Post a new topic
    11 Replies Latest reply on Jan 20, 2010 9:29 PM by DebbyBlitzLoc

    Motivating Young People?

    BRMcHenry Adventurer
      As a large franchise operator with plenty of young people on board I have to wonder how to motivate them. I've asked them directly (which resulted in a group of prizes and incentives). I offered them all based on a contest with some simple rules - no one followed and therefor I gave no one the prizes. It disheartened them but I really don't believe my rules were that hard to follow (and they didn't). I've tried weekend sales "tips" that enable them to make a few dollars extra cash and gotten nothing in return on that. I'm just not sure how to "motivate" these kids?
        • Re: Motivating Young People?
          Iwrite Pioneer
          I feel your pain on this. After so many years working with young people, I understand. I am seeing this attitude in older workers even today, but that has nothing to do with your problem.

          I don't mean to pry but before I try to suggest something, it would be better to have more details about the program you have in place. How long has the program been running? Is is scaleable? I mean, could you start with smaller increments, and increase the tasks and rewards as performance improves? Would making slight changes to your current program possibly get you the results you are looking for?

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • Re: Motivating Young People?
            Lighthouse24 Ranger
            What specific goals or expectations have you communicated that your younger workers, as a group, have failed to meet? (Many factors affect motivation -- knowing what they're collectively coming up short on could provide a huge clue to what's missing. Can you provide a few details or examples?)
            1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • Re: Motivating Young People?
                GrowthCurve Adventurer
                Keeping in mind I know nothing about your business or your employees, I think it was a mistake to not award any of the prizes because the kids did not follow the rules.

                If they did the work or met the goal (or heck, even tried), I think you could and should have given something.

                I think if I were a younger worker in that case, I'd have seen it as another attempt by the boss to pull the rug out from under take advantage of me.

                As someone else said, maybe the fact that none of the workers followed the rules tells you that the rules were flawed to begin with.

                I know a man who owns about 14 Burger Kings, and his reward system works from the store managers on down to the guy who emptys the trash cans, all while making his stores consistently among the most profitable among other owners. So, there is a way to reward these workers.
                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                  • Re: Motivating Young People?
                    BRMcHenry Adventurer
                    First, let me say there were promotional benefits handed out to employees for their participation. The group won a pizza party which only 75% of the employees bothered to attend. I also handed out cash bonuses for thsoe who were top performers; but the big prize I withheld since on one completed one of the tasks required (that was getting a positive survey from a customer).

                    I've done numerous "weekend" bonus programs. My favorite was to offer a $1 cash reward for selling a banana split - sell 10 of them get $10. No minimum or maximum, but what I found the third time I did this was absolutely no sales increase in splits. In other words it became clear they took what came their way but didn't try to sell additional banana splits.

                    Right now I challenged my two managers to increase sales 10% by the end of September for a 1% of sales cash bonus (split between them). If they increase sales 20% they can get 1.5% of gross store sales for the month and if they managed 30% increase they get 2% of store sales for the month (which would amount to about a 25% bonus over their current wages. I have seen no real effort on their part to increase sales any....and they know how to do so and just are not doing it.

                    It is frustrating.
                      • Re: Motivating Young People?
                        GrowthCurve Adventurer
                        OK, then what I hear from all of this is that cash is not the motivator that you thought it would be. I do read all the time that people are not as motivated by money as many would believe.

                        Why not ask your employees -- especially your managers -- how you can reward them in a manner that they would like? Maybe it's time off. Maybe it's a company car. Maybe it's a vacation. Maybe it's just a public declaration in front of everyone, "You did a great job, and I appreciate your involvement."

                        Sounds like you're offering generous incentives, but maybe they are not the right ones.
                        • Re: Motivating Young People?
                          puzzleman Tracker
                          Hello, I presume the specific goal for the contest was to have increased sales. May I suggest that you set the goals to influence all of the items that directly affect sales and is in the control of the managers and employees. This could work like you come into do a spot inspection and using a check list verify that things are happening correctly. For example, The floors are clean and dry, the napkins are stocked, the trash cans are not overflowing, the glass over the product is clean, uniforms are proper, have enough product on hand, proper customer service phrases used with each customer, speed of service,etc. Go through each small detail of what it takes to make a store the best that it can be. These are tangible goals that everyone can focus on. Success at these goals will result in maximizing sales.

                          My feeling is that you can tell an employee to increase sales but if the trash is overflowing and the floor is dirty, it will only help for that day. What is needed is to define the steps that lead to the ultimate goal (increased sales) and make each of the steps a goal. When all of the goals are achieved, then sales will increase. Also your employees will feel happy as they see their store score increase as the can see improvement and feel good about what they have accomplished.

                          As far as only 75% percent show up for the party, you will never get 100% participation. But make sure that they ones who do come have a great time and will talk it up to the ones that didn't.

                    • Re: Motivating Young People?
                      Lighthouse24 Ranger

                      The only specific expectation you mentioned that is not being met is a targeted increase in sales. You mentioned that your in-store managers know how to increase sales by up to 30 percent, but just aren't doing it.

                      For illustrative purposes, I'm going to make a few assumptions here. I'm assuming that your store is not significantly above or below the average for the franchise, meaning that you do somewhere around $20K a month in sales, give or take. I'm also assuming that the primary technique a person behind the counter would use to drive up sales is an upsell or link sell. A 30 percent jump in sales would mean you'd gross another $6K -- $26K total, of which you'd pay the managers a bonus of one percent each, or $260.

                      The first problem I see is that a 30 percent jump in revenue would essentially equate to successfully upselling every third customer on a menu item or add-on that was twice the cost of his/her initially intended purchase. That may be realistic in a business like a hair salon, but is it in an ice cream shop? You know your business better than I do, but I'd consider the 10 percent goal to be fairly ambitious. That means these managers would have to hustle aggressively for maybe an extra $130 a month -- but then again maybe for no bonus at all if sales only increased by 9.9 percent.

                      The second problem is that your employees and managers probably don't like or want to upsell or link sell -- after all, there are most likely other jobs they could get if they had the motivation to do that from a point-of-sale position.

                      That's the third problem in my view. Someone who was motivated to drive up sales in that type of role would work somewhere that driving up sales paid better (I don't know any store that pays floor or counter personnel less than a 10 percent commission on upsells, and it's often 15 percent on overstocks and such. In other words, if a behind-the-counter person made the typical retail store an extra $6K at point-of-sale, he or she would get a bonus of $600-900 on that (not $260).

                      So I agree that this is a motivation problem, but not necessarily an age-related one. My guess is that your employees/managers feel that you are expanding the scope of their jobs to include something they really dislike doing, and in some cases were trying to avoid when they applied for a job there in the first place. They may think that you're asking them to do something that is definitely not what they signed up for. I'm not sure that any bonus you could afford to offer would change that, but I can understand why a one percent bonus might not be working. I'm not being critical of you at all, by the way -- as business owners, we try things and sometimes they don't work. I'm just attempting to offer a possible explanation and direction to go from here. I wish you the best.
                        • Re: Motivating Young People?
                          GrowthCurve Adventurer
                          This is really great stuff. I wish I had thought to look at the original poster's profile to see that we're talking about ice cream. So many people don't fill out the profile information that I didn't bother. A free car lease might make sense for a manager who is running a $1.5 million (sales) location, but it's certainly not all that feasible for a store doing a couple hundred thousand.

                          I think what you're saying is right on, but I am looking forward to the owner's answer.
                        • Re: Motivating Young People?
                          HumanArrow Adventurer
                          Hi BRMcHenry,

                          You brought up a great question. I understand your frustration and appreciate your efforts. Below area couple of the things that I recommend from past experience. No Money.

                          -Movie Tickets
                          -Sports Tickets
                          -Raffle off an Ipod or Sidekick for top sales over a two week period

                          Try to stay in tuned with what they like and you will get their attention. I visited a similar franchise in Chicago and the owner had his employees hand out spoon samples to every customer that came in. For example, today everyone gets a sample of the new flavor that came out. By doing this alone, you will generate incremental sales for your business. Or sometimes, you just use those incentive dollars on marketing your business. Good Luck!

                          Directing Traffic To your Business!
                          • Re: Motivating Young People?
                            Bridge Navigator

                            I would like to give you somthing else to think about. I have been in charge of many sales forces and yes, money can motivate but it can not teach someone to sell. I took over a failing sales force, one I was told continually do not meet targets. Well guess what, they were not given the tools or training. Throwing money at them did no good (look at the Yankees this year!).

                            In your post, you mentioned the workers are young. I suspect they have had no training in sales or even basic communications. Have your offered any training or role playing? They are probably sacred to death to talk to customers let alone ask for business! Many people have a hard time selling - and it seems you want salesmen, not counter people (perhaps hire differently).

                            You need to give them the tools to succeed.

                            You told them to "upsell". Next time, try teaching them to upsell - get behind the counter and show them how. They will appreciate you rolling up your sleeves next to them and they will see it is not that hard.

                            Best of luck,
                            • Re: Motivating Young People?
                              DebbyBlitzLoc Adventurer
                              Having teenagers of my own, I know they are not sales people and are often not willing to go the extra mile at their fast food jobs. One of the typical complaints I hear from my kids as well as their friends is that they feel like they are being pushed to upsell and they think the customers are annoyed by it. The fact is simply that they are not being trained as to how to upsell. You have been given some great advice from other members here and I agree with all of it. One person suggested you offer different incentives rather than cash, like iPods and tickets, that is a great idea! I know my kids would be more motivated by these things.

                              I also agree completely with the idea of spending some time training these young people on the art of upselling. I role played with my daughter and showed her some great ways to just play off of her natural friendliness to upsell. She won the contests at her work for 5 months in a row thanks to the additional help I gave her at home.

                              Taking the fear out of the word SALES and UPSELLING can go a long way to increasing the motivation.