Play The Game… And Win!

Play The Game… And Win!


Work can be stressful and boring. But what if we could find a way of making tasks more interesting and rewarding – exciting and engaging, even? Master trainer Mark Dickinson, of Done! Hospitality Training Solutions gives us some game-changing solutions

As with all games, there need to be rules, winners and losers. Turn the company into the game board and the team members into the players. The aim is to multiply your business, to set real goals that have genuine rewards, unrelated to routine earnings and salaries; prizes that players win because they played the game.

How do we do it?
First, you must keep in mind the objective of the game – to multiply, not to grow. Growth means that you are looking at percentages and saying, ‘We can grow by five percent or 10 percent.’ The objective of this game is to expand by 30 percent in a short period of time.

Setting up the game
1. Timeframe: 28 days to play – not a calendar month

2. Fix the dates for the game: from Monday to Sunday, four weeks, with a start and end date. If you start and end the game in the middle of the month, at a different time from payday, for example from Monday, June 18, to Sunday, July 16, the team will enjoy the prizes more and they will have a bigger impact.

3. Players: every employee in the operation – individual competition and team competition

4. Create the goals: simple to understand and clear
It is essential to engage all potential players. Gather them together and propose the idea that if they grow the business, they will be winners. The team will amaze you; not only will they create ambitious goals for themselves, but they will also tell you what the meaningful rewards should be. You should have three key, clear objectives in mind:
a. Revenue goal – increasing month-on-month or on-year income by a set amount (of thousands of dollars) – remember it’s a 28-day game
b. Item goal – sell more of a specific dish, with the dish to be chosen by the players. We create the goal using products from our offering or a specially selected product for the game. The team will tell you what they want to sell
c. Operational goals – production team to make zero faults, produce zero returns and give timely performances. Set goals for this based on current performance and an instant massive improvement
d. Be open to other goals that the team propose

5. Scoring the game – it is essential in any game that the goal posts are fixed. Much like in football, the posts should be anchored in the ground, with everyone clear on where they are supposed to kick the ball. If the ball goes in the net, it’s a goal and everyone cheers. Keep both the game and scoring simple and crystal clear. Explain how points are scored. There should be points available for both the team and the individual
a. Service team goal: ‘Average check growth’ (month-on-month or year-on-year) – each day that the average check goal is reached, the team score a goal
b. Individual goal: ‘Extra item sold’ chart – for example, adding a sharing plate = 1 point for any player who sells that item
c. Production and support team goal: goals such as ‘Zero returned dishes’ (kitchen), ‘Zero delays’ (kitchen and runners), ‘Best runner of the month’ (elected by the waiters), ‘Best kitchen assistant of the month’ (elected by the kitchen team)
d. Entire team goal: ‘Overall revenue goal’ – a number that everyone can see

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6. Display the scores on the wall – make sure that everyone can see daily progress. Create shiny, bright, happy goal charts that show the goal and the progress towards the goal

7. Prizes – the prizes must be clear and worthwhile. Be bold and courageous. If you grow your USD 80,000 per month business by 15 percent in a month, say that is an increase of USD 12,000. Strictly speaking, only the cost of the goods sold needs to be deducted, with the remaining monies gross profit, since the costs of the business have already been accounted for in your regular revenue, so you can afford to take up to 35 percent from the USD 12,000 and give it to the team for all their efforts. That would be USD 4200 in prizes!
a. Team goal – USD 750 split equally between the service team
b. Individual goal – USD 475 best-selling sales person
c. Production team goal – zero faults – USD 750, 1 fault, USD 500, 2 faults USD 350
d. Best runner of the month USD 475 (voted by the waiters – 1 person, 1 vote)
e. Best kitchen assistant of the month USD 475 (voted by the kitchen team – 1 person, 1 vote)
f. Entire team goal – USD 1,300 split equally between all team members – meaning that the average check and the overall revenue goal were both achieved. You work it out and make it fit whatever goals your team creates. Goals may be things rather than money. Your team may decide they prefer gifts, in which case, give them valuable gifts.

The most exciting part of this game is watching your team perform. Encourage them as you display the score, and keep them focused on the goal. Expect their progress to be slower at the beginning than at the end. Once you have played the game, your team will understand that this is real and that if they put in extra effort, they will get an extra reward. Isn’t that the essence of all business – an ownership mentality?

Once they know how high they can go, ask them if they would like to play again, and they will set the goal higher and your business will grow even more.

Mark Dickinson
Master Trainer of Done!

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