I was recently reviewing my daily barrage of Facebook posts when I noticed a post from a friend that included “Ten Personal Traits That Make a Good Employee.” The post prefaced the traits with the statement that they required zero talent but would get you 100 percent respect. After reviewing them, I realized I had learned the importance of these traits in elementary school many, many years ago. Looking back, I believe learning them may have helped me over the years, as I have enjoyed some success in the varied places I have been employed.
As a manager, a large portion of my day is spent coaching employees on policy and procedures. However, I realized many of my staff are lacking some of these traits that are needed to make each of them successful in implementing our company’s policies and procedures. While I am now developing my new coaching plan to include training on these important traits, I thought I would share the list with you. With each trait, I included a small explanation of the why I have found them important in my own career. Hopefully, sharing these with all dealership staff may help us grow and have more success in our powersports careers.
The first trait is being on time. I was taught being on time means being 15 minutes early, which personally I try to be at work 30 minutes early, so when it’s time to work I am ready and have completed my daily ritual of turning on my computer, getting a cup of coffee, putting my lunch in the fridge and saying good morning to my co-workers.
Second is being prepared. I’m sure we all remember who didn’t show up to school without paper and pencils. In the work place that means having your day planned and having all your materials ready.
Third trait is body language. Keeping my head up, looking people in the eyes and walking with purpose shows confidence and helps people I deal with know I am serious about what I am doing.
Fourth is energy. This is one of the most important and requires a healthy lifestyle and rest the day before. Lack of energy makes a day at work feel like torture for me.
The fifth trait is attitude. While this can mean a lot of different things, for me having a positive attitude about being at work and enjoying what I do ensures my customers know I enjoy the same things they are passionate about.
Sixth on the list is effort. I fall short of what I want to achieve every day, but at the end of the day I know that I put forth as much effort as I could all day and that knowledge allows me to feel great about what I have accomplished.
The seventh trait is work ethic. Coming to work every day and working as hard as I can makes up for most of my lack of ability. And, like most things in life, the more you practice the better you get. Also, showing up for work every day helps the entire dealership because if I’m not there, someone else has to do my job.
Number eight is passion. This may be the most important of all. I find that if I am not passionate about what I am doing, I have no desire to be at work, and I am positive that it is felt by my customers. I've heard if you do something you love, you will never work a day in your life!
Coming in at number nine (I’m starting to feel like Casey Kasem doing the Top Forty countdown) is doing extra. People take notice when I do even a little bit extra on a task, and that usually results in a very happy customer or co-worker.
Last on the list is being coachable. I have had the pleasure of having success in several different fields, and the one thing that has allowed this is being coachable. Everyone you meet has some bit of information that may help you be better at what you do. By listening and trying new things, I have been able to add their knowledge to mine, which has allowed me to grow beyond anything I could have done on my own. It is very easy to think you don’t need to learn anymore, but by being coachable, you can fine tune your abilities and continue to grow your skills throughout your career.
Regularly reviewing these traits in ourselves and our staffs will prove valuable on many levels. Not only will it help us focus on giving our customers a great experience in our dealership, it will also help us enjoy the many hours we spend together at work.
Jackson Smith is the parts and service manager at Destination Powersports, a multi-line OEM dealership located in southwest Florida. Jackson has more than 30 years experience in both the automotive and powersports industries.