Motivate Your Money Makers!

So you’ve got the staff in place, you’ve got your policies laid out, and everybody is on board and ready to roll. Are you done? Do you sit back and watch and count your money? I don’t think so. Not yet, at least.

I’ve heard every side of the argument regarding proper motivation for production staff. Some won’t even dream of paying extra spiffs or bonuses to their staff with excuses like “well, it’s their job anyways,” or “I don’t want people cheating the system to make more money on spiffs.” Here’s a thought: If your people are finding ways to cheat the system or cheat your clients for their extra $5.00-$10.00 spiffs, then you’re not doing your job.

Spiffs aren’t the only way to motivate, however. A solid bonus program is like dangling a brick of gold in front of the hungriest of your production staff. In my time in management we played with plenty of ways of motivating the technicians. The best ever was a simple technician bonus program. It’s all about productivity and squeezing every bit of work into the few hours your department is running, so reward those that would beat record and increase their efficiency by developing such a program.

It can be as simple as this: Tech A is tasked with producing 200 sold hours within a month. If Tech A beats the 200 hour mark, add $1.00 to every sold hour they flagged, retroactively, for the month. Increase this in tiers: 225 hours is an additional $1.25, 250 hours is an additional $2.50, and so on. Your techs will have a reason to stay in their bay, a reason to perform thorough inspections, and a nice bonus to brag about in the following month. This will result in happier technicians, which means less turnover, and more hours flagged for the hours you turn the lights on. You can’t lose.

As far as consultants go, bonuses need to tackle more than just making money, but also making your clients happy. If you’re in the dealership world, then you know that client satisfaction is paramount. A service consultant can sell the paint off of the walls, but if his/her clients are unhappy it won’t even matter. Set up a tiered percentage bonus plan to reflect their efforts regarding client satisfaction and watch your customers roll of your drive with a smile on their face.

More ideas for motivating your production staff? Leave them in the comments below and join the discussion.

-Christopher Smith


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Christopher Smith

Christopher Smith is an experienced Automotive Management Professional with over 13 years in the Automotive Dealership industry. He created this blog to share advice, tips, and tricks to running a profitable and client-services-oriented front-end in an Automotive Service Department.

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