How To Demotivate Your Staff

Here’s another piece of great advice for you managers and leaders from Inc Magazine.

(The picture is of our Chanters Lodge assistant manager Annastasia Katele receiving her certificate after attending a recent conference on social media in marketing.)

“I discovered my first lesson in how not to motivate people at the bottom of a kitchen sink. In 1986, when I was 16 years old, my friend and I worked as dishwashers at the local Friendly’s restaurant in the King of Prussia Mall. One day our manager told us that if we worked hard over the course of the next month, he would promote one of us from the steamy back room to the coveted mall window spot. The mall window spot was the dream job that turned a run-of-the-mill teenage boy into a blue-and-white-checked-polyester-shirt-wearing God of Ice Cream Charisma.

For the next few weeks I worked harder than I had ever before. At the end of the month, my manager pulled me into his office. “Chris,” he said, “you worked really hard and I appreciate that. ” I was sure I had the job locked up. Right before I was about to tell him that I had been practicing wrist rolling techniques for the perfect application of jimmies on a double scoop, he let the hammer down. “I can’t give you the job.”

I was stunned. “You’re the best little dishwasher we’ve ever had.  I need you,” he said. I quit a few weeks later. I never forgot the lesson that hard work does not always earn the promotion.

I don’t ever want to be like that manager who squashed an enthusiastic employee’s morale because he couldn’t see past his own needs.

Here are five things I try not to do:

1.  Create competitions in which one employee will be promoted and the other won’t.You may think it’s a great way to create internal competition but someone is going to lose and hold a grudge against you, the winner, and the company. Instead look for win-win ways to develop your whole team.

2.  Be blind to your employees’ goals, dreams, and job satisfaction.The more you know about what motivates your employees and the more interest you have in their happiness and success, the more they will bring that enthusiasm to work. Even if you can’t provide a job for them that satisfies 100% of their hopes and desires there are always ways to incorporate what they love into what they do.

3.  Hold someone back because he does his job well.
Have you ever said to yourself: “He is sooo good at what he does that I can’t afford to change his position”? Be honest. If so, start planning to help your employees grow and grooming others under them, or you will probably lose them.

4.  Reward just the squeaky wheels.Squeaky wheels often get the grease, it’s true. But there are also folks who don’t self-promote but deserve development and congratulations nonetheless. Do you know who they are? What are you doing to recognize them.

5.  Assume an employee doesn’t understand the bigger picture.
In my case, the manager chose not to help me understand how I fit into the overall success of the restaurant. He communicated that I was important only in so far as the work was concerned-;but he really could care less about me on a broader level. Most people want their work to make a vital contribution. It’s the leaders job to help them see how to get there and to show them a path that has potential successes along the way.

by Chris Mittelstaedt:


Just Hats!

When I was general manager of The Ridgeway Hotel in Lusaka (now Southern Sun Ridgeway Hotel) in Lusaka, Zambia, the Head Chef, Samson Chindakwa, came to my office to complain that he did not have enough kitchen staff. 
My reaction was that last time I’d been through the kitchen there seemed to be plenty of cooks, so after making this point to him and hearing his denial, I said “very well, let’s go to the kitchen and see how many cooks there are there now”, he agreed and together we went to the kitchen.

When we reached the place there seemed to be at least fifteen cooks, all in pristine white uniforms with their tall chef’s hats.

 “Look Samson” I said  “there are so many cooks in here already why do you want more?”.

“You see boss” he replied “some of them are just hats!”


Trip Advisor Certificate Of Excellence 2013

As reported earlier in the week, we were delighted to receive a Certificate Of  Excellence for 2013 (pictured) for Chanters Lodge. We would like to take this chance on the blog to say thank you to all the Guests who took time to review our operation during the year, particularly those who gave us ‘5 Stars’, but also those who pointed out where we could improve. Guests see the operation so clearly and their advice is invaluable.

On a personal note I would like to thank each and every one of the eleven workers at the lodge for their contribution – almost every Guest checking out of the lodge compliments us on the care and courtesy of the workers. They are a very hard working team led by Annastasia, Susan and Melinda but each and every one has played their part. They are also now a long serving and loyal work force!

There is fierce competition in Livingstone these days in the ‘lodge business’ – there is, most of the time more supply than demand brought about by the resurgence of Zimbabwe as a destination as well as the mushrooming of small lodges and guest houses in Livingstone. We regard good reviews on Trip Advisor as ‘money in the bank’ in terms of marketing and once again we say a big thank you to all the Guests who have contributed their thoughts.


Dr Joanna Lewis

We were delighted to welcome Dr Joanna Lewis (pictured above) as our Guest on the most recent edition of The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring Kaufela. That’s the weekly Sunday night radio show on Zambezi 107.7 fm sponsored by our lodge, featuring latest Zambian and international music interspersed by conversation with our Guest of the week. The show’s been running since 2007 and is popular locally – partly because we give away a dinner for two at the lodge every week if a lucky listener can text us the name of the artist singing our ‘oldie of the week’. No-one won on this week’s show – the track we played was ‘It’s Not Unusual’ by Tom Jones – at the request of our Welsh Guest – but it was just too old for our young Zambian audience to know the artist! We promised to make the question easier on the next show, and we will!

Joanna had been in Livingstone for more than a week in the last stages of hosting and organizing an important international academic conference about David Livingstone, to coincide with the 200th Anniversary of his birth. She told listeners that she is a lecturer in African History and African Affairs at the London School of Economics and Political Science and that this was her fourth visit to Zambia. Single, but “devoted to her boyfriend”, an officer in the British Army, Joanna said she had no children but was a full time aunty to her niece and nephew, Olivia and Thomas whom she greeted on air.

Milli Jam wanted to know more about the conference held during the week and Joanna told him that the meeting had been addressed by international experts, as well as Zambian delegates from University of Zambia all with specialist knowledge of David Livingstone. Some contributors were Ben Di Ponti, who had actually trekked the 1000 kms across Africa following Livingstone’s footsteps, as well as Julie Davidson, a travel writer, who had recently published a book about Livingstone’s wife. Others included John Mackenzie, Keith Hart and Gary Clendennen. “What’s the verdict on Livingstone?” Asked Milli Jam. “Very mixed!” Joanna’s reply.

The music on the show was up to date as usual. We opened with Avril Lavigne’s new hit back to back with Rudimental’s UK number one featuring Ella Eyre ‘Waiting All Night’. George chose Zambian tracks by Chef ft Afunika and Pilato – ‘Kumwesu’ as well as Exile with ‘Nganalikwebele’. Milli Jam served up offerings from Ne-Yo as well as ft Justin Bieber. My pick of the week was Time Bandit’s ‘Mozart’s House’ and we closed with Drake’s ‘Girls Love Beyonce’.

Joanna told listeners that she rather prefers rugby to soccer but when it came to English football clubs her preference was Arsenal, her favourite player ‘Theo Walcott’. ‘All the girls love Theo’ she added. Being Welsh she also likes Swansea City. Music wise our doctor said she liked classical and gospel music but she was certainly foot tapping to the tracks we played on air! Asked where she would like to be and what she would like to be doing ten years’ from now Joanna said she would like to be a world famous novelist with a string of successful novels to her name, retired and enjoying a drink!

Joanna took the opportunity to thank on air all of the contributors to the successful conference, as well as the staff at Chanters Lodge where she said she and her colleagues had been very happy to stay.


‘Boss Lady’ Bosses ‘The Experience’!

“You’ve brought ‘The Boss Lady’ to the show!” exclaimed Milli Jam happily when Annastasia Katele and I walked into the studios of Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station, for the latest edition of the ‘Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring Kaufela’. The Experience is our weekly Sunday night radio show, comprising a cool mixture of international and Zambian music with lively chat between tracks, airing from 20.30 – 21.30 hrs CAT to a 70 km radius around Livingstone, as well as streaming live on the internet.

Anny doesn’t need much introduction (there she is in the photo above with ‘Kaufela’) to regular blog readers and supporters of Chanters Lodge. She told listeners that she’d been the assistant manager at Chanters for the past three years and had actually been employed at the lodge for the past 10 – it would be her 10th anniversary in May. “The lodge will have been open for 15 years in July” I said, “we’d better have a party in June to celebrate both ‘birthdays’!” “Oh yes!” said the presenters eagerly, who are always up for a party, drinks or lunch, whatever might be available! Anny explained that she had first joined the lodge as a trainee, following her catering course at the Youth Community Training Centre in Livingstone, and had then proceeded to work in the kitchen, restaurant, housekeeping and reception sections before her promotion to assistant manager. Milli Jam wanted to know the biggest challenge in her job. “Those girls!” Anny exclaimed apparently referring to the rest of the ‘Chanters Girls’- our staff! “They don’t give me any problems” I commented helpfully, some would say snidely! “You’re a man!” said Anny, pointedly.

The music on this edition of the show was seriously ‘latest’. ‘White Noise’ from Disclosure back to back with Gabrielle Aplin’s ‘Please Don’t Say You Love Me’ opened the programme. George played two tracks from Pompi’s popular new Zambian album ‘Mizu’ meaning ‘Roots’ – a charming blend of songs sung in both vernacular and English. Milli Jam dropped tracks from Swedish House Mafia and his favourite Ne-Yo. Our oldie of the week was ‘Step By Step’ from Whitney Houston and the prize awarded to the first listener to text us the name of the performing artist was quickly snapped up. My pick of the week was Avicii vs Nicky Romero’s ‘I Could Be The One’ – debuting at number one in UK as we went on air.

Anny told listeners that she has a daughter Maryam age 14 currently in Grade 9 and doing well in school. Her favourite music is gospel (despite her Islamic faith) and R&B – her favourite singer Chris Brown – and her favourite football team Arsenal. She told listeners that a large part of her job was recommending and booking activities for Guests, saying that the sunset cruise and one day safari to Chobe were amongst the most popular, as well as swimming in Devil’s Pool in the dry season. She expressed the wish that operators were more timely with their payments! I concurred! The presenters wanted to know why ‘The Boss Lady’ spent more time at the front desk than in her super office. “I love company!” she said and so she does.

Asked where she would like to be and what she would like to be doing in ten years’ time, Annastasia said she would love to own her own restaurant as she loved cooking! I’m sure she will – in the meantime we hope she continues to be the loyal, honest, hard working and talented manager she has become at Chanters Lodge!


Happy Birthday Annie!

Wishing our assistant manager at Chanters Lodge, Livingstone Annastasia Katele (above) a very happy birthday today! Annie has worked at the lodge for more than ten years, starting as a young trainee waitress and working up to her present important position in our team. Miss Annie (as she is known to the other girls) is very hard working, friendly but tough! She is calm when the owner is not and has bouncebackability!

The place wouldn’t be the same without her and we wish her a very happy day with her family – she has a day off to celebrate!


Junior Returns!

Today we’re happy to welcome Junior Sililo (above left) back from her one month’s annual leave. The photo was taken when she appeared with Monica Chalumba (another valuable member of staff) on our weekly radio show, the Chanters Lodge Experience, some time back.

Junior has been with Chanters Lodge since April 2005. She is head waitress at the moment but has been head chef in her time with us, as well as standing in at front office when those chaps are on annual leave. Junior recently resat 3 subjects at Grade 12 so she, and we, are keeping fingers crossed for excellent results due out soon.


Dr Margaret Sherrat

Dr Margaret Sherrat (above), Guest on the most recent edition of The Chanters Lodge Experience with The Milli Jam Ingredient told us before we went on air ‘I don’t want to talk about myself’! And indeed she did not! We did manage to garner that she was a doctor in an inner city practice in the city of Newcastle in the north east of England, that she had been doing the job for some thirty years and that it was a pretty tough assignment. We also gathered that she was active in her church and that one way or another she had done a lot for charitable causes, the vulnerable and for people with problems. We loved her humility as she started to tell listeners all about how difficult it was to live in the north of England in the middle of winter when all the ice and snow made getting to work so difficult!

Margaret was staying at Chanters Lodge with a friend from England of Zimbabwean origin and told listeners that she had found out about our lodge from two guide books – Lonely Planet and Bratt’s Guide to Zambia. She and her friend were happy with the lodge and the friendly staff. They had been to see Victoria Falls from both sides of the border and had been amazed at its size and beauty. They had taken a sunset cruise on the Zambezi from the Zimbabwean side which they had enjoyed, especially as they had seen a lot of wildlife in and on the banks of the river. They had clambered down to the boiling point by rapid number one on the Zambian side, and Margaret told listeners that this had reminded her of fell or mountain walking in UK which was one of her hobbies.

Dr Sherrat explained that she preferred classical music and that her favourite composer was Chopin. On this show we gave her some of the latest international and Zambian popular music from artists such as Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Eminem and Adam Levine. George dropped tracks from Mampi as well as Angozed a Zambian/Angolan combo with a great track translated as ‘Move Your Body’. We speculated that the Chanters Girls listening back at the lodge would be doing exactly that! Milli Jam featured tracks from Flo-Rida with Sia and Far East Movement. Our oldie of the week was Redemption Song by Bob Marley and the prize we give to the first person to text us the name of the performing artist was quickly won. Our pick of the week was Biffy Clyro’s ‘Black Chandelier’ and we closed with Robyn’s electrifying ‘Dancing On My Own’.

Margaret told listeners that she and her friend had really enjoyed their game drive in the Mosi-o-Tunya NP that day and had seen a whole variety of different game including elephant, giraffe and hippo. She hoped that when they went to Chobe NP in Botswana the following day they would see lion, but I warned her that it was a bit of a lottery. She explained that she had travelled quite widely to countries as far apart as America, Bangladesh and South Africa, including visits to India. She rented rooms to students in Newcastle and had made lots of friends that way. She explained that she was involved with Food Banks in England and told us how the system operated to help people with financial challenges to eat regular meals.

Asked where she would like to be and what she would like to be doing in ten years’ time, Margaret said that she was not sure, but volunteering in Africa was one thing that came to mind.


Room Renovations

In 2012 we completed renovations of three of our eleven rooms at Chanters Lodge, Livingstone, one in the ‘main house’ which was the last of the three original rooms we opened in 1998 to be completely renovated.

We then turned our attention to the four Lukulu Crescent rooms opened in 2004 and managed to completely renovate two of them, before being hit by a rather a bleak mid-November to mid-December business wise, that curtailed our activities. Following this unusually difficult period we had a reasonably good festive season.

This morning we are happy to report that we have started renovation of the third of the four Lukulu Crescent rooms, and the picture above shows the workers starting to break the bedroom floor tiles. These will be replaced with a larger lighter, brighter ceramic floor tile. A new toilet and pedestal wash hand basin are to be fitted in the shower room and the floor and walls of the shower room will be completely retiled. New drainage arrangements, tap and towel rail fittings to match.

We were happy with the results of our renovation in the first two Lukulu rooms and I’m sure room five will turn out just as well. It gets slightly easier as you go along, as the team are aware of the requirements from the previous work. We will keep you posted!

Page 2 of 6 12345...»