Nando’s is a popular restaurant chain in the UK, specialising in spicy chicken. Some years ago they undertook research to find out what were the key factors that explained why sales at some of their restaurants grew faster than at others.

After detailed analysis they found one factor stood out above all others in explaining the difference. This was how happy the staff were, as measured in the annual staff survey. As a result they changed their managers’ bonuses so that 50% was based solely on those staff survey results.

Nando’s still wanted to maximise growth and profits, of course. However, they believed that the way to achieve that was not to target these elements but instead to target the key factor that creates growth and profits, namely how happy its staff were. They sent a clear message to their managers: ‘Your key focus should be on making your staff happy’.

This was explained by Nando’s HR specialist Marcelo Borges in a presentation to the Learning & Skills Council in 2006.

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