Big Rewards For Training

August 2006, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Jeff Smelley - Also by this author

In a typical dealership we train sales people, managers, finance people and service techs, but we overlook training for the core group that holds the dealership together and is responsible for keeping things running smoothly, the administration. Training for your admin staff will pay big rewards. These key people are responsible for the all encompassing job of maintaining cash flow, billing, fostering good relations with vendors, maintaining floor plan, payroll, payroll taxes, compliance issues and finally, preparing an accurate and timely financial statement. Yet they are often left without adequate training to perform these duties.

Lack of training, for administrative people, leads to heavy turnover, poor information and divisive relations between departments and poor controls on key dealership functions. We, more often than not, count on hiring someone with experience in dealership operations that will organize the admin department and bring order to chaos. Expectations run high, morale and results run low and turnover ensues. All of these ills can be prevented with proper training.

Admin training most often consists of assigning a new employee a work space, a pile of work to be performed and 15 – 30 minutes of instruction on the specific task at hand. All of the instruction focuses on the mechanics of what is to be done with little or no mention as to why the job must be done or the importance of it. Then we sit back and expect that this person will develop a deep understanding of the impact of their job and also develop the ability to detect incorrect information while unquestionably processing it.

There are two primary methods of training, by ROTE and by UNDERSTANDING. The by rote method entails giving the trainee a specific step by step approach to the job which is not to be questioned simply followed. The BY UNDERSTANDING method informs the trainee of four key elements of their job: WHAT, WHY, HOW and WHEN. By ROTE is a short cut approach that lacks the substance required for an employee to be successful. Therefore, I will focus on the UNDERSTANDING method of training which does provide the tools necessary for success.

Starting with WHAT empowers the trainee by defining the job at hand, not in terms of the details but in a broader functional definition. This foundational information provides direction and meaning to their job as well as an understanding of the bigger picture.

The WHY informs the trainee of the importance of the job and why he/she must be diligent in their performance and that executing their job effectively is necessary for others to be able to perform their jobs correctly, therefore imparting a sense of responsibility and pride in their work.

The HOW now fills in the details of the job giving specific instructions regarding the completion of the task, thereby providing relevance and real life application of the WHAT and WHY.

The WHEN clearly defines the expectations regarding their performance. They know what is required for success and it provides the trainee with a means of self managing to assure compliance with time deadlines and to measure their own performance.

Training needs to be consistent and follow a format that assures that each job will be handled with competence and confidence. You may choose to develop and implement such a training program in house or find a reliable source of classroom training which can provide your admin staff with the tools for success. Act today, for your success depends on their success.

Vol 2, Issue 8

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