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Dealer staff confidence underperforms against other sectors

Confidence in the workplace is essential in boosting output and the automotive sector is under performing in comparison to other sectors, according to research from iOpener Institute.

iOpener Institute conducted 18,000 management interviews across business sectors assessing the identifiable key components of ‘happiness’ at work:– positive factors such as recognition, respect, and time on task; as well as negative indicators such as likelihood of leaving or sick days off.

One of the main elements of happiness at work is confidence; confident employees believe that they can handle tasks and, as a result, get 35% more work done than their more insecure colleagues.

The results show the automotive industry’s employees are 14% less confident than the average.

Trust between employee and organisation is another core element of well-being, and another area where the automotive industry is falling short (16% less trustful than average).

Distrustful employees feel that decisions made are unjust or that they don’t trust the company to protect their interests and treat them fairly.

The result of this is a significant impact on productivity. Figures show that workers in the automotive industry spend 5% less time on task and 3% less time engaged, when compared with their counterparts in other industries.

Some players in the automotive sector are proof of the link between well-being and productivity.

Sytner Group rose to an impressive third spot in the Sunday Times Top 25 Best Big Companies to Work For in 2012, with employees citing strong leadership, plenty of opportunities and the ability to make a valuable contribution to the company .

The company points to a direct correlation between the happiness of their employees and a 75% increase in profitability achieved between 2008 and 2009 , in the midst of the recession.

But how can other companies follow this example and promote well-being amongst their staff?

Jessica Pryce- Jones is joint founder and partner of the iOpener institute for People & Performance, said: “A few industry players are already exploiting the link between happiness and productivity, but as a whole, the automotive sector’s performance is significantly below par.

“If companies are to make the most of the green shoots of recovery, improving the well-being staff is something that they cannot afford to ignore.”

Pryce suggested five key drivers of productivity in the dealership, which will make workers happier and propel performance:

Effort: This involves providing staff with clear goals, and precise and well-articulated objectives that lead to those goals.

Short-term motivation: Good organisations encourage motivation by helping partners and staff own issues and take responsibility, at a level that fits with an individual’s skills, strengths and expertise levels.

Culture: Performance and happiness at work are both boosted when people feel they fit within their organisational culture. Firms can address this by being as transparent as possible about why decisions are made and why resources are allocated in the way they are.

Long-term engagement: This is about commitment, the long-term engagement between employee and employer. Dealers need to regularly and convincingly communicate the practice’s corporate strategy, along with tangible proof of how that strategy is being implemented.

Self-belief: If staff are not confident, they won’t make decisions, take risks, or invest in development. Confidence is the gateway to productivity and our data shows that a primary indicator of confidence is that things get done.

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