Q. How do you reward your staff?
Dave Driscoll, Point Blank Range
I reward my staff every day with acknowledgement and a verbal thank you whenever they have earned it. I know that doesn’t sound like much, and it’s not going to buy anyone dinner, but I think it matters. Little things like feeding the staff when we are all together for training allows us to bond over a meal while working together as a team to improve our collective skills. Dealers all get “free stuff” from the manufacturers and vendors, and we use a lot of it to reward the staff for small victories and accomplishments. It’s not the value; it’s the thought! Our staff enjoys full use of the range and Patriot Gun Club lounge to enjoy the shooting sports with their friends and families on their free time. We have an employee purchase program that allows our staff to buy the things they want at almost cost. We also make sure our staff has access to manufacturers’ employee purchase programs, which might offer big savings on items we may not stock.
Though all the above mentioned things can show our appreciation for the job our staff does, the most tangible reward we offer our staff is an employee profit-sharing program. Each year 10 percent of our net profit is distributed across our staff based on their individual contribution to the business, performance evaluations from their leadership, length of service, full- or part-time status, etc. It’s almost completely subjective and designed to be an incentive-based reward system. How the individual operates as part of our team—their willingness to share and help others—is key to recognition at Point Blank Range. We prefer the profit-sharing model to a commission incentive because I believe commissions reward individual effort while the profit-sharing program stresses teamwork and the overall success of the business for which we should all be rewarded.
Tom Faustin, BluCore Shooting Center
At BluCore Shooting Center we are tremendously proud of our employees and the work they do. We pride ourselves in the level of customer service we provide and the type of experience that our customers have come to identify as the BluCore Standard. We recognize that we would not have an excellent reputation if it were not for our employees embracing our high standards.
BluCore looks for various ways to thank and reward our staff members for their hard work and high level of service. We have some universal employee benefits that provide special pricing or discounts on our retail merchandise and firearms. We also provide a free membership to our range and free entrance into any of our training classes.
In addition, we look for opportunities to take our staff out on special occasions. One example is the BluCore Employee Appreciation Day we hosted last summer. Our day started with all of our staff members meeting up at our facility for some coffee and doughnuts, followed by a trip to an outdoor shooting range where we spent time shooting at a variety of competition steel-target stages. Our next stop was a delicious lunch at a popular restaurant in downtown Denver, and then the whole group went to a Rockies game. It was a great day!
Collectively, we have spent some great times away from the shop over meals, at the range, or cheering on our local sports teams. We have found that the effect of these Employee Appreciation Days has been an invaluable tool to ensure that our staff members feel appreciated and know that we are very thankful for all of their efforts and hard work.
Lastly, we make sure to share with our staff the customer accolades that we receive in the mail, through email or via our social media venues. We understand that the pride our staff feels when they hear about the positive experiences our customers have because of them is much more important than any discount or event we can offer.
Ed Santos, Center Target Sports
Outstanding customer service continues to be a cornerstone of our overall operations and customer experience. Maintaining the level of service we expect from our staff is always a challenge. Therefore, on a daily basis, we promote teamwork and a family atmosphere among our employees at every level and include our customers under the family heading.
Incentives and rewards based on specific goals have been a very effective way for us to motivate and reward our employees. In addition, we have seen an increase in morale and overall job performance as a result of these specific objectives. We do not provide any incentives for gun sales. I do not want any employee to be in a position that may alter his or her judgment on a decision to sell a firearm to a particular customer.
We have a number of rewards and, in some cases, perks that employees can receive as a result of their efforts. Using gift certificates for in-store purchases is a method we use to reward the employee who sells the most classes and memberships each month. The employee who sells the most classes in a year also gets a new Glock handgun of their choice. A dinner gift certificate to a local restaurant is also given to the employee who completes the most product knowledge training on the 3pointfive.com online courses. During our biweekly staff meetings employees are also recognized for specific instances of outstanding customer service, job performance, innovation, new product ideas and anything that helps promote our overall mission.
In the way of perks, our employees and their immediate families have full access to the range for free. They can also take any class we teach for free. This has been a huge success as a staff member who has completed a class has no problem selling the class. We have an aggressive employee-discount program on most retail items.
I believe for any rewards program to be successful it must be equitable and available to everyone. It must be goal/objective-based and very transparent. An example for us is performance in the sale of classes and memberships. Due to a large number of part-time employees we average the sales based on hours worked. Yes, this is a bit more effort on our part to administer, but it allows the 20-hour-a-week employees to compete with the 30-hour employee.