Are you having trouble finding employees — or keeping the ones you have?

It’s not just you. Lots of convenience store owners are.
“Help wanted” and “Now hiring” signs are in the windows of companies everywhere.
Even with many C-stores offering higher wages than they did a year ago, workers say they’re not satisfied.
They’re looking for more than competitive pay from their next job.
They want to feel like they’re more than employees.
They want to feel appreciated.
They want to feel like part of a team.

So how can you give employees what they want while still running a profitable business?

It’s easier than you think.
A great way to foster that feeling of belonging is by holding employee sales contests.
Sales contests can instill comradery among your staff as they work toward a shared goal.
It only takes a little planning to create contests that are fun and motivating.
Here are four things to keep in mind as you design a sales contest for your store.

1 – Make your contest goals reasonable.

Employees are more likely to take part if they feel like they have a real chance at winning. It’s important not to set sales targets so high that workers think they’re out of reach. Unrealistic goals could cause them to lose motivation.

It’s the same reason that a shorter contest may have more participation than one that runs for weeks or months. And it’s easier for you to keep track of who’s ahead or behind. So instead of naming a winner at the end of the month or quarter, consider picking a daily or weekly sales winner.

2 – Run more than one contest.

Picking a winner for who sells the most of a certain brand is an easy choice, but it’s not the only contest option. You could also run a separate competition focusing on specific items. Or tie it into an ongoing promotion. Maybe it’s who sells the most breakfast sandwiches or moves the most candy bars under a two-for deal at your store.

Or establish a lower qualifying sales target and enter everyone who hits it into a raffle for a chance to win.

Employees reviewing sales goals for contest
Ensure that your sales contests establish attainable goals for your employees.
Retailer going over sales goals
You don’t have to run just one contest at a time. Multiple sales contests provide employees with more than one chance to win.

3 – Consider breaking up sales goals by shifts.

If your store is open 24 hours, consider setting different sales goals for overnight shifts. Night shift employees are unlikely to have the sales opportunities of rush-hour clerks. A lower sales target is reasonable for these workers. Remember that if employees consider a goal achievable, they’re more likely to reach it.

4 – Make the prize something desirable.

As for prizes, cash is always appreciated, but it’s not the only option. Gift cards to restaurants or local retailers, or even a day off with pay, can be powerful motivators.

When you award the prize, Don’t quietly give it to the winning employee. Make a show of it. Gather other employees around and have a short ceremony. Treat your contest as a big deal — because it is.

Not sure what product your sales contest should focus on? 5-hour ENERGY® shots are a good choice. It’s profitable, in-demand and lends itself to add-on sales.

Remember that before you hold an employee contest, you should check with your attorney to ensure that your promotion complies with local regulations.

So, get planning. There’s never a bad time to hold a sales contest.  Your employees will enjoy the friendly competition. You’ll enjoy the increased sales and profits.

Desirable Prize
Make the contest prize something desirable: cash, gift cards or a paid day off.