The importance of our employees is evident with every key performance indicator in the dealership. Every customer transaction could be positive or negative, based solely on the attitude of one individual employee. In some dealerships they turn people over like clothing and believe that improves the attitude of everybody, because they are in fear of their job. Other dealerships are so committed to their team. They allow poor performance out of misguided loyalty. I am not a fan of employee turnover however, at times with appropriate guidance it is necessary to properly take care of your customers.
One of the most common mistakes dealership management makes is; that they are weak in explaining expectations to the employee. You can imagine when the team member doesn’t meet the expectations of management every one becomes frustrated with the poor performance. Make sure the expectations of every team member are clear. That dealership processes are not optional, and require total buy-in by everyone on the team. When a team member doesn’t meet the clearly defined expectations, immediate coaching by management should occur. This should always be individual coaching and never in front of any other team members, unless they are involved in the issue.
Coaching should always be encouraging and uplifting never involving beating down the spirit of any party. Good leadership also listens to other points of view however, stands firm on the values and commitment of the dealership to provide exceptional customer care and not deviate from established processes. Always have a written record of coaching sessions with all parties signing and dating the document for future reference if needed.
Remove When Necessary
Terminating an employee is never easy however, if an individual won’t respond to the coaching efforts of management action must be taken. If management allows inappropriate behavior the entire team is affected like cancer spreading throughout the body of a human. Termination should never be a surprise, and be totally documented at least three times before the actions taken. Don’t lose sight of the fact that all of us serve only one purpose and that is to care for our customer.
There’s no room in any member of the dealership team performing below standards over a long period of time. If someone flat out doesn’t care and has the wrong attitude, remove the tumor and go about finding suitable replacement. Good leadership should have any team member responding to their coaching and consider a termination a personal failure.
Rob Gehring, President
Fixed Performance Inc.
Rob is President and Founder of Fixed Performance Inc. which he began over 15 years ago. His passion for customer care and helping others has assisted hundreds of dealerships with their fixed operations performance. His common sense coaching and training lifts people up as individuals and team members. With over 30 years of dealership management experience, he understands and respects the daily challenges of fixed operations. Placing a strong value in people and best practice processes always provide growth. His articles have been published regularly in national publications and weekly newsletters are read by thousands.