Motivation: Is it working for you?
Look at the root word of motivation — motive. If you’ve ever watched a crime show, you know how important motive is in determining who committed the crime. In business as an independent tire dealer owner or manager, it really is a crime not to understand and create a store environment or organization that motivates every employee. The benefits of constant motivation cannot be measured and always exist at the core of any kind of success.
During the recent summer Olympic games in London, I read and watched countless stories about athletes who shared their greatest “secrets” of being the best — the common thread among them was their passion and sacrifice — their motivation — to be the best.
SalesMind challenge: In so many ways, the world of 30 years ago is gone. The worker of this generation often has a very different view of the world — including work and moving up in an organization. I am not knocking this generation at large in any way. They bring talents, skills (ever seen a teenager work a phone to text a friend?) and awareness that are often far above what many of us developed at their age.
However, so many managers share with me as I travel that “people (employees) today are not nearly as motivated as I was when I was coming up.” I am asked about this topic relative to business more than any other. This issue — how to motivate your people — will always be central to the success of your dealership.
So let’s take a look at some basic keys to increase and sustain the motivation level of those who work for you.
SalesMind solution: Here are seven simple but very key strategies I teach dealer managers. I promise you they will pay off for your company if you will foster them.
1. Be motivated yourself: Walk your talk. Move with energy, man! Employees will be attracted to and sacrifice for leaders who live every day with inspiration.
2. Look and test for motivation in those you hire: Yes, you may have some challenges with your current team, but you can absolutely control the motivation search in those you are still to hire. Use personnel agencies to screen candidates if you can — they can often detect a motivated employee for you. There are also some great aptitude and attitude tests today for candidates you can utilize. I have been amazed at how accurate some of these personality profile tests are. Look for passion!
3. Establish a motivation platform in your company: Don’t leave the motivation to others! Let your key leaders know that motivation to perform — with customers, with other employees, with vendors — is always expected! Define for your team what motivation means to you and how you apply it daily.
4. Reward, reward, reward: People work for something. This might sound obvious, but give each of your team members specific rewards to work for such as money, promotions, trips, spouse events and time off.
5. Help each of your employees find their purpose: Sit down with as many of your dealership employees as you can and ask them, “What do you want in life?” That might startle some, but if you can get the answer you can then attach why they work at your store to what they want in life. That is a powerful connection that will fuel their effort daily — their motivation.
6. Demand an environment of action: Inspiration, passion and enthusiasm thrive in work environments where taking immediate action is expected to solve problems, meet customer needs, calm an irate customer at the counter, get out and make sales calls, etc. People will be energized when they act. Action moves the spirit, mere intention unfulfilled (not acted upon) leads to frustration. We as leaders have to demand and expect that our team players are doers.
7. Have fun! The leader who can make work enjoyable is always the winner in the employee motivation contest. Despite the stresses of the day, economic concerns and buyer demands, do everything in your power to make working in your company one of the best experiences that any of your employees could ever have.
SalesMinded leaders always look for the best in everything. They feel that life and work, although hard, should bring enjoyment and fulfillment. That attitude will always impact those in your store or organization — and bring you and your customers a world-class experience that comes from your motivated people. ■
Doug Trenary, president of Doug Trenary’s Fast-Trac, Inc., is an award-winning author, speaker, and teacher who has helped companies of multiple sizes, including independent tire dealerships, increase sales and productivity since 1985. His book, The SalesMind, focuses on how to establish strong positions with yourself, your buyers and your time. For more information, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (404) 262-3339.