There’s a lot of "lip service" going on these days. That, along with the "loyalty factor," is holding some dealerships back from maximizing their full potential.
Many dealerships have key personnel saying, "Yea, yea, I get it, I understand and will make the necessary changes." They are saying one thing and doing another.
More often than not these people have been with us a long time and we are convinced they are loyal to us and so therefore we should be loyal to them.
Some of the changes that dealers continue to struggle with are the utilization of technology, the Internet, processes and the high tech mindset of the customers and some of your team members. Notice I said some of your team members.
There are people on your staff who just cannot make the change because of bad muscle memory. Here are some examples of muscle memory involving sports:
Shooting a basketball
Throwing a baseball or football
Swinging a baseball bat
Hitting a tennis ball
Swinging a golf club
The action of doing any of these is based on muscle memory. It is extremely difficult to make changes to any of these actions due to old muscle memory. The changes can be made in a practice or coaching session, but as soon as you get into the game, your old muscle memory wants to kick back in.
The same thing happens every day in your dealership. You have people saying "Yes, yes, now I get it," but as each day goes by muscle memory wants to kick back in to the old way of doing business.
Employees give us lip service and in return we reward them with undeserved loyalty. We truly believe these people are trying and wanting to make the changes, but the fact is most can’t and won’t. Our thinking is that they are loyal to us and we need to be loyal to them.
The dictionary defines loyalty as "being faithful in allegiance to one’s lawful sovereign or government; faithful to a private person to whom fidelity is due; faithful to a cause, ideal or custom." Your dealership is neither sovereign nor government. Nor is it a person, a cause, an ideal, or a custom.
We all go to work each day, and we are expected to put out our best efforts and use our talents to their fullest. Perhaps we are even expected to serve above and beyond the call of duty (or at least beyond what we feel our current pay justifies!). In turn, we expect a fair wage, or at least an agreed upon wage.
That is where loyalty begins and ends; we give our service, and the company pays us for it.
People work hard and extend themselves because they expect something in return. They expect to be paid for their efforts and eventually to receive a promotion, a bonus, or even just a pat on the back.
An employee is not disloyal to a dealership if they failed to do their best; they would be disloyal to themselves. And if a company retained an employee in spite of mediocre performance just because he or she has 20 years service, supposedly out of loyalty, it would actually be disloyal to other employees and the stockholders.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with loyalty, but there’s a lot wrong with it when it’s tied to lip service, poor production and your bottom line. That’s all the lip service I have to say, Tommy Gibbs