March 03, 2010 // Franchising.com // GAFFNEY, S.C. – With the recent economic turndown leaving employee satisfaction at a record low, finding a cost-effective way to motivate the workforce can be a challenge. Fortunately, Jim Aldridge, manager of ColorTyme in Gaffney, S.C., discovered a creative approach to recognizing top performers that has sparked much interest and conversation: The ColorTyme Route Manager's Championship Belt.
"We're always striving to motivate employees, and I think we've found something that really works," said Aldridge. "After more than 16 years in the rent-to-own business, I can honestly say I have never seen staff enthusiasm demonstrated so boldly as when we began this initiative."
The ColorTyme Route Manager's Championship Belt is a point-based game that uses fun competition to ignite performance. Each week, ColorTyme route managers accrue a set number of points for different store goals. The person with the most points at the end of the month is awarded with a customized boxing belt complete with the store logo.
Jose Escalante and Toby Littlejohn, route managers at the Gaffney ColorTyme, think the game promotes greater accomplishment.
"Earning the Championship Belt is a big deal for us. It's encouraging to be able to win something you can show for your hard work," explained Littlejohn. "It's exciting, too. First, you get into it all in good fun, but then you really get into it to win."
Coming up with the idea over lunch with Assistant Manager Matt Robertson, Aldridge says the new solution proves more successful than other motivation techniques.
"We needed a way to engage our staff that goes beyond traditional methods," said Aldridge. "Over the years, I have offered cash bonuses, an extra day off with pay, meals and many other incentives, but nothing has spurred as much daily talk as The Colortyme Route Manager's Championship Belt. "
ColorTyme, Inc., founded in 1979, is America's oldest franchisor of independently owned-and-operated rent-to-own stores. ColorTyme franchisees operate 193 rent-to-own stores in 33 states, and the company's custom-wheels-and-tires franchise brand, RimTyme, operates 24 stores in 12 states. ColorTyme is headquartered in Plano, Texas, and is an independent, wholly owned subsidiary of the largest RTO company in the world, Rent-A-Center (NASDAQ: RCII).