Auto Service World
Feature   March 1, 2003   by Gordon Cameron and Ken Keis

Marketing for Results: Do You Know Where You’re Going?

Your Business Profitability Is Counting On It - Part 2

Five Staff Truths

In an open question response format, respondents were asked to offer their viewpoint regarding the main reasons for poor performance or lack of productivity within their shop/dealership/manufacturer. Here are their top five points.

1. Open Communications, without Judgment

Over half the staff felt they could not have a conversation with their company’s leadership without hearing judgmental comments. When that is true in an organization, you can kiss your maximum profitability goodbye. People will shut up before they will mention obvious improvements that could help the business.

2. Lack of Trust toward Management

If managers make a promise and don’t keep it, creditability disappears. Many employees felt they could not trust management to keep – or follow-through on – promises. This significantly affected their loyalty and productivity.

3. Incompetent Managers – Lack of Skills

In the previous two items, staff listed a manager’s style as the main reason for staff not realizing their full potential in the organization. In Truth #3, the supervisor or manager simply can’t get the job done, or does not know how to do it competently. We mentioned in past articles that if a sports team is not performing, guess who gets let go? Usually the coach – not the players. The coach created the team and led it. He is held accountable for its success, or lack thereof.

4. Lack of Employee Recognition

Giving recognition and saying thanks doesn’t cost money. Even though people want and need a paycheque, they want really want more. Many of us tend to undercommunicate successes and overcommunicate failures.

5. Performance and Quality Standards for All Staff

What drives staff crazy is inconsistent accountability – or none at all. If you have a standard, people need to know about it in advance; it’s unfair to hold them to something unstated. In the research, managers who did not hold staff accountable to preset standards actually lost additional performance from other staff members who were observing the situation. This attitude came across loud and clear: if they don’t have to adhere to policy, why should we?!

In addition, we asked managers and employees what they seek most in a job. We asked them to rank the follow 10 items in order of importance.

What Do Employees Want?

As rated by both Employees and Management

1. Wages

2. Job Security

3. Interesting Work

4. Working Conditions

5. Appreciation of Work Done

6. Management Loyalty to Workers

7. Promotion

8. Feeling “In” on Things

9. Tactful Discipline

10. Help on Personal Problems

Wages and Job Security were the top two items chosen, and those answers paralleled the research data. The next three – Interesting Work, Working Conditions, and Appreciation of Work Done – tied for third. In a less than favourable work environment, staff members will underperform, and may leave your organization soon after you have invested the time and money to train them.

If you really want to maximize the productivity and profitability of your organization, implement your vision and lead your team with proven strategies.

Ken Keis conducted primary research for his MBA thesis on the effect an organization’s stated (or unstated) vision, mission, and values have on employee morale, job satisfaction, productivity, quality of work done, and profitability. His research included the auto industry at the manufacturer and retail level. The highlights in this article are taken from that thesis.

About Results Consulting Group Inc.

Results is an international full-service business consulting company with special expertise and experience in the automotive industry.In the past five years alone, Results’ team of automotive professionals has trained more than 20,000 automotive personnel-and logged thousands of in-store consulting-project days, from independent operations to national and international chains. Senior Partners Ken Keis and Gordon Cameron have over 45 years of combined business-ownership experience and 15,000 hours of automotive consulting experience. The Results Performance Institute provides a full range of information products and services designed to increase your business and individual performance, including personal one-on-one coaching, in-store consulting, on- and off-site educational sessions, tele-conferences, videos, and audio solutions. Results also provides appointment-scheduling and dispatch software solutions-ServiceMate-specifically designed for the independent maintenance and repair sector. Shops wishing to start growing their service business immediately can now order ServiceMate software.

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