While we would all like our teams to be on the ball and excited about making sales 24-7, the reality is there are going to be high and low points throughout the year. Whether it’s a seasonal drag or a sales slump, there will be times when troop morale is down.
The good news is that morale can be lifted. Just as it went down, it can be brought up again. Here are a few tips for raising the bar back when it’s flagging.
- Prioritize Morale
Though you may be tempted to put morale-boosting efforts on the back burner during heavy or light times so that staff focuses solely on making sales, remember that a positive sales force will automatically perform better. Morale-boosting is a business investment, well worth the time and energy it will take. Though you may have to put things on hold for a few minutes or hours, in the long run that time will pay off with even more robust sales.
- It Starts With You
As manager, you’re the one who ultimately sets the tone in your dealership. Before looking for ways to raise everyone else’s spirits, examine your own. What messages, conscious and unconscious, have you been sending your team? Think of ways to boost your energy, especially when you come in, as how you start the day will indicate the mood for the rest of the day. Consider how your dress, posture and tone affect the overall atmosphere of your dealership. It may be a few simple adjustments on your part can alter the general morale for the better.
- Employee Recognition
One of the greatest morale deflators is working day in and out on the same projects without recognition. People like feeling achievement. That sense is often gained through others recognizing their efforts. Boost morale by recognizing your employee’s accomplishments on a regular basis. This can be done through words of affirmation, such as “I appreciate you getting this report in early” and “Wow! You answered that last caller with much more patience than I would have been able to manage.” You can also show recognition through small acts of service, such as providing your sales team with a new blend of coffee in the morning or by having a special snack brought in the afternoon. Grand gestures, such as employee of the month, are also nice, but at the end of the day, small, regular bursts of encouragement will go a lot farther.
- Give ‘em a Break
Finally, make sure your employees get breaks during their shifts. While you may want to maximize their productivity, everyone does better when they’re rested. Staring at a computer or being on call for too long can make a salesperson sluggish or bored. Encourage your staff to take a break every so often so that they can clear their minds. Have them take a walk around the lot, or sit down for a cup of coffee. They’ll usually return to the job refreshed and more alert than before.