Not Just About Money

Studies over the years have focused on what motivates and inspires employees to work harder, smarter and more productively. One thing is certain: money not always is the key to better results. Don't get me wrong. It's difficult to pay a mortgage and buy food with a kind word and a slap on the back. But when it comes to maintaining a productive work environment, it's not just about the money. Another

Studies over the years have focused on what motivates and inspires employees to work harder, smarter and more productively.

One thing is certain: money not always is the key to better results.

Don't get me wrong. It's difficult to pay a mortgage and buy food with a kind word and a slap on the back. But when it comes to maintaining a productive work environment, it's not just about the money.

Another study discussed the main reasons people leave a place of employment. Cited were things like lack of recognition, boredom, lack of challenge and such.

Even though most managers don't like to hear it, many people don't leave organizations. Instead, they leave managers!!

Consider how many dealerships have busy summer months where employees are working longer and harder due largely to the shop being short-staffed because many people are on vacation.

Is there any recognition and appreciation at the end of those tough weeks?

Too few managers recognize staffers for a job well done. There are many ways to respect personnel who have gone above and beyond the call of duty.

Take them to lunch. Order in pizzas. Give them tickets to a sports event or concert.

The responsibility for motivating technicians lies squarely on the shoulders of the service manager. Some of the best managers don't rely on one method for that. They use a variety.

Gam Enterprises, of Chatsworth, CA, has been supplying service departments with pull-tab prize boards for 35 years. Dealers can use these boards in a number of ways, says Cliff Hassel, Gam's president.

Rewarded technicians can pull and win $1, $5 and $25 on the spot with boards such as “Snooper Booster” and “Pot O' Gold.”

These are fun competitive ways to go for the gold. The gold in this case may be a $50 bonus prize. There is also a team board called “Winners' Circle” that is great for those stores on a team system. Teams race to the finish line on one of the boards to gain rewards set by the service manager

Competitions can be set up for achievements such as most up-sells, consecutive days without injury, fewest repair comebacks and fewest sick days.

Some dealers reward advisors and technicians for selling more fuel injection services, wheel alignments and the like which utilizes equipment that costs thousands of dollars but, in some shops, just ends up collecting dust.

Smart managers find ways to reward upsells that keep that equipment in service. I'm recommending upselling things a customer needs or wants, not foisting unnecessary products and services on them just to win a prize.

Meanwhile, a truck store that I have worked with set up a Gary Unger Award. (He was a pro hockey player who never missed a game during his NHL career.) Store technicians who don't miss work for designated lengths of time are rewarded with Snap-on Tool gift certificates

There's no limit to new ways to motivate employees in the back shop without necessarily spending a lot of money.

The key word here is “new.” The best way to motivate employees is to come up with fresh ideas.

If you rely on the same incentives month after month, they lose their effectiveness because workers start to take them for granted. So be creative, have fun and make money for your store.

Dave Skrobot is vice president of fixed operations training for the Automotive Sales College and co-author of the book Sales Meeting Companion. He is at [email protected]

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