You may have heard the phrase “company culture” tossed around corporate meetings, memos and materials lately. It’s becoming increasingly popular to use company culture as a way of enticing prospective employees, and to boost productivity and morale.
But just what does this nebulous term refer to? Better yet, how can you make company culture work for you and your dealership?
To start with, company culture is a set of guiding work principles that drive company practices. This is done through defining and describes your dealership’s values, as well as vision.
Today, it’s not enough to have sales goals. Studies have shown that employees routinely choose meaning over profits when it comes to looking for a place to work, or when deciding if they want to stay in a position long term. They would like to feel as though they are part of something greater than themselves. They are motivated by the knowledge that they are not just working,9-to-5, but creating a positive impact in some way.
Therefore, if you want to attract and retain top salespeople, you want to create a company culture that promotes meaning over the bottom line. In case you worry that focusing on company culture will end up subtracting from that bottom line, remember that a happy, contented salesforce outperforms one with low morale in every way. By investing in company culture, you are investing in your dealership’s growth.
To create a dealership culture that successfully promotes the above goals, you’ll begin by crafting a mission statement. The statement should be concise, easily understood, and should outline the “big picture.” For example, a mission statement might state “Eliminating purchasing speed bumps so people can get on the road more smoothly” or “Finding a car to fit every driver.”
Your dealership’s mission statement should clearly reflect values that you want to promote, along with the vision you have for you dealership. Looking at the first example given, “Eliminating purchasing speed bumps,” you’re stating that your dealership’s main goal is to make the buying process more user-friendly. In the second example statement, the value is the customer’s needs and finding them a vehicle that will allow them to achieve their own goals.
The vision for your company should be one that covers all members of your dealership team, from the top down. Every person working at the dealership should be able to look at the statement and find some way to tap into it. This will help create an inclusive, team-driven environment, where every employee has a part to play, furthering their investment in the dealership’s success.
Additionally, it should be broad enough to stand the test of time. Consider if the goal can carry you well through five, ten and twenty years. If it’s too specific to your time and place, your vision is too small. You want to make sure that your company culture is one that transcend specific trends and cover all of the industry’s potential.
Mission statements, while they do not need to be plastered on every surface of your dealership’s office, should often be used in writing and speaking with your team. By doing so, you remind them of their higher purpose and tap into the motivation the statement and your company culture are supposed to generate.
By outlining your values and vision so explicitly and then reinforcing them through repetition, your salespeople will know what to focus on most. This will, in turn, create an atmosphere of growth and fulfillment. Done correctly, you’ll find your dealership expanding it’s client base and sales, as marketing becomes more focused on achieving the mission goals. You’ll also find your salesforce happier, longer lasting and more productive than ever. Overall, there’s little to lose and much to gain by investing some time and energy in creating the perfect company culture for your dealership.