By Allen Markowitz and Allan Gerber
It’s mid-morning and we’re sitting in our office with Todd, a sales rep for a major automotive parts manufacturer. Todd is explaining the elements of a marketing program his company recently completed to reward counterpros for selling their product.
The program involved a scorecard where winners received a jacket or gift card.
Todd explains that the program’s goal was to generate fun at the parts counter while at the same time create a competition between the counterpros with everyone having a good time.
We applaud manufacturers that create these types of programs because they give something back to those who make their companies both successful and profitable, and at the same time, we question the fact as to why they only involve the counter professionals.
We cannot tell you how many times at the conclusion of these programs and as the rewards are being given out, we hear this from the drivers, office staff, warehouse personnel and even the outside sales reps: “We are partially responsible for the success of the counter professionals. What about us?”
As with the sports superstars, they get all of the glory, the bragging rights and the financial extras.
As employers, we have certain expectations of our employees. After all, they are paid to perform their various jobs. Yet, many employers turn a blind eye to employee morale. Most of the people we speak with tell us they are seldom rewarded for a consistent job well done, however, it is quickly pointed out when a problem arises or there is a customer complaint with their name on it. We always say that our customers never remember the 100 times we actually got them out of a tight spot, but complain loudly the one time things do not work out to their liking.
So what about employee recognition? Jackets and gift cards are great for the few who will receive them, but what about the rest of our employees the support staff!
Employee recognition is not just a nice thing to do for a few people. Employee recognition is a powerful communication tool that reinforces and rewards the people who represent your business and make it prosper.
There is no better way to get the most out of an employee than to pay attention to them. Even the most humble of people would like a little praise once in a while. Employee recognition brings with it many benefits to both the employee and employer. Employee recognition should be an ongoing task for all employers.
Programs should be put in place, whether it is an afternoon off for a high-end achievement or simply a pat on the back for a job well done.
It is extremely important to maintain a positive work atmosphere. Employees may say that better pay is what will make them happy, but research indicates that being recognized for contributions is actually a better way to engage and retain your employees. Not feeling appreciated is one of the main reasons why people leave their jobs. When your company loses good workers, it is damaging to both profits and productivity.
Simple ideas such as bringing in lunch once a month or once a quarter (a good idea is to set up budgets for this) if the store attains a pre-defined sales goal is an inexpensive way to say thank you for a job well done, while at the same time including everyone.
After all, how much are a couple of pizzas compared to the cost of finding and hiring new employees?
Allen Markowitz and Allan Gerber operate Auto Biz Solutions, which provides training, marketing, management and business consulting services to both the automotive jobber and independent repair shop.
For more information, go to: www.autobizsolutionsllc.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.