When we think of business development today, one word comes to mind: disruption. From technology to the entrance of a new generation of workers, much of what we have come to know about business management has changed rapidly. Leaders have had to become flexible in how they approach the skill of management.
Consumers have become more in tune with what they want to see from companies: authenticity, better customer experiences, and personalization. As a result, leaders have had to alter their management styles to embrace collaboration and innovation among employees. So, the days of “old-school” management styles no longer hold up in today’s workplace.
Is Your Dealership Still Subscribing to Outdated Management Styles?
Changing consumer tastes and the introduction of the millennial generation are causes for dealerships to reassess their management approach. Unfortunately, some dealers (and business owners in general) may still use outdated and “old-school” management styles.
For example, historically, business leaders took on a top-down approach when it comes to decision-making. Today, leaders have realized that the input of their employees and those closest to consumers is incredibly valuable. As a result, more leaders are utilizing a bottom-up management style to incorporate employee input. Older management styles could also be characterized by:
- A desire to do things the way they have always been done (even if the results are not favorable).
- Managers are putting more of an emphasis on what they say, and not what they do.
- Failing to embrace new ideas.
- More focus on organizational hierarchy and positional authority.
- The cultivation of an office culture that lacks feedback and mentorship.
Companies are starting to embrace a more decentralized and goal-oriented management style that better addresses employee and consumer needs. So, how can your dealership move into this new wave of management? Take a look at our tips for restructuring your dealership to unlock your employee’s creativity and potential.
Give Your Team Opportunities to Lead
Again, today’s modern management style embraces a bottom-up approach. Instead of getting senior leadership involved with the day-to-day tasks and projects, allow your lower-level staff to own their work. Give them the opportunity to show where they excel. For example, instead of having your marketing director lead the next used car sales campaign, allow them to let a junior staff member own this project. Not only does it train your staff to step into a leadership role eventually, but it also frees up your senior-level staff to focus on higher-level strategies.
Provide Consistent Feedback
An infographic from OfficeVibe revealed that four in ten workers are actively engaged when they receive little to no feedback. Workers want to know how they are performing, and today’s managerial styles embrace the concept of consistent feedback. Individuals want to know how they can improve, and if their strengths are an asset to the company. This system enables you to work with employees to develop goals that align with your dealership’s business objectives. As a result, you can easily monitor their progress and help them improve their approach.
Allow for Quick Decision-Making
Again, today’s technologies and consumer tastes are evolving at a rate never before seen. This change requires companies to be flexible in how they approach customer experiences. For example, you may have a competitor who has adopted a new dynamic CRM system which allows them to send out automated marketing messaging. In the past, you may have gone through various meetings with different departments to determine if acquiring a similar technology is the right move. Today’s decentralized management approach does away with these processes. The goal is to work in such a collaborative and cohesive way that decisions can be made quickly.
Going on a “hunch” is no longer acceptable. Today, the prevalence of data makes it easy to use statistics to back-up your decisions. So, it is imperative that you measure as much as you can. You may think that only monitoring sales goals is essential, but this could not be further from the truth. Your employee’s well-being, progress, and feelings about the dealership are just as crucial. The same can be said for your customers. So, seek out their feedback. Send out anonymous pulse surveys to employees and feedback surveys to customers so you can make plans to improve on their experiences.
While disruption may be uncomfortable, it requires us to take a step back to assess how we fit into the changes happening around us. Today’s customers and employees are looking for dealerships that better address their needs, and a bottom-up and decentralized leadership style can help dealers accomplish this. The ultimate goal is to stay relevant, competitive, and in-tune with your constituents. Creating strategies—like the ones above— that make their needs a priority is a crucial first step.