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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Denim Simkins

Denim Simkins Director, Fixed Ops

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Urgent Update: Magnify Profit Potential by Putting Your Focus Into Building Your People

3c49709f0494f961b7344ccc3fe9a7aa.jpg?t=1Many dealerships are focusing and investing in fixed operations. They are adding high tech equipment, expanding service bays implementing growth strategies and extending hours to meet the demand of the customers. All of these for the most part are necessary and will provide bottom line improvement but I warn you, the time is now, more than ever to focus on your people.

It is the people within your store that provide the experience that customers remember and want to come back. It is the people that build the relationship with your customer. Customers come to see Jim in service – not the brick and mortar or fancy alignment checker in your service drive.

I bring this up because our people see the financial investment being made on specialty equipment and space, but in return they are asked to work longer hours and handle more responsibility and duties. I understand the “tools” put in place are there to help improve profit that in return allows them to make more money. Adding more space allows more cars to flow through the shop that in return helps the advisor improve their customer satisfaction scores, end result make more money. So these tools are actually put here to help everyone achieve higher customer satisfaction and increased income potential.

So why don’t a majority of our employees see it this way? It’s simple, as an industry we typically do not do a good job of communication and performance acknowledgement. Our people want to feel the love and be recognized for their efforts.

Here are some tips that will help communication within your employees and ways you can praise and acknowledge your team’s efforts.

  • Commit to training and advancement from within – Employees will see this process and strive to achieve the same levels.
  • Make sure your compensation plan is fair and within guideline in your market – I wanted it to be known that I will overpay for performance, people wanted to stay with me and I often had calls from those that wanted to come to work.
  • Tackle negative emotions – Do not let these fester, they only get worse. Be in touch with your team so you can see and feel when these issues arise
  • Encourage, Encourage – Bob Wooden – NCAA basketball coaching wizard had a teaching way about him. A study was performed of his teachings for an entire year and they found only 6.6 percent were expressions of displeasure. But 75 percent were pure information on what to do, how to do it, when to intensify an activity.
  • Authentic recognition – Not automatic, the human touch is paramount. Automatic recognition can become impersonal.
  • Tied to the employee’s perception of value – People know when they’re valued, and they should have a good idea of their value to the organization. Monetary rewards can skew this notion of value, linking it to cash when it should be linked to appreciation of extra effort and smarts. Money is appropriate much of the time, but it’s not the only – or even the most effective – motivator. Treat employees as valued team members, not as numbers. Most of the time it’s the best way to really recognize a valued player.
Steve Tuschen
Denim great article, we look at technology and how it can help us, but we still need the people for the technology to help. Growing your own is better than trying to change a habit they have developed.

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