Change is necessary for businesses to grow. That’s true for the salon down the street, for the local grocery store, and for your dealership. In order to keep up with consumer wants and needs in the marketplace, it’s important to keep your eyes open and focus on trends that are inspiring shoppers to buy. Although change is necessary, most people are in agreement that it’s hard…nearly impossible at times. But when you start to think change is too difficult, that’s exactly when you need to remember that change and innovation are the things that will continue to propel your dealership to the next level.
Will Rogers said it very effectively when he said, “Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
Innovation means constantly evaluating how you’re doing—and then changing to meet consumer needs. Now, more than ever before, your dealership needs to focus on change, and along with change comes the task of getting your employees on board and willing to participate in the innovation of your business. While you may think that’s easier said than done, your employees will be eager to join in when you ensure they understand and appreciate the reasons behind the changes you’re making.
From introducing new communication systems to offering brand-new ways of reaching in-market consumers to leveraging the social reach of employees, dealerships everywhere are implementing innovative ways to boost business and deliver the ideal consumer experience. When every team member works to actively support change, your dealership will be the one to benefit. Innovation is here to stay; it’s up to you to get your employees excited, engaged, and ready to help you pave a path toward even more success.
Check out the following 10 Ways to Help Your Employees Embrace Change Like Champs and help you dominate the marketplace with innovative thinking and dealership practices:
- Communicate early and often. A study by Robert Half Management Resources recently found that 65% of managers believe communicating clearly and frequently is the most important part of leading a team through change. Your employees will appreciate your willingness to keep them informed when changes are on the horizon, and you’ll find they’ll be more willing to participate when they feel included.
- Enlist employee help and input. When you empower your employees and let them know you rely on their contributions to help you implement change, they’ll know they play an integral role in the success of the dealership. By encouraging teamwork and participation from everyone, you’ll be making your teams feel more invested in the changes that are taking place.
- Lead through example. Your employees look to you and the rest of your leadership team to guide them, especially when navigating the waters of change. By demonstrating a positive, proactive attitude and leading your teams by example, you’ll be showing your employees exactly what you expect them to do.
- Offer updates and training. One of the toughest parts of change is the unknown, but by offering training and updates along the way, you can offset any angst employees may have. Break down new tools and changes into easily-understandable segments and give employees plenty of opportunities to get used to what’s coming their way.
- Take employees’ temperatures. In other words, frequently take time out to gauge how everyone is feeling about the changes that are taking place. When you know exactly how your employees are feeling, you’ll be able to tackle challenges head-on and offer additional training or other support as needed.
- Practice what’s been implemented. Don’t expect newly implemented tools and processes to run smoothly overnight. It takes time and patience—as well as a fair amount of tweaking—to ensure you have things exactly right for your dealership. Give your employees time to adapt and practice innovative processes, and you’ll soon see big-time changes throughout your dealership.
- Address questions honestly. From Day 1—as soon as you introduce change—your employees will have questions, concerns, and feedback. Be sure to offer open, honest answers to their questions. When you do, you’ll create an atmosphere of transparency and trust, and your employees will have a more positive view of the changes you’re introducing.
- Manage employee expectations. There will be bumps in the road, and there will be times when change doesn’t happen as quickly as everyone would like. Keep employees apprised of situations and let them know the progress that’s being made. Be sure to let employees know what role you’ll be playing throughout transitions and change, and let them know their roles as well. This will create a more cohesive team—one that will weather change well.
- Highlight the benefits of change. You’ll make a lot more progress when you get employees on your side, so it makes sense to let them know the many ways everyone will benefit from the changes you’re introducing. Highlight positive ways in which employees will be impacted, and it won’t be long before everyone is on board.
- Celebrate the wins! Success comes in all shapes and sizes, so remember to celebrate the many successes your teams are bound to have. Be sure to call out groups, individuals, and the entire dealership when something is handled particularly well. As you all navigate change together, it’s important to celebrate the many ways your dealership is improving through dedication and teamwork.
Sure, change is tough, but it’s worth it. Your consumers are watching for dealerships that offer cutting-edge service—and that means continually working to improve in-house processes and communication to stand out in the marketplace. When you get everyone in your dealership on board, change will be easier to manage—and it will be exciting to see the momentum you gain working together as a team.
Author: Joey Little
Joey Little serves as Director of Digital and Social Engagement for AutoAlert. An expert in customer experience management, he educates automotive professionals at speaking engagements across the country. With results-driven advice and proven industry knowledge, he assists dealerships in reaching their audiences and increasing business via their social platforms.