Building Relationships with Your Employees

Sometimes the simplest things are the hardest. People are people all over the country. We all want and need people in our lives that build us up. Who show us something new. Who can help us improve our current situation.

We all strive for greatness every day in the things we do. We need and want encouragement for the daily things we do every day. This can be very important for employee morale. What I have found to motivate people is to talk to them, tell them what you need and want, and watch them shine. This article isn’t about service as much as it is about life.

I have had the honor and privilege of interviewing hundreds of service department employees. From porters to presidents. I have spoken to them all. I ask the question “What’s a good job mean to you?”

It’s hard for them to answer because their employer doesn’t let them know when they are doing a good job. Hard to answer because in the manager’s day-to-day struggle to make everyone happy they rarely have time to sit with their employees and tell them what a good job they did. It’s not good for anyone’s morale (managers included).

It’s the little things that matter.

After I showed a dealer principal the advisor sales averages for the last six months, the principal’s perception of who the weak link on the advisory staff was completely opposite from reality. After the meeting was over, he took the time to call the employee and tell him what a great job he was doing.

I interviewed that employee the next day and he was beaming. He was so excited to take the call last night he had to share. He was physically shaking as he told me about the conversation.

One call made that employee’s day/week/month.

I would bet the conversation around the dinner table that night was something special.

Service departments are many things, but in the end it all comes down to being nice. Serving our customers, the way they should be treated time after time. The leaders in CSI OLP show it time after time. Someone once told me a happy employee is one that feels valued. I took that to heart and from that day I treated everyone like I would like to be treated.

There are many ways to build relationships. If you’re a dealer principal, stop out in the shop and say hello. Stop by and chat about family, weather, baseball games, whatever–it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is you took the time from your busy day to say hello.

We ask our service departments to build relationships with our customers. We in turn as management don’t take the time to even say hello in the busy hustle of day to day.

We all need to feel the love to perform at our best!

As in life if we don’t work on the relationship it will fail and, in the end, we will lose our most valuable asset–our employees.

Written by Gus Wadsworth

If you like this article send me a note at and if you ever need any help learning this life lesson, please feel free to contact me. I would be happy to stop out and let you know what your employees think of you!

About the Author