Nando’s — Happy People are the Key

In: BlogDate: Jun 25, 2013By: Henry Stewart

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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Henry Stewart, Founder and Chief Happiness Officer

Henry is founder and Chief Happiness Officer of Happy Ltd, originally set up as Happy Computers in 1987. Inspired by Ricardo Semler’s book Maverick, he has built a company which has won multiple awards for some of the best customer service in the country and being one of the UK’s best places to work.

Henry was listed in the Guru Radar of the Thinkers 50 list of the most influential management thinkers in the world. "He is one of the thinkers who we believe will shape the future of business," explained list compiler Stuart Crainer.

His first book, Relax, was published in 2009. His second book, the Happy Manifesto, was published in 2013 and was short-listed for Business Book of the Year.

You can find Henry on LinkedIn and follow @happyhenry on Twitter.

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