Oregon Vendor Uses Employee Recognition To Drive Micro Market Sales

Feb. 5, 2018

Recognition is important to the morale of a business. Ryan Harrington, co-CEO of Royal Vending in Portland, OR, has found a way to offer this recognition to micro market locations that creates a strong partnership, while also increasing sales. A recognition program can be successful by increasing sales and market usage. Partnering with a location on recognition helps to drive incentives and keeps employees loyal both on and off location. 

Creating a successful recognition program 

There are a few different types of recognition programs, Harrington explained. Some locations have a regular schedule of recognition for employees. For example, some companies will acknowledge employee birthdays, work anniversaries and perfect attendance. Harrington partners with them by offering a meaningful way to recognize these events. "An employee will get $5 credited to his or her account for each of these events," Harrington explained. The $5+ credits are payed for by the location, making it a partnership. Royal Vending invoices their clients on a monthly basis for any credit applied to their employee's accounts. Harrington finds that having birthdays and anniversaries as part of a scheduled monthly recognition program is pretty common among businesses in his area.   

Other locations Harrington works with do performance-based recognition programs. In this case, an employee will receive recognition once they hit their target goal. An example is one of the call center locations Harrington works with that runs a performance-based recognition incentive for employees to obtain a certain amount of out-bound calls in a month. If the employee reaches their goal, the company lets Ryan know and he credits their account with $50. This incentive program is on-going, rather than one-time-only, and has been very successful in motivating employees and also driving additional sales to the micro market above and beyond the amount credited to the employees' account.  "The employees at locations, at grand openings especially, are really positive because they are getting that recognition," explained Harrington.  

Another type of recognition program Harrington works with location on is periodic, which means there is no set schedule. An example Harrington offers is with another call center location he works with regularly. Sporadically, the call center will run a game as a recognition program and the winner of the game will receive the perk from Royal Vending as credit in the micro market. The games can be similar to the incentive program, or they can be simply from holiday parties and other fun activities the location devises. Once the winner is announced, Ryan and his team are contacted to put the requested credit amount onto the employee's account. Besides credits to accounts, Royal Vending periodically works with their partners to offer prizes via a Royal Company Market promotional contest. They reach out to the winners with an announcement and are also currently working on a plan to display the winners using photos or signage.  

Measuring the program's success 

Royal Vending has seen success from its partnership with locations on recognition programs. "We've been able to measure the programs' success by the increase in sales," said Harrington.  

The recognition programs have been so profitable for Royal Vending that Harrington now uses them in sales pitches. Harrington has been successful with approaching locations about recognition programs right away. Often it is a new angle the location hadn't thought of before.  

The response from locations with recognition programs in their micro markets has been very positive. "The location appreciates a way to have a recognition program but also a way to stay on site," Harrington said. Keeping employees on site with great tasting, fresh food and combining that with recognition of different events and achievements is a win-win.  

The locations also appreciate that it increases market usage. The more employees use the micro market, the more fresh food options Royal Vending is able to offer. The more usage the micro market gets, the more fresh food Harrington is willing to place in the market. He can have confidence it will be bought, rather than spoil. Having extra fresh food options in turn makes employees happier and more likely to shop at the micro markets (especially using their recognition credits). "It creates a snowball effect," Harrington explained.