Though clients give you business, employees are the ones that keep you in business. A happy, positively motivated employee base has been proven to increase sales and promote customer loyalty. On the flip side, dissatisfied employees tend to work inefficiently, lower overall morale, and can lead to high turnover rates, all of which eat deeply into your dealership’s bottom line.
Knowing this should make it evident that it’s crucial to build employee loyalty. However, many managers are at a loss as to how to go about creating an atmosphere that encourages salespeople to stay on. They reason that a paycheck with occasional bonuses and/or a small raise ought to be a strong enough motivator.
This could not be further from the truth. In studying happiness, positive psychologists have discovered that after one’s basic needs for food, shelter, and clothing are taken care of, increased wealth doesn’t correlate to increased happiness. So while people appreciate having cash, money doesn’t tend to breed feelings of loyalty and contentedness in a workplace environment.
Instead, it’s been observed that a far more significant investment is in the employees themselves, rather than their bank accounts. In this area, there are three distinct categories of investment you can make to deepen employee loyalty and give them the motivation to stick with you long term.
#1. Invest in Them Personally
One of the greatest gifts you can give a person is attention. We all want it in one form or another, and your employees are no exception. Find little ways to show your workers that you see them. When speaking with them, signal with your body language that you value what they have to say by making eye contact, letting them speak uninterrupted, and by making appropriate comments that reflect you’ve been actively listening to what they have to say.
When an opportunity arises, make it a point as well to compliment your employees with specific compliments. For example, don’t just tell them good work. Instead, let them know that you’re impressed with how they handled that last sales call as you could tell the person on the other end was a particularly frustrating customer.
Finally, find out what matters to your employees. If you have a theater fan among your salesforce, tickets to an upcoming show will go much further in inspiring loyalty than a bonus on the next paycheck. These kinds of small touches demonstrate to your employees that you see them as individuals and as people, rather than just a means to a sale.
#2. Invest in Them Professionally
One of the most demoralizing things a worker might experience is the desire to do well when they don’t have the tools to do a good job. Make sure your employees have all the tools they need for the job, be it numbers they need to call or an extra box of staples for their stapler.
Additionally, provide training opportunities for your salespeople that will help them feel they are expanding their skills and have new possibilities for advancement. Few people take on a sales position with the hopes of staying at the bottom for long. Help your employees become more skilled and you’ll benefit as well from having a stronger staff.
Not only that, but trust them to do their jobs. Micromanaging dampens team spirit. Once you’ve tapped someone for a task, have faith and give them space to perform.
#3. Invest in a Dream They Can Share
A final, powerful motivator for staff loyalty is creating a higher purpose for your employees. We all work best when we feel our efforts are contributing to a greater good. Be it attaching your dealership to a charity or crafting a company culture that is mission-driven, making your dealership’s atmosphere not only a pleasant environment to work in but a meaningful one will inspire greater employee retention. Workers will want to stay on because they identify with the higher goal. No longer 9-to-5, they’ll see their role in your dealership as a calling and few people walk away from their calling.
With these three simple investments, you can shift the mood in your dealership and form long-lasting, meaningful connections with employees, encouraging them to stick with you through thick and thin.