We get it. The word training is probably scary enough to get half your staff to call in sick, but with the right approach, you can inspire them to train. Plus, with the right training, you can inspire them to succeed and grow your dealership to new heights. Oh yeah, it stimulates that part of the brain that makes them want to get up in the morning and get to work. Being good at what you do does that. The team here at Justplayin’ has a few thoughts on training that could help you get them motivated to do just that.
Telling your employees that training is mandatory is not enough to get them motivated. Just like a pay raise won’t create happy and productive workers for more than roughly two hours. There’s a big difference between desire and motivation. Everyone wants to be a movie star, but they have to be motivated to take bit parts for years and work hard at it. It goes the same for training and bettering yourself.
Make sure they understand how this will help develop their career. They think it’s for you, and technically they’re correct. It is for the overall benefit of your dealership, but make sure they understand your clear path for them and it better be real. Show them that you care about their goals. Explain how their future growth is directly connected to your future growth. Show them that there’s a clear path to more money. It’s true. They care about money. It just won’t motivate them alone.
Look into testing. Do a little digging. What kind of training are they interested in? Maybe they would be much better suited in a different departed and the money you’re spending on that training could be put to much better use. A pretty good salesman may be an incredible associate on your service floor. You never know when you have an expert sitting right in front of you. Know your staff and understand who they are as people. You may discover a future star on your team. Now that’s motivation!
Keep it interesting and on their level. If your employees are constantly on computers, don’t hand out packets of paper. You’ll lose them within seconds. Training has to be hands-on, interesting and fun. Yes, it has to be fun. Your staff needs humor. They need a good cup of coffee or tea. They need to feel like you thought of them, not that you’re cramming their heads full of useless knowledge so you can meet some agenda. Find a training course that utilizes an app. Make a game out of it. If you don’t have the personality to do it, get someone that does. It’ll make all the difference in the world. You don’t think they’ll stand there and play a game with the other employees, but they will and they want to win the prize so they can bring it home to their kids. The team at Justplyin’ has seen it and it works.
Everyone has an opinion. Have you ever cooked with a kid? Try it one of these days. If you ever want to get a 7-year-old to eat their carrots, cook them with them. They’ll be the first ones filling up their plate. Ask your employees what the training topics should be, and after every training session, ask their opinion about how it went. What could be better? Then make those changes, and point them out as you make them. Don’t miss that golden opportunity. Always point out the great suggestions your staff made, and how you listened. Being a know it all will sink you. Learning from your staff and empowering them by thanking them for their help and knowledge on a regular basis motivates them. Again, a small bump in your check is nice, but it just blends into the bills. A constant reminder that you’re becoming something better and you’re on the road to something greater is a motivator.
Toss them a prize here and there. You don’t have to do it each time, so it can catch them off guard, but whoever scores the highest on the training tests can grab a prize once in a while. A prize every time kills the motivation. The surprise factor keeps them on their toes.
Give them real-life reasons why the training matters. Maybe show them reviews. Collect a handful of reviews based on each job position at the dealership. They can be positive and negative reviews so we’re not just bashing people in front of the staff. Put a positive spin on the negative ones, so we’re learning from our faults. David at the front desk may be extremely nice, handsome and offers everyone water in 9 out of 10 reviews, but the phone rings off the hook all the time in all the negative reviews. We can talk about how great he’s doing at his job overall, and how he may even make a great salesman in the future. Then, we can learn from the issues with the phone and have an open discussion without embarrassing him. This can happen with each department if you choose your reviews wisely. Now, we’re communicating an motivating.
Make sure everyone has expectations. Before the training even begins, you should discuss the expectations with the employees, and ask them what their expectations are once the training is complete. At the end of the course or game, you should ask them if their goals were met. Again, this will give them a sense that you will improve the situation for the next round. Then your employees will set goals and feel a sense of achievement at the end of each session. This is what truly motivates them and brings them back. This is what gets them talking and coming up with thought processes on their own. Motivation comes in many forms, but please don’t throw money at people. Spend money to bring your creative workshops and training sessions to life.
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