Employee Engagement (and Why It’s Worth Your Time)

Bottom lines. Sales goals. Metrics. KPIs. Marketing campaigns. These are all really important aspects of running a successful dealership, but before you can achieve a good marketing campaign and before you can reach any sales goals, you have to look within, specifically at your employees. Without them, you have no business to run, and certainly no cars to sell. Without happy employees, you may as well just fold ‘em and call it quits. Knowing that before happy customers you need happy employees, what are some good points to consider when engaging your most valuable assets?

Consider that engaged employees voluntarily invest extra time, effort and initiative to contribute to business success. They feel a sense of purpose toward their role, and bring enthusiasm, passion and energy to the work they do. As well as being more motivated, committed and loyal, engaged workers are typically higher performers and produce better results for both the customer and the company.

This all starts from the top. Competent and hands-on leadership is critical to employee engagement. Showing a genuine interest in your employees and investing time in understanding their needs and aspirations will help send the message that their contribution is valued.

About those metrics: have you ever considered applying all of your marketing research to doing a little in-house research on your employees? Just like you measure website metrics and revenues, you can measure employee engagement. Create a survey with a few questions that can be easily scored on a scale of 1 to 5, and commit to regularly sending it around for completion. You should include an open field on the survey where employees can add their own ideas for improvement of the work environment. Take this information and compile this data. Listen to it. It is just as important, if not more, than the metrics you’ve gathered from last quarter’s marketing campaign.

Give Accolades (and Share This Information Widely!)

Social recognition is an easy and quick way to highlight and reinforce to your employees they have done a good job and you value their contributions.

Use social media to recognize someone from your team. Try a monthly employee post where you highlight their years of service, ask them about their favorite car and point out what value they bring to the organization.

Performance Reviews Still Count

The modern day workforce tends to place value in knowing their place and how they’re doing at all times.  Empowering your managers to hold weekly check-ins with your team will help deliver on that. Make this a habit. Meet with your management team regularly to determine if there are issues with performance and build a quick action plan to get in front of the problems before they become bigger than they should.

Emphasize Your Mission

It’s important that you emphasize, once in a while, what your company stands for. People need to be reminded of why they are doing what they’re doing. At the core of employee engagement, similar to any company’s foundation, are some values. These values determine the why, how and what of that company. Back that up with rewards and programs, and of course, always pay employees their worth.  

Perhaps this is stating the obvious, but dealerships with engaged employees outperform those without. Engaged workers stand apart from their actively disengaged counterparts because of the discretionary effort they consistently bring to their roles. These employees willingly go the extra mile, work with passion, and feel a profound connection to your dealership. Employee engagement is not an exact science, but a few simple measures can go a long way to hiring great talent, retaining great talent, and ensuring they’re in for the long haul.

The importance of employee engagement cannot be overstated. How are you engaging your employees?