Last June, memberships were off a little at Ten Thousand Waves, a 70-employee full-service health spa based in Santa Fe. And there was still a good week to go before the company's high season kicked in, with its new brochure and new price levels. So TTW came up with a game: encourageeveryone on the staff to sell massage memberships at low-season prices. Customers would get a nice 25% discount. The company would get a nice infusion of cash. The time frame: the last ten days of the month. The goal:$4,000 worth of new memberships.

At the end of the ten-day period, Ten Thousand Waves had a whopping $10,000 in new memberships, and participants got their reward: a watermelon seed-spitting contest, with a restaurant gift certificate going to the winner. Why not a financial payout? "We're on a single bonus system whereeverybody works off the same formula," explains Human Resources Manager Phil Hindmarch. "Quarterly payouts are based on net profit, and we figure that every side game we design just increases the pool.

"It's a real good thing for us to sell memberships. It keeps people coming back and helps to build a repeat clientele. Our people just jumped on it, because they felt they were giving the customer a valuable service."

Copyright 1998 Open-Book Management Inc.