Archive for March, 2013

Mar 28 2013

Gameday Thursday – Square Deal

Draw a large grid on a white board; 6 squares across, 6 squares high.  Label each axis 1-6.  Whenever someone takes a qualifying payment, they get to put their name in one of the boxes.  When all thirty-six boxes are filled, roll two dice; one for the 6 vertical, the other for the 6 horizontal.  The person whose name is in the intersecting box, wins the prize.

Make it a little more fun by rolling ridiculously big dice, like these.

Here’s an example of the grid.


Enjoy!  If you try it, or have tried it before, please share your experience in the comments.

Got a game or contest you’ve done that has worked well?  Use the “contact us” link above to share it with others.


Mar 27 2013

Motivating Collectors – The Herzberg Continuum

One of the most important theories in managerial motivation comes from Frederick Herzberg (1923-2000). For many years, his “Two-Factor” theory of job satisfaction has largely defined the landscape of modern business motivation.

In short, Herzberg explains that there are two factors affecting employee satisfaction (and by extension, productivity) which he terms hygiene and motivation.

“Hygiene Factors” are the baseline standards of the employee/employer relationship. These include company policy, supervisor relations, work conditions, and salary. Fair hygiene factors create satisfied workers.

Once these hygiene factors have been met, however, and an employee is satisfied, increasing emphasis on them creates little or no return in motivation. Another set of tools is needed to move an employee from satisfied to motivated.

Herzberg’s second area, “Motivating Factors,” includes achievement, recognition, feeling a value in work, and responsibility. Unlike hygiene factors, which have diminishing returns on greater investment, motivating factors have no upper limit. A greater investment in motivation has the increasing potential to lead greater motivation in employees.

I’ve created a little chart illustrating what I call the Herzberg Continuum and applied it specifically to managing collectors. You can download a page-sized version by right-clicking on the image and choosing download.

The Herzberg Continuum

Because motivating factors work on satisfied collectors and hygiene factors only work on poor collectors, it’s important to know where your people are on the continuum before applying a good motivational strategy.

Poor Collectors

  • Are absent more frequently,
  • Steal time (they are late to start, but great at leaving on time),
  • Have a lot lame excuses,
  • Generally exhibit poor performance,
  • And take up an inordinate amount of managerial time.

Satisfied Collectors

  • Are good workers, and okay performers,
  • Are disinterested in extra work or responsibility,
  • Are ambivalent to rewards (monetary or other),
  • View work as a contract, meaning they do exactly what is asked, no more and expect the same from their employer,
  • And when faced with a problem, they look immediately to others to solve it.

Motivated Collectors

  • Are generally on board with whatever program or policy is in place – they don’t complain,
  • Go the extra mile when required,
  • Feel satisfaction from the work that they do,
  • View their work relationship in a “If I work hard for my employer, they will stand by me,” attitude,
  • Are generally positive and productive,
  • Respond well to contests and bonus programs,
  • And when faced with a problem, they act and do everything they can to solve it.

Ultimately, true motivation comes from within which means that some will excel despite their environment and others could be working in the best conditions possible and still perform poorly. The best we, as employers and managers, can do is create an environment conducive to a motivated attitude and either work-with or let go those who choose to choose to not be engaged.

About the author

Shaffer ButtarsShaffer Buttars has 20 years experience in the collections software industry ranging from product management to installations. While visiting hundreds of collection centers, he saw the need for improved collector focus and motivation to help both supervisors and collectors work to their potential.  He founded CollectorTech to provide tools and services that improve focus, visibility, and motivation to collection operations.
When not communing with a computer screen, Shaffer is an avid backpacker, hammock camper, Tenkara fisherman and stunt kite flyer. He loves music and has performed in a capella bands as both bass and vocal percussion. He lives in the beautiful Northwest US with his wife and four children.


Mar 25 2013

CollectorTech Launches CollectorView – a multimedia monitor for collector activity


CollectorView puts real-time collector activity on large-screen TV’s to motivate and increase productivity

Vancouver, WA – March 25, 2013

CollectorTech’s national launch today of its flagship product, CollectorView, puts new multimedia motivational tools into the hands of collection supervisors and operations managers. Unique in the industry, CollectorView focuses on motivating collectors to greater productivity by using engaging, customizable themes, graphs, and contests displayed on wall-mounted HDTVs.

“There’s a difference between managing collections and managing collectors,” says Shaffer Buttars, founder and president of CollectorTech. “And the success of a collection business grows with the success of its collectors, it only makes sense to provide tools that will motivate them and put visibility on their activity.”
Sample graph from CollectorView
Compatible with any core collection or payment system, CollectorView uses real-time collection information including payments, promises and post-dates. A rotating slideshow of motivational graphs and charts displayed on wall-mounted HDTV screens presents both individual and team success rankings. Customizable contest pages and ticker bars provide further options to highlight progress and accountability. Supervisors and executives gain valuable collector productivity data with alerts and activity overviews.

Shaffer Buttars explains, “Most dashboard systems are appendages to another system (like a dialer) and show data that is relevant to that system, but not necessarily to the collector. Others are so open-ended that significant time and effort must be spent to build and customize the program from the ground up. CollectorView is an out-of-the-box solution tailored specifically to the needs of the collection floor.”

CollectorTech provides motivational tools specifically for collection floor operations. Designed to support the productivity of supervisors, operations managers and collectors, CollectorTech’s products create an engaging, easily-customizable program to boost performance and build a positive atmosphere of accomplishment.  CollectorTech can be found online at


Mar 21 2013

Gameday Thursday – Gnome Keeper

This is a fun game to pull out when you want to liven things up a little.  Simply buy a garden gnome or a similarly goofy statue.  Each time someone takes a payment, they get to put the gnome at their desk.  It stays there until someone else gets a payment.  If you can put it up high so everyone can see, all the better.

Enjoy!  If you try it, or have tried it before, please share your experience in the comments.

Got a game or contest you’ve done that has worked well?  Use the “contact us” link above to share it with others.

Mar 14 2013

Gameday Thursday – Balloon Battle

Each Thursday we post a collections game or contest idea.  If you’ve tried these ideas, or have variations, please share your experiences.

Balloon Battle

Each collector gets a balloon taped to the outside of their cubicle.  Each team has different colored balloons, together they make a “ship”.  Each time a collector takes a qualifying payment, they can pop a balloon on another ship.  The last ship / team standing wins the prize.  Ships with no balloons remaining are out and can’t pop other balloons.

Enjoy!  Feel free to leave a comment.

If you have a game or contest you’d like to share, use the “contact us” link above to submit it.