For you television aficionados, there’s a scene in the show, "Men Of A Certain Age” that resonates with our industry. One of the key characters runs a car dealership. He’s struggling with sales. His guys aren’t motivated. A competitor is grabbing his top reps. In a down economy, he’s trying to come up with new ideas to excite his sales staff.
Hmmmmmm, sounds like something a lot of businesses today can relate to. His business runs through a couple of ideas. They play around with a new commercial, then decide not to run it because it’s too predictable. Instead, they go with an edgier version, one that pushes the envelope. The point of the show was not about the commercial.
Instead, it was about what happened at the end. One of the sales reps, a guy who typically was weak, became number one for the month. He gets recognized at the end of the show with the phrase, "Last To First.” The owner did this in front of all his employees. Employee support of the former last place rep was enthusiastic and palpable. You didn’t need words to see the results.
The guy winning the monthly award was clearly overwhelmed by the support and what he accomplished. Putting the message out in front of everybody was the key. Reward employees visibly, and in front of others. Show exactly what they did to accomplish their goals. People like to be recognized in front of their peer groups. Remember to acknowledge your employees publicly when they have reached important milestones or reached business goals. It’ll make a huge difference in your employees’ moral and motivation.