As a moderator with NCM Associates, I am fortunate to work with some of the most progressive dealers across North America. Over the past few years, I have noticed a growing trend on increased accountability within the fixed operations departments. As I continue to talk with dealers of different markets and OEMs, it has become clear that something as simple as daily or weekly one-on-ones have been incorporated into all fixed departments by the more progressive dealers, and they are seeing results.
How to Hold Successful One-on-Ones
The first thing you should do prior to holding a successful one-on-one, is to establish monthly goals for total departmental sales, departmental gross, collision hours, and service hours with the dealer operator. These goals and objectives are then pushed down to the individual advisor, estimator, counter person, and technician each month based on the specific working days for the month.
Next, put these monthly goals into an easy to understand (and access) weekly and daily objective for each individual productive employee. It is critical to have these objectives readily available to reduce the possible excuses for not meeting their goals.
Once the department head has daily goals developed by individual position, they can then begin communicating these goals and getting buy-in from the employee that the daily objective is realistic and attainable. These agreed upon objectives now allow for daily or weekly one-on-ones with all production employees.
Benefits of the Daily/Weekly One-on-One
These regularly scheduled meetings are a great way to push employees for improved performance and can easily help get employees back on track quickly when objectives and performance are not being met. When dealers incorporate this structure, they find improved and consistent performance from their staff.
One of the surprising things many dealers discover in the first few weeks of this initiative is the underperforming employees didn’t know they were underperforming. That’s because they didn’t know what was expected of them in terms of sales, gross, or hours produced, which is why they continued to do their job the exact same way. Soon, many find that their underperformers become some of their better employees due to the clearly defined expectations.
The main objection I always hear when beginning this process in a new store is the amount of time required to conduct individual meetings. I understand the hesitation, as on paper it seems like all these added meetings will simply bog down everyone’s time. However, the dealers that have adopted daily/weekly one-on-ones have found the time commitment to be minimal once they have conducted the first few meetings. Employees begin to understand the importance of production and how their contribution fits into the success of their department. The one-on-ones also force the department heads to communicate regularly with their employees. Meaning that issues can be addressed, and corrective actions can be taken well before becoming a larger issue.
Simply put, over the last few years in our regular 20 Group meetings, the dealers that have adopted this process in Fixed Operations continue to have higher and more consistent performance. Something I know we all can strive to achieve at our dealership.
Are there any processes in your store that have improved morale or productivity? Let us know in the comments below!
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