I have the opportunity to travel across this country working with Automotive Dealerships. I interview thousands of employees and one question that I always ask is, “How do you know you did a good job at the end of the day?” It amazes me the different answers I get. The most common would probably be, “I don’t know.” If our employees do not know what a good job looks like, how can we expect them to do one? The management team gets a copy of the financial statement at the end of the month. A good or bad month is determined by the results of hitting or missing the forecast or budget. Most employees are not privileged to this information. They often do not know if it was a good or bad month. We often get caught up working “in” the business and not “on” the business. The achievement of daily goals by the staff is what leads to the attainment of monthly projections. Most employees who do not have an established goal will often develop their own. In most cases the goal is to “just make it through the day.” Is this what we want our team to focus on? What could happen if they had a goal that aligned with the department’s success? What if management spent time acknowledging the achievement of these goals on a daily basis? Could morale improve and turnover decrease? I have included some ideas on establishing goals for your staff.
Technician Goals or Objectives
- Start by reviewing 10 weeks of technician productivity.
- Divide the flat rate hours produced by the number of days worked to determine the average number of flat rate hours produced per day.
- Add a 5% increase to the top third producers in the shop, add 10% to the middle third, and add 15% to the bottom third.
- Meet with each technician individually to agree on these targets.
- Follow up daily with each technician on the previous day’s performance.
- Acknowledge those that hit the target.
- Ask those that missed if there is anything you can do to help.
Conversations about performance on a daily basis often provide information that is crucial to the department’s success. This process doesn’t take long but it is extremely important that it is done consistently.
Now that we understand how many hours the shop is expected to produce each day, we can determine how many hours the advisors need to write.
Service Advisor Goals or Objectives
- Meet with Service Advisors individually to determine their target hours for the day. Most Advisors will set a goal higher than the minimum daily share of the objective.
- Ask for 4 or 5 action steps that the advisor is going to do every day to achieve the goal.
- Put the action plan in writing.
Now that the Service Advisors and Technicians all have a labor hour target to hit each day, hitting the objective becomes a “Good Job!”
It is important to acknowledge good performance in public, but coaching opportunities should be done in private. Everyone likes to be recognized in front of their peers, but no one likes to be coached up in front of them. Score boards or white boards are a good way to track progress or to keep the score. After all, we wouldn’t attend a professional sporting event if we couldn’t see the score. Don’t underestimate the positive feeling an employee has when they leave work with a pat on the back for hitting their objective. Celebrating daily success will lead to monthly improved performance.
Written by Pete November
If you would like more information pertaining to this subject or any subject regarding Fixed Operations, please contact Pete November (330-592-1535) or firstname.lastname@example.org.