February '21

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rv-pro.com February 2021 • RV PRO • 73 Tell Me 'One Thing' To begin with, you (the dealer-GM-manager) need to have a face-to-face meeting with your employees. This can be done as a group by department, or as a one-on-one meeting. During this meeting, ask the employee(s) the following ques- tion: "As your dealer, if there was one thing I could do for you that would make your job more enjoyable and more productive, what would it be?" In a group setting, ask employees to write that one thing down on a blank piece of paper. Ask that they not put their name on the slip of paper. Then the meeting is over. If you are in a one-on-one setting, you can simply ask them to tell you what that one thing is. Then listen carefully without interrupting. Wait for them to finish. Ask clarifying questions, if you need to, and then the meeting is over. I've been asking this question for the past 20 years and I can honestly say the answers may surprise you. For those of you making a face right now, thinking this will lead to a con- frontation regarding pay plans or benefits, you need to take a deep breath and relax because higher compensation is rarely the answer employees give. Based solely on my experience asking a dealer's employees this question as a trainer, I can tell you the No. 1 response I get is equip- ment! This is often defined as: "My printer is broken, so I need a new one. I need a stool, as I have no place to sit. Our internet is too slow. We need more shop equipment. We need to repair our shop equipment. I need a new computer. We need another computer, etc." Believe it or not, that is their No. 1 response! Now, once you get their response, you must be prepared to take action and follow through – assuming their response is a reasonable one. I find the vast majority of your employees will be reasonable and provide some valid info for you to act on. Once you do that, your employees know one thing for sure: You care about them! Now, buy-in is not a problem. Employee Councils Yield Results Secondly, I ask you to consider establishing an Employee Council. As a dealer myself, I did this in two of my dealerships years ago and I was stunned at the positive changes we made, as well as the results we achieved. Buy-in was not optional, nor was it a concern, given that the employees are the ones making the changes! "As the dealer or department manager, you are responsible for being the leader who makes the decisions needed to prosper and grow your business. Once you have made the decision to implement a new process, it must become company policy – which means it is not optional." Based upon years of experience, the No. 1 employee request is for equipment to help them do their job better.

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