May '17

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68 • RV PRO • May 2017 rv-pro.com B U S I N E S S b e n e f i t b o t h e m p l oy e e s a n d customers 2. Clearly define the steps of the new process 3. Establish clear objectives 4. Identify the key performance indi- cators (KPIs) 5. Create a work plan for all stakeholders 6. Build a coaching schedule for daily one-on-one session with each stakeholder 7. Celebrate success at least weekly and based on measurements. Then, look for new objectives and challenges Start with Your Objectives Keep in mind that if your team tends to treat all your ideas as just a big bag of hot air, they are likely to just wait you out – hoping that the hot air cools down and they can go back to their old patterns and processes. If they have become very comfort- able with their established processes, expect to be met with push-backs like, "I'm just too busy to take this on right now" or "I don't think our customers (or rank and file) will react well to this change" or "we tried that once and it didn't work" or some other excuse for not getting onboard. Do your best to ignore the objections and stress the importance of execution and success. The Key Performance Indicators What exactly do you want to improve? How will that be measured? What are the key performance indicators that you will employ? Clearly define the starting baseline for each, so that progress can be care- fully measured and reported to the team. What is the timeline where success or failure will be proclaimed? You need to decide what success will look like once it is achieved. What do you already measure that can contribute to the goals? What else is there that can be studied and mea- sured that can add to what already exists? Who will gather data and report to you and the other stakeholders? Establish a schedule of gathering and reporting on all the critical KPI. The Work Plan To execute, you need a specific, written plan. The plan should include things such as: What needs to be accom- plished? By whom? When? Involve as many stakeholders as needed and make them all responsible for clear tasks and completion dates. Insist on progress reports (make them part of the work plan) and share progress among all participating. Regular group stakeholder meetings must be scheduled. Make them part of the work plan. Use a tool like Google Docs to pub- lish the work plan and allow all stake- holders access to the online document so that they can update progress and/ or obstacles that need to be overcome. Clearly, this can be a living collaborative document, which is meant to be added to, changed, and adjusted as experience and circumstances dictate. The mere existence of a readily avail- able document such as this will under- score that the goals are to be taken seri- ously and progress will be measured, reported and insisted upon. One-on-One Coaching Sessions In its most simple form, "manage- ment" is the art of getting work done and achieving goals through others. But what sounds simple does not mean that it is easy. In some ways, it is better to call this "coaching", as it suggests just how this process should progress. Keep in mind that Super Bowl MVP quarterback Tom Brady (some say the NFL's best) relies heavily on being coached. In fact, all athletes (superstars and lesser talents) must be coached on a regular basis if they hope to get the best out of their natural abilities. The same goes for RV dealers, their management teams, and the rank and file staff employees in your business. One of the most valuable skills you can acquire is the ability and the will to regularly coach every person who reports to you directly. If you would like a video recording of my workshop on one-on-one coaching, you can access that free of charge by going to store.dealersedge.com/ Coaching1/html. I know, many of you are saying to yourself: "I don't have time to meet with everyone who reports to me." That is a time management issue that also needs to be addressed, perhaps in a future article. The fact is, you have time for those things that are important to you. You make time. Getting top performance from your team of managers can pay huge divi- dends, but again, you need to stay on the task. Meet regularly with each reporting team member, at least monthly, but more often depending on their needs and cur- rent initiatives. Let me put it to you this way: You cannot afford to let the hectic pace of the day get in the way. If you want to achieve goals – if you want to expand your business potential, if you do not want your ideas and goals to fail on the launch pad – then you must sit down with each reporting team member on a regular basis. You may ask: Just what do you meet about? Coach them on what? The answer depends a lot on the indi- vidual and the circumstances, but use this list of possible topics as a beginning guide: • Inquire about how they are doing personally … at work and at home • Review key performance indicators • Discuss barriers to meeting objec- tives and goals • Ask how can you help • Discuss initiatives and how well they are contributing to success • Ask what future role would they like to fill in the dealership • Inquire how well they are coaching those who report directly to them? If you had that discussion with each direct report at least monthly (weekly is better), how much smoother and prof- itable would your dealership run? Per- sonally, I think you would be shocked

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