Getting Results  (continued)
Sometimes, no matter how important a goal is, it may seem ridiculous to your staff to obtain or, at times,
may be just plain boring. Motivating your employees to perform their duties can be a real challenge. The following
example illustrates just one way proactive managers set goals with rewards and discusses the principles involved.
    The Example
    Consider a dish washer in a restaurant. The restaurant manager’s objective is to grow the bottom
    line by increasing patronage and the average tab per diner, turning tables as quickly as possible,
    and holding the line on costs. As this relates to dishwashing, the manager’s sub-goals are speed, low
    costs, no breakage and spotless dishware.

    Needless to say, it can be difficult to frame those objectives in a way that excites the dishwashing
    staff. One way to approach this dilemma is to enroll them in the bigger picture. It may not be clear to
    everyone how a dirty fork can ruin a diner’s experience and negatively impact the restaurant’s
    fortunes. Or how being slow in getting dishes to the front can slow table turn and profits. The
    dishwashers need to understand how their job affects the business, and why doing it well helps the
    business succeed. And they need to feel appreciated when they do their work conscientiously.

    Something a great manager might do is to establish a weekly reward for zero defects -- no breakage, not being
    out of clean dishware or silverware up front, and no one finding a dish, glass, or utensil improperly washed. A $20
    gift certificate to the restaurant given to each member of the dishwashing staff every week it meets the zero
    defects goal, accompanied by the manager’s heartfelt handshake and personal thank you, could make all the
    difference in the world to them.

    Accumulating gift certificates to bring friends or family to a free dinner could enable them to experience the
    importance of what they do from the customer’s viewpoint, and to demonstrate their pride in working there. For
    the manager, the gift certificate costs less than face value, even though having dedicated, conscientious workers
    may be priceless.

    The great manager would probably also personally meet the worker, his family and
    friends while they’re dining and reinforce his appreciation, cementing the employee’s

    The Principles
    A particular job may not be exciting or challenging, but it has an ultimate reason for
    being, and that reason relates to the business’ success in some way. If it didn’t, the job would be abolished.

    These types of jobs often experience high turnover, which has its own costs. Motivating employees to do their
    best in these jobs while reducing turnover costs can be a real management challenge. In the previous example,
    our hypothetical manager used several principles in setting goals and rewards for his staff.

    Communicate the Job’s Importance – When employees understand their role in the bigger picture of
    the company’s success, they take more pride in their efforts no matter how menial the task.

    Establish Metrics – Employees can’t take pride in their success unless they know how to measure it. Even
    if there is no extrinsic reward, being able to benchmark themselves let’s them know when they’re doing well
    and provides some measure of job satisfaction.

    Reward the Team for Joint Performance – When everyone on the team receives the reward, it
    encourages teamwork, and the team can become somewhat self-managing. Teammates will mentor a
    member who can’t seem to go a week without dropping a dish, or they’ll be helping the manager find his
    replacement pronto.

    Tie the Reward to the Business – When the reward somehow ties back into the business, it brings
    employees closer to the company and provides opportunities for employees to improve their understanding
    of their roles. This can aid in retention, motivation, and job performance.

    Make it Personal – Great managers know that employees are more loyal to people than they are to
    companies. The manager’s sincere “Thank you” can go farther than many material rewards in stimulating
    loyalty, retention, and performance.

    I already know that some of my repeat readers are asking, "How does a dishwasher and his performance duties
    relate to my dealership's view in the public eye?" Keep in mind that customer perception of value and related
    services has absolutely everything to do with the overall success of your dealership and future customers who
    enter your franchise. If you want your customers to return then perhaps you should use a creative spiff incentive
    for high CSI, or in Canada - CES scores, as well as Fix It Right First Time.

    As you realize, it is important to involve your team in the Big Picture of the business and get them involved in a
    results based position. They become involved in the overall success of the dealership's future customer retention.
Copyright © 2008 Automotive Dealers Network. All rights reserved.
Jim Bernardi has held such positions as; Dealer,
General Manager, Director of Operations, District
Operations Manager, Parts & Service Director, Service
Director, Service Manager, Service Advisor and is
President /CEO AutoPro Training Solutions, a National
Fixed Operations Training Company which guarantees
increased GP.
Jim Bernardi
President/CEO  AutoPro Training Solutions
Publisher/CEO Automotive Dealers Network
and visit
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    Always keep the big picture in front of your team to become involved, and then you will become evolved.

    Until my next article, stay involved in your teams success daily, don’t forget to get them excited about their