Category Archives: Keeping the Staff Pumped

Ten Ways to Motivate Beyond Money

Staffing continues to be a challenge for most centers.  It’s frustrating enough that there are slim picking when it comes to candidates to hire, and then you have to overcome the hurdle of them actually showing up for the interview.  If you’ve been fortunate enough to select, interview and hire for openings at the center, the challenges aren’t over.  Will they actually report for work?  If so, will they be engaged or motivated to work and provide the level of service the customers expect and deserve or are they simply there to collect a paycheck?  This might be one of the biggest issues centers are currently facing! Employee engagement reflects the involvement and enthusiasm of employees.  According to the State of the Global Workplace 2021 Report, there is only 20% employee engagement as a result of the pandemic. 

Engaged employees act differently, going above and beyond to exceed customer’s expectations, which gives the center a competitive advantage.  They are motivated!

Studies have found that motivated employees take less time off, stay with their employers longer, and help increase the company’s profitability. 

Unmotivated employees have contributed to economic losses of over $450 billion in the US alone.  How do you foster employee engagement and morale?  Money may have played a role in getting someone to accept a position but it’s not the only motivator in terms of performance.  Employees can become engaged when their basic needs are met and when they have an opportunity to contribute, feel like they matter and are given chances to learn and grow.

Ten Things to Promote Employee Engagement and Motivation

  1. Adopt flexibility with work schedules.  This helps employees achieve a healthy work-life balance.  There are a number of scheduling apps on the market that make it easy to give employees the flexibility of switching shifts without adding to the manager’s workload. 
  2. Incorporate technology to make the job easier and allow the employee to be more efficient and less stressed.
  3. Be mindful of personal hardships and challenges.
  4. Equip employees with the proper tools to do the job.
  5. Create an environment that is conducive to contributing.   From ideas and recommendations to customer insights and challenges, encourage employees to share by intently listening, with the mindset and willingness to see things from their perspective and give their ideas and recommendations a try.
  6. Set clear goals and provide real-time feedback.  The younger workforce thrives on achieving goals and expects timely feedback.
  7. Provide recognition and respect.  This can be as simple as a thank you from a manager but, it must be authentic and sincere. 
  8. Create a sense of ownership for the staff.  They will consider the success of the center as their own success.
  9. Support a cause that’s important to them.
  10. Develop a sense of true inclusion. According to Salesforce, 73% of employees are empowered to perform their best when they feel their voices are heard.  Create a work environment where employees feel they can be themselves, where they are supported, respected, and valued  for what they bring to the table and who they are as a unique individual. 

Today’s employees need a sense of purpose.  They need to feel recognized and acknowledged and need to feel like they have a path.  They want to feel like their work connects with their personal goals and values and those of the center.  When you’ve obtained buy in from employees and they are motivated and engaged the results are obvious.  A happier employee delivers a better customer experience which results in more revenue and a more successful center. 

Something to think about!

Keeping employees motivated and engaged is well worth the time and effort!  However, this doesn’t have to all fall on your shoulders.  Consider giving your league bowlers the ability to recognize employees that go the extra mile or provide outstanding customer service.  American Airlines AAdvantage Club Elite Members receive AAplause Certificates that can be filled out and given to a team member or mailed into Corporate.  The certificates are associated with prizes and corporate recognition. 

Issue each league bowler 5 certificates (or quantity of choice) at the beginning of the season and share with them that this rewards program is designed to keep staff members motivated and engaged so they, your valued customers,  continue to get the very best experience possible.   Share that their feedback is valuable and the center would like for them to help recognize employees that are going the extra mile or are providing outstanding service.  This instant gratification gives the employee a sense of pride and they will naturally want to strive for that feeling again.  Providing league bowlers with these certificates shows them their input is valued.  Each certificate will be entered into a monthly drawing for recognition awards of the center’s choice or certificates can be redeemed for individual awards.  Certificates can also be provided to managers or the entire staff to foster camaraderie.

Here are a few items you might consider for recognition awards:

  • Bartered items such as movie tickets, meals, etc. 
  • For larger monthly drawing consider a limo ride to a nice restaurant for dinner for 2 or something else that employees will likely not treat themselves to.  Of course, these items can often be bartered, as well.
  • Front row parking spot.
  • Time off with pay.
  • Donation to charity of choice.
  • Bowling party with friends or family.

Bravo Certificate Templates  

Turn New Customers into Loyal Fans

The pandemic is in the rear view mirror and centers are cruising on the road to recovery with exciting findings.  Bowling is back, and stronger than ever.  Some centers are reporting record breaking numbers while others are sharing that business is getting better each day.  All of this, with, in most cases, fewer employees.   However, one of the MOST EXCITING discoveries is that centers are enjoying brand new faces to their facilities.  Society has been stuck in homes for so long and with the positive light that has been shined on the bowling entertainment industry, people are stopping in to see what it’s all about.

This is the opportunity to put your best foot forward and show these new customers a memorable experience so they stay longer and return more often…nurture the relationship and enjoy them as loyal customers for years to come.

Today, every customer should be being treated as if they were the most important customer of all.    The goal is to have every single customer transformed into a loyal customer and enjoy the benefits of watching center revenue continue to climb for months to come.  So how do you ensure your customers develop into your loyal fans?

Cultivating customer loyalty means customers will give you one chance to capture their business.  You must understand and learn who your customers are and exactly what their needs are.  This awareness helps identify pain points and enhance the services to provide exactly what the customer wants and needs.  By creating a brand and experience the customers want to support, you’re turning them into your biggest and most loyal fans.  These loyal customers generate a unique kind of marketing, by telling their friends about the center with enthusiasm and drive potential customers your way.

So what do you need to do to turn these brand new faces into raving fans?  Start by creating raving fans from the staff.  Make sure your team is in love with your center, service and brand as a whole.  Find ways to actively show them they are important.  Does the center have a culture where the staff feels valued and excited? You can start establishing this type of culture by making sure you are paying the staff fairly.  Take time to offer additional perks and honor the successes and victories.  Work to facilitate teamwork and lead by example.  Don’t be afraid to roll your sleeves up and work beside them when the going gets tough.  Seeking input from the staff and listening intently when they respond should be routine.  Treat staff respectfully and make sure they always know how much they are appreciated and how much their ideas and contributions are valued.  Engaged and happy employees provide more effective customer service, which boosts customer loyalty and retention.

Recognizing your customer’s needs is important so you can continue fulfilling those needs and keep them coming back.  Who are they?  What do they need in their lives? From both your staff and the center?  Before you can deliver the experience they want, you must first know what it is!

Build customer loyalty by providing real value to them and their lifestyle.  This all goes back to knowing your customer.  What things are important to them?  Value can come in many forms.  From offering an amazing experience for a reasonable amount of money to offering the convenience of placing orders on the lanes to avoid leaving children in the bowling area unattended and keeping your customers values in mind will go a long way in establishing long-lasting retention and loyalty.  

For long lasting customer loyalty, continually evolve and enhance the customer experience.  Anticipate your customer’s needs before they emerge.  Quicker check-in important to the customer?  Might be time to check out a Kiosk.  New customers more interested in drinking and having fun than seeing who can score the highest?  Perhaps a look at HyperBowling is in your future. 

Recognize ways in which you can continue to adapt the experience the center offers and align it with the current and future needs of the customers, both old and new, to continue growing loyal customers and enjoy a thriving center for years to come.

Want to show your appreciation to first time guests?  Personally thank them for stopping in and provide them a voucher for 15 complimentary minutes of additional bowling.  Download customizable voucher here.

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