Tag Archives: FREEBIES

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  

Properly Positioning Post Pandemic Pricing

Restrictions are loosening as more of the population becomes fully vaccinated.  Centers are evaluating their policies on physical distancing, mask requirements, vaccine mandates, hiring and recruiting. 

However, one of the biggest concerns (and perhaps opportunity) that has emerged from the pandemic is the rising cost of doing business.  Higher prices are everywhere you turn! 

It’s all over the news.  It started with toilet paper shortages, now it is lumber shortages, fuel shortages, chicken shortages, car shortages, appliance shortages, staffing shortages, all resulting in supply and demand price increases.   AND, Consumers are faced with the same challenges on a personal basis therefore, they are anticipating that businesses will need to adjust pricing accordingly.

So, what about your center?  Have you evaluated your current pricing strategy and taken into account the rising labor costs, higher inventory costs, higher operating costs, higher EVERYTHING?   There is no better time to take a deep dive into the budget and make corrections where necessary before it’s too late.  Every center needs to be rethinking their long-term strategy.  

Some centers have opted to absorb the rising costs to avoid what they perceive will be push back from customers.   However, this can’t be a long term solution with the anticipated continuance of rising prices and shortages.  If your costs are increasing and your prices aren’t, then it is actually like you are implementing a price cut.

Positioning a price increase properly is crucial to consumer acceptance.  Here’s a few things to keep in mind when increasing prices:  

Emphasize the FUN and value instead of the cost/fees.

Price becomes secondary if the experience meets or exceeds expectations.  Utilize system games and features to kick the fun up a notch and increase the perceived value of the experience.   See idea below.

Show genuine appreciation and gratitude.

Feeling appreciated nurtures loyalty.

Be transparent

Candidly share the impact of rising costs to the overall experience.

Promote exceptional service that goes the extra mile

Make sure to deliver exceptional service to every single customer, every single visit.  Weave this into your DNA. 

Focus on convenience.

Customers expect it to be easy to do business with the center and don’t mind paying for it.  If it is difficult to do business with the center, they will simply stop doing so.

Promote quality over quantity.

Spotlight the quality of your restaurant and bar items and talk less about size and quantity, especially if these have decreased.

When price increases are determined and it’s time to put them into effect, another key factor is share with the team the key elements that need to be focused on for the most successful acceptance of the new pricing. 

Another area to look at when evaluating pricing is what is being given away for free…coupons, specials, deals and freebies.  Are they still necessary?  Have you tried to get rid of these things in the past but got push back?  Now might be the perfect time to reduce what you give away and put more money in the register.

When evaluating pricing, you should also take a deep dive into lane utilization and make sure you aren’t leaving money on the table.   Are you offering bowling by time?  Offering time based experiences provides a better guest experience, as very clear expectations are set.  If the center is running a waiting list and lanes are in game option, the undetermined lane turnover time can be a huge disappointment for guests waiting to bowl.  Plus, if 5 people on 1 lane take 1 ¼ – 1 ½ hours to bowl a game, you are missing out on ¼ – ½ hour per lane of revenue if sold by time rather than game.  Why should you lose revenue when customers choose to stop bowling so they can take a 10 minute call for work or go take their child to play a video game?  The pandemic has made it easy to introduce time based experiences and is an easier way to control the circumstances and offer more efficient and more relaxed experiences while providing the best way to maximize your dollars per lane.  

Keep delivering exceptional experiences and adjust pricing when necessary so you can continue serving your customers for years to come.  Bowling is back and is here to stay!

IDEA:  Want to add a little more fun for customers?  Try routinely running Lucky Train during peak times. This graphically appealing feature is engaging for all ages and is a great way to get a little user generated advertising.   It’s simple, Go Live, Get Lucky!  If a customer gets chosen as a Lucky Train winner while streaming live, they get an additional prize or larger prize.

Go Live, Get Lucky Point of Sale Display  

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