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7 Key ingredients for dealership-wide accountability

One of the most difficult yet important tasks for business leaders is finding ways to hold their staff accountable. From employees who have worked at a dealership for decades to those just starting out, it is imperative to make sure they are all efficiently completing their assigned tasks and contributing to the team as much as possible. The following list includes seven key ingredients for dealership-wide accountability.

1. Transparency about goals

The word “accountability” gets thrown around a lot, but many dealers do not have an explanation of what that actually means for them. Dealership management should set clear goals for their business, which will involve drawing out specific objectives for each employee and each team as a whole. Most people work better when they have a specific metric or goal to reach, so making a clear plan regarding expectations may improve staff’s engagement and overall success.

2. A great CRM

Undoubtedly one of the best tools available to dealers today is a customer relationship management system. This technology allows leaders to track their staff’s communication with customers, hours logged, and procedures that seem to be working (and those that don’t). Dealership management teams are able to gather crucial information from these systems on their own time and do not need to be physically present at their dealerships to monitor their employees.

3. Tough conversations when needed

Many business leaders dread having to connect with an employee about poor performance, but it needs to be done in order to maintain accountability. It is best to enter these conversations prepared with proof, such as information obtained from the CRM system. Relevant documentation for these conversations may include visuals of how the employees are performing and where they are supposed to be at. Of course, management should also point out an employee’s strengths during these difficult discussions.

4. Stellar Training

Training is, of course, one of the most critical parts of any job. If employees are trained well, they will be aware of their specific responsibilities and what is expected of them. Solid training leads to confidence, which allows dealership employees to do their jobs well and stay accountable for their own work.

5. Promote a culture of accountability

It is important for leaders to promote a culture of accountability, meaning they must be an example and hold themselves accountable, too. If employees witness their bosses accepting responsibility for any mistakes or poor decisions, they may be more likely to hold themselves accountable for their own work. This can lead to lower turnover rates and an uptick in productivity and profitability.

6. Recognize success

Not only can recognizing employees for their successes make them feel valued, it can also improve their confidence and therefore make them more encouraged to continue meeting the goals that have been put into place. Recognition can be given either privately or among the entire team, but either way leaders who acknowledge hard work are likely to create an environment of stronger accountability. Some management teams also opt to implement motivational strategies such as team outings and prizes for top performers.

7. Empower employees

Dealership management teams should empower their staff by allowing them to make certain decisions on their own and take initiative to find more effective and efficient ways of carrying out certain tasks. Employees who feel they do not have the ability to be proactive in their work and have to follow years-old procedures may get discouraged, therefore reducing the amount of accountability they will place on their performance. Giving employees freedom lets them control how they work and they are then more likely to take responsibility for the outcomes.

Ultimately, the concept of accountability as a whole can be overwhelming for dealers, but once clear goals and procedures are laid out, they can be confident that their entire teams will do their best work and hold themselves accountable for it.

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Kimberly Hurley
Kimberly Hurley
Kimberly Hurley is a contributing writer and investigative journalist for CBT News, with over a decade of experience specializing in automotive, healthcare, and manufacturing. She enjoys working with industry professionals throughout the world to develop engaging, and accurate content.

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