Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly! (Part 1)

I was speaking with one of my dealers about Technician Pay Plans and he said I have to do something because the one we have rewards those for no extra effort. Well, I have worked with a lot of different pay plans over the years and found the only way to pay anyone in any business is pay them on performance.

I have seen 90% of dealers install a pay plan without thinking about the consequences. The number one thing I found is the employee has no clear Job Description of what he's getting paid for and if there is a Job Description, it hasn't been reviewed in years or updated for current times.

Then I hear this famous quote: "I can't get my employees to do what I ask!" and not understand that you teach what you allow! What do I mean? If a Technician walks in late did you address it with him/her? 

If an advisor is late coming back from lunch did you address it right then? If not your teaching every employee that it's OK to be late to work or lunch because there will be no consequence to pay.

How can we expect our employees to be productive without a Job Description? If we’re not Training, Coaching, and Consulting them on what their expected to do everyday while they’re working for you, what results can we expect?  

I just don't understand the thinking, or lack of thinking of why anyone would think they would be  productive! I also have seen many really good employees with great attitudes get fired for not knowing what is expected of them to begin with!

I have seen over and over again where a dealership hires a Service Advisor, Service Manager, Cashier, Porter, Technician, etc., then handed a pen and told to go to work because they should know what to do because they have done this before. 

They don't even know were the bathroom is or what stall to work in, or how to close out the cash box for the night! It's unreal but true!

Here's what I know works every time and you will never fire anyone again. I always build a Job Description with pay plan first for a position I want to fill that makes good business sense. I review the Job Description with the potential new hire.

I have everyone fill out a Behavior Profile and make sure that Behavior matches the Job Description before I proceed. Then I have twenty interview questions I use to see if this person fits my Job Description.

I then have them come back for a third time and let someone else interview them and make sure we agree on this person for the job. This takes a lot of the guess work out of the decision making process. 

Then of course, after we make the decision to hire them  and it's off to drug testing, background checks, driver license checks, etc.

When this is completed, I have them come in for the orientation process. We review the employee handbook,  give them a tour of the dealership to meet everyone, show them where everything is and review the Job Description with pay plan once again. 

Finally, I get their signature stating that they agree with all the above as well as their agreement to follow it.

The fun has just begun! This is the time we start the Training Process on our business model on how we build relationships with our customers, employees, and vendors through timeless Basic Fundamentals until they prove they can follow it or not.

 If they can, then we can then go into the Daily Coaching Process until they’re achieving the Objectives and Goals set for a customer sensitive and profitable business.

That's when the consulting process comes in. This is the fine tuning needed to have a top performing employee through performance reviews daily. Remember what is measured can be managed and what we allow, we teach! 

The accountability process is where the tire meets the pavement. If you never want to fire another employee again then you must hold everyone accountable for their performance in writing.

I can't tell you how many times a manager went to fire someone only to find out nothing has been documented and either the dealer was getting sued, or you were not able to let this employee go due to their union contract! 

Don't let this happen to you and document everything you do with each employee. They will respect you for it more then just talking about what happened!

Now, as I said "Never Fire an Employee Again"…this can be achieved  if you follow these guidelines and build your own Employee Hire to Fire Process. 

When the time comes to review, if they don’t meet or exceed expectations within a certain time period they will fire themselves based on the agreement you have with them on what is good, great, or ugly performance as long as it is written up and signed.

I always ask them…when continuous performance is not up to standards, what would you do if you were in my seat? They always say I would let you go! This Hire to Fire process is the Basic Fundamentals of any business whether it’s a hamburger stand or a car dealership!

Remember turnover cost is huge and your customer is the one who suffers for all the confusion they have to go through and usually never come back because of it.

If you need any assistance putting together your Employee Hire to Fire business model let me know.

Guy Salkeld is the President and Head Performance Coach of Automotive Consultants Group Inc. The only Low Risk High Return Training, Coaching, and Consulting company in the world! To learn more go to www.smartservicetraining.com  Have a question? E-Mail Guy directly at guyacg@aol.com or Call me direct at: 305-331-3373    


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