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

Pay Marketing for Results — Getting Results: Teamwork vs. Team

It takes Courage to Change the Status Quo

“How’s the team-work going here?” When we ask that question, animated discussions trail off and embarrassed eyes look away. When the next sentence begins with “Well,” we know what’s coming.

It is a common goal for managers and owners to want staff to work together as a team, to better serve the customer and improve efficiency and profits-yet team cooperation is very difficult to achieve.


1. Some team members have less-than-co-operative personalities?

2. The structure of staff pay plans does not encourage staff members to work together.

We can roll both those items into one: #2. This simple statement captures our approach to teamwork: Tell us how you pay your people, and we can predict their conduct and behaviours.

Some pay plans reward individual effort, yet expect teamwork. If you truly want your firm to function like a high-performance machine, you must oil the components of the machine to work together. In this instance, oil equals money.

Start at the Top and Work Down

Pay plans that support teamwork must start at the top. Who has the biggest interest in having the business function as a team? The customer, certainly, but for the purposes of this article, it is the owner and manager. Why? Because those individuals are usually paid on the performance of the business as a whole.

Redesign Your Pay Plan

Before you implement and/or update any pay plan, set up a list of criteria to review. We recommend you consider the following three questions for redesigning a pay plan. No individual on staff should be omitted from the process. The principles apply to everyone who works in your place of business.

1. Does your pay plan reward individual performance?

2. Does your pay plan support teamwork in and in-between work areas?

3. Does your pay plan take into consideration the issue of customer satisfaction?

The research is clear: customer loyalty is where long-term profitability lies. We all want customer loyalty. Are we willing to invest in it?

Practical general guidelines for a new pay plan approach that works!

1. If a person’s work effort can influence a measurable increase in sales, then 20 to 40 percent of his/her pay plan should include some kind of a performance bonus. An easy example is service advisors-salary alone is not enough reward for your top performers.

2. A rare but powerful pay plan approach is the system of sharing profits among the managers/team-versus paying them solely from their area’s gross or net. To those businesses where it applies, a cross-area gross/net bonus structure forces teamwork and productivity in all areas-because each one affects the others.

Beyond Money

The pay plan is important, but it is not the only motivator for “good” people. Motivational theory defines these good people as “self-actualized” individuals who put forth their best efforts because they enjoy doing well. While owners can get stuck on the issues of remuneration and job security for managers, the good managers have grown beyond the limits of that restricted way of thinking.

We define a “good” employee or manager as an individual who wants to do the right thing, but who feels hampered by the pay structure. Our conversations with good managers have revealed that their prime motivation is “personal.” They have the desire to be the best they can be, thus earning the respect of their peers and their customers.

Do you want to improve the teamwork, productivity, and performance of your team?

Where are your team members, personally?

Are they good at their jobs?

Do they work hard because they enjoy it?

For them, is money the natural extension of an interesting job well done?

If that describes your team, congratulations! If not, here’s our final offer.

Set up a pay plan where each individual has a vested interest in the success of everyone else in your company. Be courageous; make it a total performance-based pay plan.

Remember: tell us how you pay or reward your people, and we will tell you what they do and don’t do.

Don’t fight human nature. Embrace it-to maximize your results!

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. Created for shops from 2 to 32 technicians, it almost pays for itself the first week you use it.

Learn more about this easy-to-implement solution: Call 1-866-852-4347.

Results’ copyrighted service marketing and operational system, “0% Customer Defection & 100% Customer Retention,”

has a proven track record of increasing service gross by 10-20% and beyond-in less than six months. For further information about Results and its automotive and business solutions, call us Toll Free at 1-866-852-4347, email, or visit our Website at

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