No matter which vehicles you sell, what services you provide or how long you’ve been in business, your most valuable resource will always remain the same: your people. Those who make up your team will be your greatest asset or your greatest liability. As a leader, either of a team or of the entire company, you play a part in how motivated that team will be to provide great service to your customers and to grow into the future.
Part of that role starts in the hiring process — finding motivated, talented and trainable people is crucial for success — but it continues as long as that person works for your dealership. Here are three ways you can help employees maintain motivation to get their best efforts:
Give Feedback — Much has been said about the desire of the Millennial generation to receive feedback about their performance and to get coaching advice on ways to improve. While that group may have been raised in such a way as to expect feedback, letting all employees know how they’re doing and giving constructive criticism and feedback is a great way to improve not only performance but morale, as well. Working in a vacuum — the “no news is good news” method of leadership — isn’t particularly helpful. People want to be caught doing something good, and they often want to know if there’s a better way to perform their duties. This doesn’t mean you should micromanage, but do be aware of your people and how they’re doing, and let them know you care about them.
Get Feedback — Many members of your team work directly with the customer, and others are intimately familiar with your equipment, processes and results. While you need to keep your finger on the pulse of the company, your team has a better “boots on the ground” view than you probably do, and can give you their perspective on what’s working and what’s not. Make time to ask them their opinions; while you may not act on every suggestion, you’ll get a much better feel for how the public is interfacing with your dealership and where improvements can be made.
Provide Opportunities for Training and Advancement — While there are some employees who like the status quo and don’t want to rock the boat, no one likes to feel like they’re stagnating. The sales and service game is constantly changing, and your team needs to be able to adapt to market conditions and customer expectations. People also like learning and growing, both as a team member and as a person. Provide time and resources that allow your team to learn new things and advance in your organization. This might mean off-site classes and training, online courses, mentoring/shadowing or just provide time to read or listen to podcasts. Your employee will feel more empowered and you get a better trained, higher-quality team member.
Even the most self-motivated team member in your dealership needs to be challenged and heard to maintain their edge. By taking a few moments here and there, you can provide the leadership they need to do their best work for you.