Take The Time For Team Meetings & Watch Your Team Thrive
Everyone who works at your dealership is part of your business team. Are they pulling together smoothly toward your business goals, or are they working independently, disjointedly or perhaps even at cross-purposes? One of the biggest mistakes many small business owners make is not proactively establishing and monitoring business team alignment. And one of the easiest remedies is team meetings.
Yes, everyone’s busy, and the thought of more meetings brings tears to your eyes. But there’s “busy” and there’s “productive,” and it’s the latter that enables your dealership to grow and thrive. Team meetings are just one part of a plan to strategically align everyone in ways that promote greater productivity as well as morale. It’s not even difficult to create such a plan. Just follow these simple steps.
- Clue them in.
Working in a vacuum doesn’t work. Studies have repeatedly shown that employee output and satisfaction both soar when people feel like their role matters and they understand how it helps achieve overall business goals. Your people cannot know these things unless you tell them. So make them part of the solution, by getting everyone together and explaining your long-term business goals and how their jobs fit into achieving that vision.
Yep, it’s a meeting, but it can be the start of a productivity revolution around your dealership.
But let’s back up a minute. You do have a business plan with defined long-term goals and shorter-term implementation tactics in place, don’t you? If not, this is Step #1. You can’t expect your people to work in unison toward something when you don’t even have a clear vision where you’re headed.
- Share responsibility.
Another mistake small business owners (and many managers) make is thinking they have to personally shoulder responsibility for everything “important.” Reality check: you can’t, and you shouldn’t. You have great people, so let them do great work. Appoint someone other than you to be responsible for seeing that progress is being made toward each of your short-term objectives. Define “success” so they can be accountable.
Giving people “ownership” further boosts morale and gives individuals a chance to stretch and show you what they can really do.
- Deliberately mark your progress.
Yes, team meetings are the way to do this. Your departmental teams should meet periodically – you or they can decide how often makes sense – to track progress of their specific responsibilities. Keep meetings on-point and brief, but structure them to both impart information about progress and solicit input on how to get there faster or better.
Get the entire dealership team together two or three times a year (or quarterly, whatever works for you – just be consistent) for a company-wide update. That way, everyone can stay current with the big picture as well as their part in contributing to progress. Don’t forget to talk about numbers. Ultimately, getting “stuff” done day in and day out only counts if it builds your bottom line. Profitability is in everyone’s best interest.
The other value here is that everything about your dealership is interrelated. When employees know their thoughts and suggestions can positively affect overall outcomes, you’ll get them thinking about how departments can work together in new or more efficient ways. Or about new products or services you could offer to grow revenue. Building your business will be easier – less frustrating and more fun – when everyone’s brain is ticking along on the same wavelength.
Setting aside time for team meetings, and making those meetings meaningful, can do more to grow your dealership than you ever imagined. Your people will have focus. They will feel motivated because they know they’re valuable. They will be able to work together harmoniously.
And what will you be doing? Instead of trying to do everything, you’ll be the leader you’re supposed to be – coach and mentor responsible for helping your people do their part to reach your dealership’s long-term goals.