Our Dealer Panel gives voice to dealers, GMs and sales professionals to share their experiences — sales techniques, new technology and ways to motivate staff — giving our readers the benefit of learning from their peers.
Question of the Month
DOES YOUR DEALERSHIP PARTICIPATE IN EMPLOYEE REWARD OR RECOGNITION PROGRAMS? IF NOT, WOULD YOU CONSIDER IT?
Mike Good, General Manager, Street Toyota
“Yes, they are critical. They enlarge the landscape of employment. Gratification, appreciation and self-fulfillment all become key components of your best employees’ satisfaction. We hold annual awards banquets for both variable and fixed departments, rewarding individual and team performance. Associates also enjoy competitive contests that bonus specific activities. We change up the areas rewarded and direct payouts in such a way as to allow most associates to prosper from superior performance. Additionally, each month, we name an employee of the month, then name an employee of the year at a special award lunch in December. The monthly award includes postings of the honoree around the dealership, a cash award and an elite parking space right next to the dealer’s parking space. Four quarterly “pat on the back” lunches are held for the entire staff, including a public review of each “catch me at my best” service excellence card turned in by customers. Remember, how you treat your associates directly governs how they treat your customers.”
Kimberly Cardinal Piscatelli, VP & Partner, Cardinal Honda
“We always participate in the manufacturers reward programs with a full match. All of our employees are recognized on their achievements at a monthly meeting. On the third Monday of each month, we all meet in the showroom in the afternoon to congratulate one another on birthdays, work anniversaries, awards, achievements and general good news, with cupcakes or ice cream as part of the celebration. The celebrations take place in our show room in plain view of all of our customers. Because we have a no-spiff policy, any gifts, spiffs or gift cards given to employees by vendors etc. are placed in a pool, then at our monthly employee recognition meetings, each employee receives a raffle ticket and we give away any gifts that have accumulated. Our employees really look forward to this whole house meeting each month.”
Chris Lee, General Manager, McCarthy Chevrolet Lee’s Summit
“As an auto group, we try to put together compensation plans that incentivize our employees to achieve specific goals set forth by our leadership. At any given time, all of our management staff has access to all key metrics we value. We constantly update the team on where they stand both individually and collectively within those key metrics.”
Renee Durham, General Manager, Harry Robinson Buick GMC
“I think employee rewards and recognition programs are awesome and contribute to retention. Employee recognition and rewards are an essential piece of the employee engagement and happiness puzzle. Mr. Robinson believes if you take care of your employees, you can count on them to take care of your customers. Our culture includes one where we take good care of our employees professionally and personally; when there is a need, we are aware of it. This is an important step that can’t be missed in an industry where team members are asked to give so much of themselves for the customer service/satisfaction experience.”
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