Archive for the ‘Motivation’ Category

Getting to Know TrainerTainment’s Amy Madson

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Amy Madson, Training & Project Specialist

Over the past few years, the TrainerTainment team has grown leaps and bounds! Once a month we will get to know a TrainerTainment team member. This month we want to introduce you to Amy Madson, Training & Project Specialist. Amy has over 35+ years in the entertainment industry and has been a tremendous asset to our team and amazing coach for our clients.

What do you enjoy most about working with our clients?

I enjoy seeing our clients grow professionally and personally. Witnessing skeptic leaders change their minds 180 degrees after experiencing a 2-day business coaching launch and hearing them say, “We’ve never been more focused on this business before.” Seeing a young man with no real leadership experience and no FEC experience grow to a GM position within a year. Working with salespeople new to our industry, training them, coaching them, seeing them become successful in their positions. We make a real difference with what we do.

How long have you been in the FEC industry and in what roles?

I started in theme parks as a front gate ticket taker when I was 16, then as the Amazing Alfredo where I would guess your age within three years, your weight within three pounds, or the month you were born within two months. I ended up working 11 seasons at Six Flags in several departments but finished my time there in the Games Department as the administrative supervisor. After that, I opened the MGM Grand Hotel as an AsstMgr in the Games Department, moved next to GameWorks – Las Vegas where I worked my way up to AGM. I moved to Orlando in 2000 to open Namco’s first venture in the full-service entertainment venue market, Pac-Man Cafe/XS Orlando, and moved into the GM role. After Namco, I worked with a group of investors to open a high-end children’s entertainment venue like no other – Cool-de-Sac – in Miami. I left there as the Director of Operations and I’m now with TrainerTainment. I get to stay involved in the industry I love and use my 34 years of industry experience to help clients grow.

What is the most significant thing you have learned working in the FEC industry?

Honestly – that I don’t want kids! I’ve been “Mom” to so many “kids” over the years and that’s enough for me! I’ve also learned that it isn’t always about the product/games/environment you offer…it only matters if you can make a guest happy and they have fun, then they want to come back and bring their friends.

Which of our core values resonate with you the most?

We Believe in Fun! I try to be positive in everything I do. I’ve been in this industry a long time…because it’s fun. I’ve tried retail, hotels, office work…nothing compares to the FEC/Entertainment industry when it comes to keeping you young at heart!

Where is the best place you have traveled to and why?

Seriously. That is a trick question, right?Travel…it’s a necessity, not a luxury.

My vacation spot is Kauai, Hawaii but I’ve been to many other places I would each call “Best” in their right: Bar Harbor, Maine; Talkeetna, Alaska; Venice, Italy; Tallinn, Estonia; Lyon, France; Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic; Dawson, Yukon; St. Petersburg, Russia; Durnstein, Austria; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Regensburg, Germany; Kusadasi, Turkey; Budapest, Hungary; Vienna, Austria…the Caribbean.

If you could speak another language what would it be and why?

Pidgin – it’s the local language in Hawaii. I would love to be able to talk story with the locals.

Vision for the Next Quarter and Beyond

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I just love ending the 1st quarter and going into the second quarter of the year, it helps you see your vision clearly. Last week our leadership team had our quarterly meeting. During this meeting we revisit the goals we set for the year, look at how we did with our first quarter goals to help set our goals for the second quarter, and see how the first quarter set the pace for the rest of the year.

Get a Vision of What is Possible

It is the time you get the vision of what is possible for the year. I remember as a young party manager, we had just finished our first quarter of birthday party sales, and I had a vision of what could be. It was really at that moment I realized, “Oh my gosh…we had a great quarter and I think we could do a million dollars in birthday party sales.” Yes! One million dollars! That’s when the vision began, and I knew it would have to be all hands on deck if we wanted to make the vision a reality and we did.

I shared that vision with Beth and our corporate team since we were in the sales coaching program. I knew sharing the vision was the first step and I also knew we couldn’t stop there. I had to share that vision with my birthday leadership team and then with every single person in our center, and that’s what we did.

Set Clear Goals

Our little birthday team was very young with just a couple of years of birthday experience among us, but we knew what we wanted. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy, so we set very clear goals. Our first one was to figure out how much in revenue we would need to average each week for the rest of the year to hit a million dollars. Then we looked at average revenue for each party we had in quarter one to determine the number of parties we needed to have each week to get the million dollars. W kept a very meticulous spreadsheet to update where we were and what we needed to do.

I think the real game change occurred when we shared the vision with our entire center. We became very transparent about our goals and the numbers associated with them. Every Monday, we would update the big white board in our sales office. We broke down all of our goals for people to see. At any time someone could come in the office and see how many parties we had to date, how much more we needed that month, how much in party sales we had, how much more we needed to do, and so on.  They always knew the magic number left to hit a million dollars. It didn’t matter if you were a party booker, cashier, game room operator, cook, or dishwasher; you knew what our goal was.

Be Transparent to Get Buy-In

I know most owners or managers don’t want to share those numbers with their entire staff. We knew, for everyone to see the vision clearly and have 100% buy-in, we had to be transparent about the goals and where we were. Once it was clear, we had to relay “how” each team member was an integral part of this vision.

We had quarterly center wide meetings, and I remember doing a team building exercise to show how every person in our center affected someone else and how it impacted our birthday parties. It was a great illustration that something as simple as being five minutes late could play a major impact and could be part of what made a party great or not.

That’s what I hope for you as we close out the first quarter of 2017. Reflect back on what you have done, see what you can do, and share that vision with every single person in your center. Once every person sees the vision and feels part of it…..that’s when the magic happens.

A Desire to Serve & It Shows!

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“A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.”  Henry Ford

A Desire to Serve

I had breakfast with a friend of mine last week at a 50-year-old restaurant near downtown Fort Worth. That establishment may have the BEST example of a business that exudes a real “culture of service”I’ve ever seen. Was it a five-star place? NO. Look it up. The Ol’ South Pancake House. It’s what you would think, except bigger!

They had lots of seats and plenty of staff. When we arrived, they found us a table (booth) as quickly as possible. There was a slight wait, but the host was so pleasant. She seemed glad to see us. Neither of us had ever been to this location, but honestly, it felt like we were part of the family.

Once seated, we were greeted by the BEST server I’ve ever had. The only way I can describe Jennifer is that she was genuinely joyful to serve our breakfast. She smiled. She verbalized how happy she was we were there. She was interested in us having the best thing for breakfast based on dietary needs and desire.

Get Your Staff Enthusiastic

Listen, I don’t know how to tell you to help your staff get enthusiastic about the choices your guests make, but I can tell you as a guest, I LOVE it! The word that comes to mind about this server is authentic. She wasn’t faking it. She was happy and joyful. She had a genuine desire to serve, and it showed.

Maybe that’s the interview question we need to ask prospective or current employees. “How would you rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 when it comes to serving others, with 1 being I’m a help yourself kind of person and 10 representing a burning desire to serve others?” Then I would ask for an example of a time when they exhibited that kind of service.

A Spirit of Service

Back to Jennifer. She was friendly and tuned into the fact that my friend and I were going to visit a while. She never interrupted inappropriately yet tended to our every need. At one point during breakfast, my friend said, “Jennifer makes me want to ask her for one more thing just so she’ll come back to the table!” I’m telling you this woman was gifted with a “service spirit.” I know that may sound “woo-woo,” but it was just awesome!

We got to looking around, and you know what, the place was full of Jennifers. Every server was fully engaged when they were with a table. We even noticed a cranky couple at a table near us. Their server seemed to make it her mission to lighten up this meal for Mr. and Mrs. Cranky. It worked.

I think it may have had something to do with the fact that when she delivered breakfast, she did so with an enthusiastic, “Incoming!” and served them eggs and bacon in a royal sweeping style. You had to laugh. You have to get happy even when you are cranky! It’s bacon and eggs for crying out loud, and to me, it looks super important to the folks at the Ol’ South Pancake House for it to be a meaningful and fun part of each of their customer’s day. That’s a culture. They all believe what they are doing is important and they are consistently delivering service at a level I haven’t seen in a while! It was so honest and genuine.

Jennifer, if you see this…..I mean it, YOU are the best server I’ve ever had.

Wouldn’t it be cool for your guest service people to get tagged with that message?

Your “Give a Darn” Meter

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Ever lose your “Give a Darn”? Wonder where to find your staff’s, your husband’s, or your waiter’s “Give a Darn”?

I tell you, this might be the most significant “aha” of the month for me. There’s a great quote that goes like this: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Give a Darn

I think that quote speaks to “Giving a darn.”  We’ve all walked up to a counter or looked for a service person only to be given that snarky ‘I’ll get to you when I can’ attitude. Or worse, you get the feeling you’re bothering them. Those folks don’t give a darn! I often wonder why people who are miserable at their job keep working at that job. I guess it’s not that easy except that if you give a darn, I’ve found that misery usually takes a back seat to the job at hand.

Listen, I think caring about what you do and how you serve others creates a way to enjoy your job, your family, your friends, and your life. I guess that sounds pretty grandiose but honestly if you can’t care if you can’t find a way to “give a darn,” why bother? Do something else!

Can it be that simple? I think so. Here are two really easy examples. If the redemption counter employee’s “give a darn” is high, then the counter is always stocked. There’s never any concern that things will look bare. If the folks who work in the sales office genuinely operate in a high “give a darn” zone, then they automatically pick up the phone and say, “Thank you for calling. This is Beth. How may I serve you?” AND they mean it! It’s easy. It’s natural. It’s fun.

When Things Matter

When things matter, and you really care about why, what, and how you do what you do, it’s easy to enjoy your work, your family, your friends, and your life!

Make it a great week and hey, think about how to get your “give a darn” in the red zone!

Get your Give a Darn Meter in the Red Zone!

 

Happy New Year from Trainertainment!

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happy-new-year-2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I don’t know about you, but I was just getting used to it being 2016 and BOOM it’s time to move on to 2017. I hope you had an amazing year. And what I really hope for is that you are planning for the best in the New Year.

Personally, my family was healthy and happy. It’s hard to ask for more. Professionally, our TrainerTainment family grew as did our business. It sounds like I’m bragging (Oh, that’s because I am!). It’s fun to celebrate and I couldn’t be more proud of the people on this team. We grow only because our mission is to grow others and we’ve had the opportunity to do that in a big way during 2016!

My husband and I had a quick trip this week to celebrate the life of a special lady named Dora Lee. Dorie (as she was fondly called) was so dear to JD and his siblings. Dora Lee had that home that was the place kids gathered during the growing up years to play games, eat chips and dip, and wackies (check with me – I got the secret recipe).

It was so interesting to watch my husband interact as he visited with people he hadn’t seen in 30-40 years. People think I’m the social one in the family but honestly, my charming husband was the sweetest man in Berryville. Dorie would have been proud. Her children commented that she loved a good visitation and that’s what we had for sure.

This gathering made me think of why the family entertainment center idea has such a strong hold in most communities. It’s not really the mini-golf or the laser tag, video games, or bowling. It is that the real attraction is the social gathering made possible because there is a reason to come together. Clearly, Dora Lee was the attraction up at the “old home place” this week. And while she was the focus, the joy was shared by all who participated.

So, in 2017, it might be wise to promote the fact that although the fun of your stuff is awesome, the real reason to come play tag or bowl or win a prize is because you get to do that with someone you love. I personally am going to focus on playing more with those I love in 2017. What’s that great motto, “work hard, play hard”? I think that is a great strategy for the New Year.

If you want to work together on a strong 2017 strategy, I hope you join us on Jan. 12th& 13th!

Happy New Year, Ya’ll!

 

Beth