Dealership update: Giving thanks this holiday season


This past year has been one of the most challenging of my life and career. In May I lost my father to stomach cancer. Two weeks later my Yorkie dog was brutally mauled right in front of eyes and was killed by a Rottweiler. And in that kerfuffle, I lost half of my finger. With all of these things going on I still give thanks for the many blessings that are in my life. It is not what happens to you that defines you but how you deal with life’s issues that determines your direction and fate.

Every day we all get caught up in the day-to-day whirlwind that is dealership life. You plan on turning right but end up turning left for whatever reason. That to do list just went in the wastepaper basket because nothing went your way today. Whether you are a manager or an owner, you need to take a brief moment this holiday season and truly give thanks to those around you in the dealership as well as your family and friends outside of work.

The holiday season, especially during Thanksgiving, is the time of year where you need to sit down and think about your employees and recognize their contributions and achievements throughout the year. Don’t wait because you never know what life brings to each and every person in your dealership, including yourself. Traditionally you tend to only give praise and feedback to your employees on birthdays, anniversaries, and performance reviews. This holiday season, I want you to make a commitment to making year-round recognition a priority for you and your managers.

Why should you give praise and thanks to your employees? Well, it comes down to two things. First of all, it is a nice thing to do. Everyone likes a little encouragement through praise once in a while. Don’t give too much praise too often; it will seem not genuine. Secondly, giving praise to your employees builds their self-esteem and increases employee engagement. Giving a few positive words can give that employee an extra boost in productivity.

So, this holiday season, make sure you take the time to think about all of the things that your employees do for the dealership and make a commitment to let them know how you really feel about them. And on a related note, take an inventory of all of the great people (and animals) you have in your life and let them know how grateful you are to have them in your life.

After all, it is just good business.

Forrest Flinn, MBA, PHR, SMS has been in the motorcycle industry for more than 20 years and has been a true student and leader serving in various capacities. He previously worked as an implementation consultant for Lightspeed and as a general manager with P&L responsibility for a large metro multi-line dealership. Currently Forrest is the managing partner and chief visionary for a consulting firm that specializes in outsourced accounting, human resources, social media strategy, dealership operations consulting and Lightspeed/EVO training.



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