership approach that a manager takes were identified as one of the major factors that define the motivation and performance of the employees. Respondents explained that they are often more motivated if the management engages them in policy-making and other major changes that take place in the company. They also expressed their resentment towards a dictatorial approach of leadership. They explained that in cases where managers define every action they take and do not allow them the opportunity to express their views, they get frustrated, demotivated, and less effective in their performance. They strongly believe in having an environment where everyone is respected irrespective of their race, gender, or religious affiliation. These participants believe that managers have the power of creating such a respectful and tolerant environment. They have the capacity to root out discriminative practices by enacting and strictly implementing policies meant to enhance unity.

Do restaurant managers in the United States understand and value the significance of diversity in the workplace?

The researcher was interested in determining whether restaurant managers in the United States understand the value and significance of diversity in the workplace. Respondents were asked to state if they agree with the statement that their managers value the significance of diversity. Only 16% of the participants stated that they strongly agree with that statement. Another 24% noted that they agree with the statement. It means that less than half of the participants (40%) believe that these managers understand and value diversity in the workplace. Another 10% stated that they are not sure about the commitment of managers towards workplace diversity. 40% of the participants disagree with the argument while another 10% strongly disagree. Figure 3 below summarizes the response obtained from these participants. It is apparent that a significant number of these participants believe that managers in these organizations do not value the significance of diversity.

Do managers value diversity?
Figure 5. Do managers value diversity?

The ability of the management to protect diversity in the workplace depends on how well they value it. Managers who cherish diversity will enact laws to protect it and to punish anyone who goes against the set regulations. They understand that the ability of their organizations to deliver quality services to their customers depends on how diversified the workplace is, especially those responsible for the production and handling of customers. Only youth will understand the needs and expectations of a fellow young person who is a customer. They go through the same things in society and are in the best position to understand what these clients need. Similarly, only a female employee can perfectly understand the fears, concerns, and expectations of a fellow customer who visits the restaurant. They can easily relate to them and ensure that their experience is as memorable as it possibly can be (Brooks, 2018). When a manager fails to understand such level of significance of diversity in the workplace, they will not focus on protecting it. Such a restaurant may end up failing to meet the diversification needs that can enable it to operate optimally. In such a case, some clients who feel that their needs cannot be adequately met in the organization would consider shifting their loyalty to a different company.

What are the challenges that managers face when dealing with a culturally diverse workforce in the restaurant market?

The majority of restaurants in the country are run by individuals with some background in business management. These managers understand the significance of motivating employees. However, that does not mean all of them are always committed to this practice. In fact, some often consider hiring illegal immigrants who can easily be mistreated and forced to overwork without complaining. Figure 4 below presents the outcome of primary data analysis obtained from respondents. It shows that 18% of the participants strongly believe that their organization is doing enough to motivate employees. Another 42% believe that it is true, which means that a slight majority (60%) believe that something is going on in their companies to ensure that employees are motivated. 18% stated that they are not sure of the initiatives of the management. Another 16% disagree while 6% strongly disagreed with the argument that the effort of the management towards motivating employees is satisfactory.

Effort of the management in motivating employees.
Figure 6. Effort of the management in motivating employees.

Some managers fail to understand their role in motivating and empowering their employees. As Gopinath (2018) observes, employee motivation goes beyond offering good remuneration. Although many individuals prefer working for well-paying organizations, they are also concerned about their social welfare. They prefer working in places where they feel respected, loved, and protected. Their views about the progress and changes happening in the company should count. These employees prefer working in companies where they can be innovative in whatever they do. It means that issues such as flexibility and effective communication system are critical in enhancing the motivation of workers. When a manager fails to understand the responsibility of creating an effective communication system, they limit the level of motivation of workers. The outcome of such an environment is that the majority of employees will underperform (Brooks, 2018). A vicious cycle is created where the underperformance would lead to further dissatisfaction, which again would deteriorate the performance. If the vicious cycle is not cut, the outcome would be having a workforce that cannot meet the basic goals of the organization.

What can managers do to enhance the motivation and performance of their employees in the workplace?

The fourth question focused on addressing challenges associated with lack of motivation and employee performance in the workplace. The researcher started addressing this question by asking participants if they are satisfied as employees of their current organization. It is evident that the level of satisfaction among the participants varies significantly. 32% of the participants stated that they are satisfied, while 40% observed that they are dissatisfied. It means that the number of those who are not satisfied is higher than those who are satisfied. The statistics show that most of these restaurants are not doing enough to protect the interest of their employees. The remaining 28% explained that they classify their level of satisfaction as neutral. They do not believe that they are satisfied but at the same time, they cannot state that they are dissatisfied. In such cases, Goldberg (2018) explains that these employees feel that their organization is meeting their bare minimum expectations. They hold onto such organizations as long as they believe they lack an alternative way of earning their income. They can easily exit such a company when they are assured of a better alternative.

Level of employee satisfaction.
Figure 7. Level of employee satisfaction.

Managers can take various steps to ensure that their employees are satisfied in the workplace. One of the ways of enhancing employee satisfaction is to increase their salaries. As a company grows, it is advisable for an organization to ensure that its workers also experience growth. A small increase in salary can significantly increase the performance of a worker. Promoting the culture of unity and respect to the diversity in the organization. Many companies currently have to deal with a workplace that is highly diversified. When faced with such a situation, it is advisable for the management to have a system where people respect and value one another. It is also the responsibility of the leadership of an organization to ensure that there is an environment where communication flows freely from the top-to-bottom and back, and among workers at a horizontal level. Effective communication fosters cohesion and helps in fighting rumors that can destroy the progress of a company.

Regression Analysis of the Collected Data

The purpose of the present research was to determine whether there is, indeed, a correlation between the attitude of the management and the employees’ performance. During the present research, it was possible to collect evidence from a range of heterogeneous teams who evaluated their managers. The ability to provide recommendations regarding effective motivation strategies can reflect the practical value of this study. However, it is important to determine whether there is a positive correlation between managers’ attitudes and their multicultural teams’ motivation and performance levels. Regression analysis is a useful instrument in this respect, as it enables a clear visual presentation of the discussed issue. The information collected through surveys and questionnaires in the course of the present study can be given numerical value in order to organize the results in a convenient form. Accordingly, regression analysis was performed at a later stage of the research in order to support the conclusions it draws.

The primary idea of regression analysis is to determine whether the degree to which one aspect of the discussed issue influences another one. The first is considered to be an independent variable, as it is not put under any influence. On the contrary, the independent variable will be the one affecting the dependent one. One may assume that there is a certain degree of influence the first aspect has on the second one, but solid evidence is required to prove it. If there is an actual correlation between a manager’s behavior in a multicultural work environment and their employees’ performance, regression analysis will reflect this dependence. The analysis will be based on study results presented in the previous sections and based on the questionnaires, which had been distributed among the participants.

While the data presented earlier does not have a particular numerical value, it appears possible to attribute one. In this case, managerial factors will play the role of an independent variable (or x-axis). This aspect will be calculated depending on the respondents’ opinions regarding the managers’ efforts to motivate their teams presented in Chapter 4, Figure 6. The question was, “Do you believe your organization is doing enough to motivate its employees?” There were five possible answers, and each one can be transformed into a numerical form: Strongly disagree (0), Disagree (25), Not sure (50), Agree (75), Strongly Agree (100). Its influence will be determined in relation to the dependent variable (y-axis), determined by the employees’ reported level of satisfaction. This data was provided in Chapter 4, Figure 7. Each answer will also be given a numerical value: Highly Dissatisfied (0), Dissatisfied (25), Neutral (50), Satisfied (75), and Highly Satisfied (100). The regression analysis presented in Figure 8 considers these variables, outlining the general dependency between the quality of management and employees’ satisfaction.

Regression Analysis of Employee Satisfaction Depending on Managers’ Efforts.
Figure 8. Regression Analysis of Employee Satisfaction Depending on Managers’ Efforts.

The regression analysis presented in Figure 8 demonstrates an evident tendency, which confirms previous findings discussed in this research. In order to prepare the chart, questionnaire responses were compared and attributed a numerical value. At the next stage, each response in one questionnaire was compared to the same person’s response in the other. Consequently, the coordinates are assigned based on the combination of two answers related to perceived managerial efforts and personal satisfaction with one’s job. Next, Figure 8 was prepared using Microsoft Excel in order to present the findings in a convenient visual form.

The results demonstrate that in the vast majority of cases, the numerical value of the x-axis (perceived managerial efforts) corresponded with the numerical value of the y-axis (personal employee satisfaction). For example, if a person deems the leadership’s work on team motivation sufficient (75), they are most likely to demonstrate general satisfaction at their workplace. Simultaneously, if an individual completely disagrees that the management has been doing enough to motivate them, they will be dissatisfied in the vast majority of cases. Nevertheless, there are several diverging combinations, which do not fit in the general trend. Most of them demonstrate a negative tendency, according to which an employee may remain dissatisfied despite seemingly sufficient efforts of the management. It is possible to assume that these individuals remain under the influence of external, objective factors, which prevent their workplace experience from reaching optimal levels. The same reasons may explain several positive divergences, in which employees generally remain satisfied with their work, despite doubting the sufficiency of managers’ efforts.

Overall, the small number of deviations appears to confirm the generally observed tendency. According to the presented regression analysis, employees’ levels of satisfaction depend entirely on their motivation. In addition, the concept itself remains highly subjective, and it is difficult for a person to measure their satisfaction. Nevertheless, it is still possible to determine the correlation through the prism of the perceived efforts, which the management makes to ensure their workers’ motivation. This correlation underlines the importance of a positive workplace atmosphere, as it promotes employee satisfaction, which, in turn, has a direct impact on a firm’s performance. Therefore, the issue of interpersonal relations and effective management in relation to multicultural environments deserves further, in-depth research.

Summary and Conclusions

The performance of employees directly depends on the level of motivation that they have. As shown in the discussion above, when employees are highly motivated, they tend to register impressive performance as opposed to cases where they feel dejected. Various factors can influence employee motivation, but in this study, the focus was on managers. It was necessary to determine the effect that managers have on employee motivation and performance in an intercultural environment. The focus was narrowed to the restaurant business in the United States. The investigation revealed that managers have a great influence on the motivation and performance of employees in an interracial restaurant business environment. They have the power to fight discrimination and racism by enacting and enforcing various policies. They also have the capacity to create an internal system of communication that can foster unity and team spirit.

Project Limitations

The project had some limitations and challenges which are worth discussing at this stage. One of the biggest challenges was the inability to physically interact with respondents. The current COVID-19 pandemic made it impossible to interact with the participants because of the containment measures. It meant that the researcher had to find alternative ways of collecting the needed data. Secondary data sources played a critical role in informing this study. However, it was essential to find a small number of people to participate in primary data collection. The process of reaching out to these individuals was complex and the researcher could only meet a small number because of these challenges.

Recommendations and Suggestions for Further Study

Findings made in this study revealed that managers have immense power to influence motivation and performance of intercultural employees. The problem is that most of them have failed to take the necessary steps to fight racism, discrimination, and other vices that may negatively influence employees’ performance. The study recommends the following:

  • Managers should formulate and strictly enforce policies that prohibit discriminatory practices and statements that may breed disunity;
  • Managers should use both monetary and non-monetary strategies to ensure that employees remain motivated at work;
  • Creating an environment where employees can easily communicate is critical for enhancing employee motivation;
  • Managers should use the diversity of employees to understand how to deliver quality services to diversified customers.

The researcher believes that future scholars have a major role to play in enriching this field of study. One area that the researcher feels still remains unexplored is how employees themselves can help managers to understand the nature of the diversity and how it can be used to enhance organizational performance. These workers can assist their superiors to understand their unique traits and how it can help in enhancing the success of company.

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