Happy Employees – Why It’s Not Always About The Money

You’re dead wrong if you assume that the only way you can retain good employees is by giving them an annual raise or bonus.  Sure, your employees want to be fairly paid, but research clearly shows that the euphoria of receiving a monetary bonus or raise is typically very short lived. So why not keep your employees happy and productive by using some of these 7 proven no/low cost alternatives?

As an owner/manager of your dealership your goal is to make a reasonable profit year in and year out.  Without profit there is no employment because your business will not survive.  

The secret formula to achieve your profit goals is to maintain a salary cap of 9.0% of gross sales. This number is based on my many years of analysing financial statements and what the most profitable dealers in the industry are doing.  Control your salaries and you have taken one giant step forward to profitability.

Maintaining this kind of salary cap can mean that you may not have the budget to provide generous salary increases each year. But you can turn a negative into a positive. Here’s how.

  1. Recognize and Appreciate:  Recognizing the efforts of employees, especially publicly, is one the most powerful and proven motivational and rewarding strategies you can use and it needn’t cost a fortune.  A “pat on the back” in front of other employees, or, a thank you for a job well done is worth its weight in gold.
  2. Offer the Opportunity to Make a Difference:  Employees become more engaged when they feel they work as part of a team where their input is valued.  Listen to their opinions and suggestions because they usually have great ideas.  The spin off benefit is you get inspirations you may not have thought of to improve your operations.
  3. Target Continuing Education:  Giving employees the opportunity to improve their worth through education is invaluable.  Not only will they feel better about themselves but you benefit from their development.
  4. Offer Flexible Schedules:  If your business allows for it, offer your employees  flexible work hours.  For parents this has considerable value because it can allow them to get their kids off to school in the morning or be there when they get home.
  5. Implement Job Rotation:  Letting your parts person for example, work the sales floor and vice-versa from time to time not only breaks up the routine of their job but also strengthens respect for the work of others.
  6. Small Gestures Go a Long Way:  There are a variety of low cost gifts you can offer for outstanding customer service, anniversaries, special successes, profit enhancing ideas etc.  This is an effective way to recognize your employees worth to your organization.
  7. Organize Team Activities:  There is nothing like hosting an event to build team spirit and feeling of belonging.  An employee ride in the country with a stop for lunch or dinner, a baseball tournament or a barbeque at your residence. You get the idea and the list goes on.  By the way, a ride is also a great way to get your staff engaged in new products that have just arrived on your floor.

The key to happy, motivated and productive employees is to strike a balance between their needs and expectations and the rewards and awards you are offering. Financial rewards alone are not long term motivators and simply won’t maximize your return on investment.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with giving a healthy raise or cash bonus if the company’s profit goals are exceeded, but incorporating these 7 rewards/awards on a consistent basis will better build long term productivity and contentment within your organization.

If you need help understanding how to achieve more profit while retaining happy and productive employees, please contact me for a free consultation.

Excerpts for this article were taken from an original article written by “The BDC Team”


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