The Case for Happiness: How Employee Engagement will Improve your Dealership's Bottom Line
In an industry obsessed with customer experience (CX), it is easy to get lost in the excitement of high-tech solutions or zoom in on internal processes that deliver the ultimate CX.
At the core of our operation are the people who use the technology, manage and maintain the internal processes, and deliver on that customer commitment. From the service bay, through to senior management, every customer touch point within our operation is either currently, or has at some point, been interacted with first and foremost, by an employee.
The case for employee happiness is not a new concept but it is constantly developing. A study published in 2023, Does Employee Happiness Have an Impact on Productivity? mapped out and measured factors that directly impact employee happiness including the physical work environment and the weather. The results showed that, rather unsurprisingly, a worker’s mood has a direct impact on their productivity, and in this specific case, their lead conversions.
The weather and oftentimes, the architecture, may be outside of our control, but many things that impact happiness are within our control.
Creating a positive and productive work environment is crucial for overall happiness and employee engagement. When employees feel valued, supported, and motivated, they are more likely to perform at their best and contribute to the growth of the dealership.
The question then becomes, how do we achieve this?
How to promote work-life balance?
One way to increase employee happiness is by promoting a healthy work-life balance. Encouraging employees to prioritize their well-being outside of work can lead to reduced stress levels and increased job satisfaction. By focusing on building relationships with your employees, you are investing in a deeper understanding of their individualism. Understanding what is important to each employee, how they spend their time outside of work, and what matters to them on a personal level can influence your ability as a leader to encourage work-life balance.
How to foster confidence, trust, and relationships?
Confidence in one's team is another key factor. When employees trust that their colleagues are competent and reliable, they feel more comfortable collaborating and taking on new challenges. According to Hannah Lomax, developing strong friendships at work matters too. Gallup has done extensive scientific studies focused on understanding the psychological workplace needs of employees. The ability to form strong friendships at work improves productivity and drastically decreases absenteeism. Creating an environment that encourages employees to build relationships independently with one another, comes down to providing the time and space for connection, within and outside of the dealership walls.
How to encourage open communication?
Listening to your employees is essential in creating a positive work environment. By actively seeking feedback, addressing concerns, and implementing suggestions when possible, employers show that they value their team members' opinions. This creates a sense of belonging and empowerment among employees which translates into enhanced engagement. Facilitating open discussions and allowing each employee the opportunity to participate, can contribute to creating an environment where employees feel acknowledged and appreciated. Investing in leadership development to improve specific people management tactics such as listening, can directly improve how an organization or team communicates.
How to create a high-performance environment?
Recognizing hard work is also crucial for boosting employee morale. Whether through verbal praise or tangible rewards such as bonuses or promotions, acknowledging achievements motivates individuals to continue performing at their best. Systematic levels of progression, continuous learning at each stage, and regular feedback are key to building a high-performance environment. The sense of clarity that comes from understanding the goals, and the journey mapped out to achieve them, has a clear and positive impact on employee engagement.
Lastly, it's important to remember that happiness is infectious. When leaders prioritize employee happiness themselves by exhibiting positivity and enthusiasm, it sets an example for others to follow suit. Creating a culture where happiness is valued not only benefits individual employees but contributes to a more productive and thriving workplace overall.
By Nikki Hamer, Digital Marketing Coordinator at Hillview Motors