C-Suite Network™

When Your Toilet is Clogged You Don’t Hire a Chef

No one likes to think about turnover, but it’s a problem that keeps general managers (GM) and business owners up at night. Why? Because deep down you know how critical it is to the bottom line.

Here’s a scenario:

You run a multi-million-dollar dealership and you are hitting the numbers despite margin compression. (Hallelujah) You’re managing to win the volume game. The below-the-line money is essential to keeping the lights on and your team manages to keep their Customer Service Index numbers at passing levels. If you are the GM, the owner stays away for the most part while you continue to help money hit the bank account. If you are a hands-on owner, you cannot stay away because you are steering the ship. This is your legacy.

So, why are you losing sleep?

Could it be the fear of missing your bonus program requirements from the manufacturer and losing the “below the line” money that is vital to your survival? Or is it the fact that you know your toxic sales manager is on the verge of creating a mass exodus on your sales floor and all you can think is, “Hiring is a bitch.” Maybe it is just that you don’t have time to get everything done in a day.

The fact is, you know you have a few core needs that require a shift and you know you need help to make those shifts happen. What you don’t know is where to begin. After speaking with dozens of GMs and owners, it’s become clear to me that, time and again, the place to start is a deep dive into your ethos and an understanding of your level of employee engagement.

When your employees are disengaged, your showroom floor or service drive is a disaster, and your customers turn right back around to the front door to get the hell out of dodge. When you finally get a new employee to start, either they quickly feel the vibe of a lackluster culture and bolt, or they hang on a bit and join the disgruntled masses.

Either way, your managers are tired. They are pushing to hit the numbers to keep you off of their back and their family fed. They don’t have the bandwidth to rein in the culture or to hire right. Frankly, you know this is your responsibility, but, damn it, how can you do it all? The answer is: you can’t and shouldn’t.

When you need your computer fixed, you go to an expert that specializes in technology. When it’s time to replace your air conditioner, you hire an HVAC specialist to do the job. How about your toilet? When it’s clogged, you’re not hiring a chef – or at least I hope not. The reality is that no one person can do everything well, and a successful leader hires the right people to close gaps whether they are environmental or performance-related.

At Shift Awake Group, we specialize in closing the gap on the two critical topics of culture and employee engagement. In order to repair your culture, you have to find out where the bodies are buried and work to mend the cracks in the foundation. Once your culture is repaired, the focus shifts to hiring right the first time while elevating employee engagement and kicking turnover to the curb.

I do not know a single owner or GM that doesn’t want to increase their gross profit margin. Unfortunately, too many believe that focusing on volume will help their income statement and, in turn, everything else will just fix itself. While this can work sometimes, it’s more advantageous to focus on a different, more sustainable metric by increasing your Operating Profit Margins (OPM). When you reduce turnover, costs affecting your overhead are reduced at the same time OPM is increased. When employee engagement improves, simultaneously, there is the perfect storm of opportunity to positively impact gross profit margin with a happier, more fulfilled workforce selling the perfect vehicle to your customer.

If that perfect storm sounds like it could help you finally get a good night’s sleep, it is time to empower an expert to take control of these two pain points that will not spontaneously heal and, in fact, are likely to get worse the more you say they will “fix themselves.”

How can we serve you?

Jacqueline Jasionowski is the founder of Shift Awake Group. Her “soul” mission is to help others connect with their purpose through a higher level of consciousness that will both drive results and enable innovation along the way. Please contact 614.403.6540 for info.

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