PowerSports Business

October 2, 2017

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SOLUTIONS 42 • October 2, 2017 • Powersports Business www.PowersportsBusiness.com "The worst mistake a boss can make is not to say 'well done.'" — John Ashcroft Over the years there have been count- less articles and books written on why folks leave their jobs. The allure of greener pastures always begins for a reason. You don't go down the rabbit hole with- out a reason. Alice was looking for something. For the most part, folks don't like leaving the familiarity of a job. It's uncomfortable to start the search (oh no, here comes the unknown) and even more uncomfortable when you tell the powers that be why you're leaving and heading down the yellow brick road. The "I got an offer I couldn't refuse" generally signals that whatever the current employer was offering was not what was needed by that team member. The incentive to leave overshadowed the desire to stay. Think about this, according to the U.S. Department of Labor and Statistics, employee turnover can cost a business approximately 33 percent of an employee's total compensa- tion. That's a very grim fairy tale if you ask me. Turnover is not cheap, and it's not good for morale either. And for the most part, money is not the main reason why folks leave a job. People leave jobs for a reason, and if you think money is the determining factor, guess again. So where am I going with this, down the rabbit hole of work folklore? Recently my wife and I were going through some old journals. And to our amazement, we found a letter she had written several decades ago to a past employer, a "Dear Boss" type of letter. What she wrote then, to another employer in another industry, is as relevant and vital today for us in the powersports industry as it was when it was written. Here we go folks, word for word: "I need clear complete instructions to do a job, the whole story, not a chapter here or there. Praise and constructive criticism, I hear neither. How does someone know if they're on track, if you're satisfied with their performance or if something needs changing? Common courtesies! We don't hear each other when conversations are full of interrup- tions. If you ask me a question, let me answer, and listen. You don't finish important conversa- tions, which leads to confusion by all. You cannot jump from one thing to another. Stay focused and on task if you want every- one else to do it, too. Timely communication is needed. To monitor contracts and billings, to keep the work flowing steadily for our employees and clients, we need timely information. Too many after-the-fact surprises make everyone crazy and kill productivity. Clear delegation of responsibilities. Who exactly is responsible for what and for whom? I waste all kinds of time and energy over priorities and responsibilities. Frequently, the safest move is to throw it back to you for a decision, which wastes more time. Often several people have been asked to do the same thing. Confusion! Responsibility and accountability, I need for you to keep your agreements and commit- ments. I cannot assist you in any effective way if I know you are likely to break them. I will not make commitments or promises to anyone on behalf of our business if I feel that they are not likely to be honored. Your business will suffer; your team will suffer; and you will have no credibility with vendors or customers. Be available when you say you are going to be available. I can do my job at a higher level if you are available and clear with me. Even though I work for you, I don't like my time to be wasted, and it happens way too much. Be consistent! Set policies and procedures and stick to them. If something needs to change, explain the changes to the crew. Second-guess- ing you makes me and everybody crazy, and makes me wonder about the long term." That is how the missus ended her note to her employer: wondering about her future at her place of work. Just like customers, you don't want to give your employees reasons to look elsewhere. If you're giving them reasons to look for greener pastures, something's miss- ing. And if your team members are being given reasons to leave, I'll guarantee your customers are being given reasons to leave you, too. This doesn't mean folks won't leave a job, or shouldn't seek out advancement. We all want to grow, and sometimes other jobs make that possible. But you want to make sure folks are leaving for the right reasons, not reasons that you're inadvertently giving them. I overheard a comment during one of my presentations a few years ago that left me speechless then, and is very relevant to what you're reading here. After the presentation, one dealer principal said to another, "Now I have to be good to my employees, too? You've got to be kidding me." To say that I was stunned is an understatement of grand propor- tions. I wonder what the turnover rate is at his place and how his team feels about working for him? To be a fly on the wall. The greatest commodities in any business are its customers and its team members. You can't have one without the other. The happier the team, the happier the customers. Dear Boss, please go back to the top and read this again. Love, your team. PSB Mark Mooney is the principal of Mark Mooney Powersports Consulting, a Santa Cruz, Calif.- based company that works with OEMs and powersports dealers to strengthen dealership performance. A former dealer principal, Mooney has 35 years of industry experience. Contact him at mooneypowersportsconsulting@gmail.com. THINK ABOUT THIS… "The worst mistake a MARK MOONEY Happy team members make for happy customers

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