If you’re in a management position in a dealership, chances are you’ve spent a great deal of your time advocating for a team-centered culture. Many dealers encounter obstacles when attempting to build better teams because in the past, individual performance was rewarded rather than team collaboration in dealership settings. Although, it’s proven that when your employees work together, your customer experience improves, your staff is happier and your bottom-line skyrockets.
Our first team building exercise here at Vision Management proved to be more than worthwhile. Here are four lessons we learned when the day was said and done:
Trust is Everything
Successful businesses are built on relationships, both externally and internally in an organization. It’s the foundation of ANY relationship! When your employees trust one another, that means they can rely on each other for support. When the departments in your dealership are supporting one another and working together, you’re going to see a more efficient workplace as well as a more profitable one. Participating in silly team building exercises encouraged our staff to show a different side of themselves others wouldn’t normally see in the workplace. It allowed everyone to be a little more vulnerable, which sets a solid foundation for trust.
Another thing we learned, was how important it is to ensure effective communication from the top down in an organization. Have you ever played the Telephone Game? It’s where the first person in line whispers a word or phrase to the person next to them, and the players continue to whisper the phrase until it reaches the last player in line. By the end of the game, almost always the original message is skewed from what players thought they heard. This shows how imperative it is to have clear, concise messages and/or instructions coming from management, so all team members are on the same page.
Different People Mean Different Personality Types
In any organization, there are always going to be different personalities on display. Some may take the lead, and some may take a step back in certain situations. If you’re in charge of a team, know who is who! Get to know your employees on a personal level, whether that may include some one-on-one time or a personality assessment. Ex: if you’re using the DISC assessment, don’t create a team full of dominant (D) personality types! Figure out who will work together for the best result.
The Power of Listening and Respect
Whether you’re a manager or an associate, it’s critical to know that your voice is being heard. Just as associates need to listen to their managers for instruction, advice and encouragement, managers need to listen to their staff regarding their questions, concerns or suggestions. Some of your best ideas might come from your staff! Listening is a sign of respect. It shows you value what the other person has to say, fostering respect in the workplace. When you cultivate a culture centered around respect, you avoid misunderstandings, resolve conflicts, retain talented employees and facilitate a healthy work environment.
Tony Fiorillo is the President and Founder of Vision Management Group. For over a decade, he and his staff have been serving dealerships around the country, improving their processes, products and training for F&I departments, resulting in maximum profitability and reduced expenses. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.