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Richard Holland

Richard Holland Managing Director

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For Employees, Recognition Trumps Money

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In case you weren’t aware, this week is Automotive Service Professionals week. Established in 2001 by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), this week celebrates all of the men and women who have chosen automotive repair as their profession. Automotive Service Professionals week offers a great opportunity to recognize your service department technicians. Many dealerships use spiff money for rewards. Money is certainly something most need and want. However, according to a recent article by Psychology Today, a new study of 1,200 U.S. employees, from a broad cross-section of industries, found that money is not as high on the list as some might think. 70% of employees responded that their most meaningful recognition ‘had no dollar value.’ The study was conducted by Make Their Day, an employee motivation firm, and Badgeville, a company that uses game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems.

Other key findings:

  1. 83% of respondents said recognition for contributions was more fulfilling than any rewards or gifts.
  2. 76% found peer praise very or extremely motivating.
  3. 88% found praise from managers very or extremely motivating.
  4. 90% said a “fun work environment” was very or extremely motivating.

I was once told a story about a general manager who personally handed out paychecks to each and every employee – from the GSM all the way down to the porter. As he did so, he always smiled, shook their hand, and thanked them for working for him and doing their best. This simple act took a small amount of his time and accomplished one of the hardest tasks managers face. It created a culture in which the employees felt validated and, in return, they wanted to work for that manager. They wanted to do a great job for him and, because of that, they were more productive and went the extra mile when it was required of them.

There are many ways to recognize employees and show them that you appreciate them that don’t require money. The study shows that 8 out of 10 employees would rather be recognized for their work. When employees don’t feel valued, their production and loyalty decreases. Take a moment of your time on a consistent basis and thank your employees. Show them that you care and that they make a difference to your organization. By doing so, you will foster a company culture of engaged employees who want to help your dealership succeed.

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