Posts Tagged ‘team member’

Employee vs. Team Member

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I’ve always had an issue with the word “employee.” To me the word has a negative/hard tone to it. It reminds me of the old days of factory workers on an assembly line. In my head I picture the mean boss, yelling at his workers with no care or concern for them as people. They are a number and they work for him. This is my vision of the word employee. Maybe yours is different. I just ask that you take a moment to listen while I get on my soapbox.

Work for you or with you?

As a manager of a center, do you want people who work FOR you or people who work WITH you? The very definition of a team is a group of people working toward a common goal. In our centers, our goals may include providing exceptional guest service and achieving certain revenue levels. No one person can achieve those goals for your centers. It takes a group of people – it takes a team.

You hear about teams in sports. Do they call a group of baseball players employees? No, they are called a team, because each of the members fills an important position doing what they do best. The same is true in your centers. Some folks are fantastic party hosts and maybe not the best at being a lane attendant. A cook excels at her role and might not succeed as a cashier.

As a manager, you have the role of coach. You train your team, you have them practice, and then you assign them to the position that is best for the team/company. As a Manager/Coach, you motivate your team toward a successful shift, you cheer them when they do well, and you coach/counsel them when they need some extra practice or if they’ve had a bad day.

When the team “wins” by hitting their goals, you give them the credit they deserve! When they miss the mark, you look at ways you could have supported your team better.

Okay, I’m stepping off my soapbox and I hope I made you think about the people working with you in your centers. Now I ask you, how do you (or will you) refer to your team?

Do you show appreciation?

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NYCTomorrow is Employee Appreciation Day. I know, to some it may feel like this is just another Hallmark day to celebrate, but did you know that studies show that “recognition” was one of the main things employees wanted in order to produce great work? I mean, we all want a little appreciation now and then, right?

If you are always showing your team members how much you appreciate them, you may not have to do anything big tomorrow, but if this is an area to work on, tomorrow is a great day to start.

Appreciation doesn’t always have to come in the form of cash. Here are a few ways you can show appreciation to your team members, not just tomorrow, but any time.
1. Tell them!

It’s amazing how just telling your team members they are appreciated can go a long way. Be specific. Tell them you appreciate they are always on time to work so you never have to worry about their position being covered. You appreciate them always coming to work with a positive attitude. Once they know you see those things, they’ll know have a true appreciation for them.

2. Have food in the break room.

Let me tell you, my team members loved it when I would bring food! We were a pizza buffet so I had to stay away from that but it could be so simple: cupcakes, cookies, cake, chicken nuggets, sandwiches, really, any food. They didn’t have to eat center food or go out and pay for their own food. It’s fun, easy, and trust me, they’ll love it!

3. Have some fun!

Do something fun during the day. Do a fun drawing every half hour or hour for gift cards. You don’t have to purchase the gift cards. Get out in your community and trade. You are not the only one trying to show a little employee appreciation!

4. Create a wall of fame.

How fun would it be for team members to walk into their shift and see their face on the wall? Have a team member of the week. I love going to Jason’s Deli and seeing their team member of the week on the wall with information about them. It’s amazing how much we don’t know about each other. Reward them with a gift card or a small bonus, say $50.

5. Create center bucks.

Ours were called Buddy bucks after our mascot. All managers and supervisors could give them out when they saw a team member do something above and beyond. Team members could even ask managers to give them out when they saw something extraordinary. At the end of each quarter, team members redeemed their bucks from a selection of prizes. It gives them great incentive and is an instant reward for something they did that was great.

6. Send to training and conference. 

Team members love to learn and this is a great way to let them know you are invested in them and their success. Not only do they feel appreciated, you are getting a huge return on your investment, too.

7. Swap a task with a team member.

Step in one day and run the register or work the snack bar counter for an hour. Ask your team member to walk the floor and look as if they were the owner/gm. Tell them to tell other team members how they are doing and show their appreciation to their peers.

8. Create a team member newsletter.

Create a newsletter you can give or email to team members each month. Recognize the employee of the month. Let the staff know how the center is doing and what’s coming up in the future. Have team members contribute as well.

9. Recognize your team on social media.

Your team members make your center and it’s great to give them recognition. Snap photos of them with their birthday parties, operating rides, or helping out a child. Let your fans see and recognize them, too.

10. Plan a team member appreciation party. 

I know, we are in the business of making money but why not close down on a Thursday night, have a pot luck (you provide the main course they bring sides and dessert) and let your team members have fun!

Hope this will give you some ideas about how to show appreciation for your team members. We would love to hear how you show your appreciation! Want some more fun and easy ideas? Check out our Pinterest board!