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7 Effective Ways To Embrace Change In Your Dealership Process

car displayed on platform above fountain

Much the same as the way car repairs have evolved over the years, so has the entire dealership process. Recent events have created or accelerated the need for changes more rapidly than anyone expected. Change can be a scary, confusing time, but it can also be incredibly exciting as you evolve to bring your dealership to the next level. Once you embrace change, then you open up to the many new opportunities that can come your way that will be beneficial to everyone involved. It’s crucial that every member of your team is ready to be part of the change and not hinder the opportunities that could come. 

So how do you embrace change in your dealership process? What are the ways you can innovate and adapt to the wants and needs of the consumer of today? From social media to better communication amongst your team, the following are 7 effective ways to embrace change in your dealership process:

  1. Make it a team effort: When you let your employees know how their contributions are essential to the changes you’re making, it will make them feel empowered. By encouraging everyone to be a part of the changes you’re making, they will feel like they have an essential role in the changes being made. You don’t run the risk of someone feeling left out or like they don’t have anything to offer. Instead, you show that the evolution of your dealership is a team effort.
  2. Lead through an example: Your employees are looking to you and your leadership team as a source of motivation and inspiration during the times of change. It’s crucial that you demonstrate a positive attitude, as this will reflect in the way they approach the new changes in your dealership process.
  3. Check-in: Nobody is expected to grasp the new changes overnight. Some of your employees might be having a harder time than others, but don’t want to verbalize it for fear of looking like a failure. Check in with your employees to see how they are doing, if they have any questions or concerns, and perhaps any suggestions. Offer additional training or any other support that might be needed throughout the process.
  4. Accentuate the positive: It’s important that your employees know the benefits of this change so that they can visualize what these changes will bring. Accentuate the positive ways your employees will be impacted. This is a sure way to get everyone excited and onboard with the process.
  5. Create one message: Social media has become an increasingly popular way for businesses to connect with their customers. Create a message that accurately represents your brand and why your dealership is set apart from everyone else.
  6. Customer Experience: As important as the overall efficiency of your dealership is, your customer is the top priority. Throughout these changes, you want to create a memorable experience for your customers that will have them referring their friends and family to your dealership. Have a clean facility that puts customers at ease. Make sure that whoever is the first POC is friendly and knowledgeable. If an employee is rude or uninformed, it will leave a bad taste for your customer and actually diminish the reputation of your dealership. Make sure it’s a positive experience they’ll never forget.
  7. Communicate: Communication is one of the most critical aspects of effectively leading a team through change. Your employees will appreciate your consideration to keep them informed through the various stages of the changes. Also, it will bring an overall smoother transition process since your employees will already be informed of what to expect next. 

There are so many different ways that you can embrace change in your dealership. Perhaps there’s something unique only to your location that you can make a prominent feature in this process. Even if you’re part of a major chain in a big city, change is all about standing out amongst your competition. Work together with your team, make the customers your #1 priority, and you’re guaranteed to be successful. 
Here’s a bonus tip: celebrate every win! Success can come in many shapes and sizes. Celebrate each milestone that comes from your dealership throughout the change. Highlight when an employee or department does something exceptionally well. Emphasize how there’s truly no “I” in “team.” You do that, and your entire dealership will embrace change with confidence and ease.

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Coaching Benefits For Your Dealership You Never Knew About…Until Now

If you knew there was a way to increase the self-confidence of your employees by 80% and improve their performance by 70% (International Coaching Federation), would you do it? 

As the cold months of January and February keep many away from dealerships, this can be a difficult time for dealership employees. Slow days of waiting for customers to show up can be stressful. Doing little or even nothing can be exhausting and frankly, make your employees feel depleted at the end of the day. 

If you’re reading this, and morale and engagement at the dealership are flagging despite you doing everything you can think of to keep your team engaged and upbeat, you’re not alone. If anything, it feels as if you hit a wall and tried every method to create the best possible workplace for you and your team. Is there anything that can be done other than giving your team additional days off to recharge? 

Thankfully, there is a solution: coaching. We’re not talking about hiring someone to blow a whistle around the dealership, but rather implementing some methods that help your employees reach their goals and help managers prepare for the day leaders retire. In other words, coaching “can be used for solving problems, helping with goals and objectives, and improving performance” (Wavelength). 

Here are just some of the benefits that come from coaching: 

Improved Motivation: We all could use a boost of motivation from time to time. Coaching can motivate your employees to get things done, whether it be accomplishing personal goals or goals that will help the business. When people know their role and the work they do is important for the success of the company, it gives them a renewed sense of motivation to accomplish more. As a result, employees are more engaged in the workplace, improving overall workplace productivity. 

Personal Awareness: Another way employees benefit from coaching is because they have an improved sense of their awareness. A coach can help employees become aware of areas they might not know need improvement and can work towards improving them. This will allow them to turn any weakness into strengths, which can be utilized not just for personal improvement but can also positively affect the dealership. Who wouldn’t want that? 

Increased Engagement: Working in a dealership environment can often make employees feel like the sales team are the only people who matter. In actuality, every department is dependent on one another for the dealership’s success, no matter if you’re a powerhouse dealer or a family-run location. Coaching encourages your employees to become more engaged in the workplace. As a result, they feel more desire to participate as a team with the rest of your dealership team and feel like an essential part of the dealership’s success. When employees are actively involved in the workplace, they feel more valued and have increased productivity.  

Planning Ahead: Many people in leadership positions fear the day their top managers retire or if prominent individuals decide to pursue other ventures. These people are critical to the success of the dealership, so what happens when they leave? Coaches can work with your top team members to prepare capable employees to take over once an old leader leaves through a method known as “succession planning.” It’s a process that will most likely require these individuals to acquire “bench strength” or the necessary new skills, in the meantime, to prepare them for taking over one day. Coaching can help throughout this whole process. 

Implementing workplace coaching is important for any business that desires to grow and achieve goals as a team while being prepared for the future. Increased employee engagement, better decision-making processes, and improved communication are just a few of the benefits businesses see from coaching. Give it a try today, and see how a coaching culture benefits your dealership.

Photo Credits:
Top: Caleb Roenigk
Middle: Deb Nystrom
Bottom: Chris Hunkeler

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5 Ways To Create Employee Engagement

  • Recognition
  • Purpose
  • Leadership
  • Collaboration
  • Make it Special

Employees who are fully engaged in their workspace and what they do can genuinely change a company. They are fueled with inspiration and focused on the company vision. When this happens, it can spread to the entire company and positively affects the customers. 

However, recent studies have shown that the most experienced employees are often the least engaged in a company. One study showed that 68% of employees are “not fully engaged at work” (Gallup). That’s well over half of your entire staff! Another showed that Service and Sales departments had the weakest level of employee engagement (Netsurvey). In other words, the employees who have daily interactions with customers are the least engaged. 

That’s not what you, or any business, would want. Thankfully, there are ways to help your employees stay motivated. We compiled a list of 5 ways that have been proven to keep your team motivated in the workplace. Check them out below: 

1)  Recognition 
Your team needs to feel their work is noticed and appreciated. Take time to give positive feedback to your employees. It will make them feel valued and encourage them to engage even more in the company to help bring the dealership to new levels. 

2)  Create A Purpose 
Employees want to be a part of something beyond a paycheck. Perhaps your dealership partners with a charity during a Summer Sales fundraiser event. Or maybe when a customer purchases a new vehicle, a portion of that sale goes to the charity of their choice. Now, more than ever, people want to make the world a better place in any capacity. If you show that your dealership gives back, your employees will feel more engaged in a business that represents a positive contribution to the community. 

3) Top Positions Need To Lead By Example
Whether they are managers, executives, or team leaders, the top positions at your dealership must set an example for being engaged in the workplace. As noted above, the most experienced employees often have the least engagement. Create opportunities for top positions to work together with other team members to create an exciting atmosphere in your dealership. Your top positions must demonstrate they are fully engaged and motivated because this will influence the rest of your team. 

Leading by example will give your staff the incentive to work hard and contribute. People can instantly tell walking in if they want to do business with your dealership, based on the energy they feel. If they can tell your team lacks motivation, they’ll go elsewhere. 

4) Work Together 
Your employees may be lacking engagement because they feel like they have no voice. Have your leadership positions work together with the rest of your team allows them to give opinions, suggestions, etc. This will allow your leaders to note which employees lack motivation, and encourage your stronger employees to step up and grow within the company. 

5) Make Them Feel Special
First days, birthdays, and work anniversaries are all big deals at the workplace. Treating these like just another day misses an easy opportunity to keep your employees engaged. You must make your employees feel appreciated right from the start and throughout the year to create camaraderie among the staff and a welcoming environment where they’re genuinely excited to work. 

Your dealership could be their dream job if you encourage employee engagement. It’s possible, and these are just 5 of the ways you can create that. 

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