The automotive industry is challenging, requiring managers to be adaptable and forward thinking to get the best out of their team and make the best use of the available resources. Improving your managerial ability requires effort and most of all, practice. So whether you’re just stepping into a managerial role, you’re searching for manager jobs, or you’ve worked as a manager for some time, we’re sure this blog will help. Take a look at some of the biggest factors below that will help you on your journey to becoming a top manager:

 

Train your staff

According to AppInstitute, 1 in 3 workers leave their organisation in the first 12 months and 74% of workers feel that they’re not achieving their full potential.40% of employees who receive poor training will leave within one year. Can your company afford that level of staff turnover? If you want to attract top quality staff, you need an attractive training programme. One which allows your staff to grow and explore their work-related interests. This in turn, will help increase retention rates, speed up product development and boost productivity and profitability.

Training your team is essential in terms of boosting productivity and utilising your assets, ensuring everyone is on the same wavelength and there are no disruptions to productivity. Listening to your employees and striving to overcome their pain points with your training can help to streamline processes and create a better work environment. Training also demonstrates to your workforce that you value their skills and talents and that you’re willing to invest in them.

Providing training can be challenging as the method is entirely dependent on the individual and their experience/skill set. For example, it can involve working with a new apprentice mechanic who needs to build their practical skills and knowledge from scratch, or perhaps moving a fully trained car salesperson to a product they’re not yet comfortable with – both present different obstacles. 

Another problem is allocating time to train a member of staff without it significantly impacting productivity. A manager needs to strike a balance between casual learning from a mentor and scheduled training, focusing on a specific area. A good manager must also appreciate that different people learn in different ways, and therefore they should be open to teaching in different methods.

Given the benefits, it’s surprising that most organisations put all their effort into understanding the customer, forgetting about their most valuable assets – the employees.

 

This video relays five top management skills you’ll need if you want to succeed in leadership:

 

Understand different training techniques 

On the job – This involves a person learning while doing a task. For most people, this is the best method, but it can also result in costly mistakes being made.

One on one – Assigning a trainee to a mentor is also an important, but time consuming method, and managers must ensure a mentor’s time is divided up sensibly.

Formal training programme – Process documents and training manuals can aid training by giving team members a reference point, helping them learn by doing without close monitoring.

Team training – When training an entire team, it is important to make use of technology and digital resources to transfer information quickly and monitor progress. Team training can also involve role play and presentations, so it is wise to assess your team before putting too much focus into a specific learning method.

 

 

Understand that not everyone learns the same way

Did you know that the learning styles of your team members are likely to be as unique and diverse as their individual skill sets?

There are many different types of intelligence, so the way information is absorbed and processed by individual staff members is going to vary. This is something that you should consider if you want your training programme to be a success.

The best managers understand that everyone learns differently and they adapt their training methods accordingly.

Understanding the different ways in which people learn will help you to create more engaging and effective training sessions to increase productivity and profits.

 

Different types of learning styles and how to train them

 

types of intelligence

 

  1. Spatial/Visual: Visual thinkers, need presentation, diagrams
  2. Naturalist: Find it easier to be taught outdoors, or to be given something physical they can interact with
  3. Musical: Those with musical or rhythmic intelligence respond particularly well to sound-based training techniques
  4. Logical-mathematical: Can learn just about anything using their logical skills
  5. Bodily-kinesthetic: Like a hands-on experience when learning
  6. Linguistic: Excellent communicators, will easily absorb training that involves reading, writing and verbal communication.
  7. Intra-personal: Self-motivated and don’t need rewards to get the job done. Can work independently 
  8. Interpersonal: Likely to take an active role in group activities and discussions. Work best in pairs or as part of a team
  9. Existential: Enjoy exploring and challenging existing concepts, so training should be framed around how it will help them achieve wider company goals.

 

These types of learning styles will often overlap too.

 

 

Get organised

Improving processes and speeding up workflow without a loss of quality all depends on good organisation from a manager. Setting a clear chain of command can greatly improve communication, while the implementation of software can help with troubleshooting.

But every decision doesn’t have to be made by you…

When it comes to organising your team’s efforts, building your strategies around problem solving is often the best way forward. For example, if you have a communication issue, speak to the staff, get to the root of it, brainstorm how to fix it and then go ahead and make the necessary changes. Involve your team, and encourage discussions where you can act on their input.

In terms of how to organise your team’s efforts, use project management software, where necessary to keep track of everyday ongoings.

 

 

Communication

Studies have shown that effective work communication can improve overall company performance. We also know that the most productive employees are also the ones that receive the most effective communication from their superiors.

Communicating with your staff is essential. Do not presume everyone knows what they are doing that day. Direct communication can help build trust and create a happier working environment, reducing the risk of missed deadlines and disgruntled team members.

An effective management strategy is to empower your employees by encouraging them to make their own decisions as much as possible when it comes to their workload. This instills a sense of ownership and makes employees feel that you value their skills and experience. This in turn will open up the gates for regular communication.

Make any goals crystal clear, and encourage feedback from your staff so you can improve. Get to know your team, have work and non-work related conversations – there are so many benefits ti be gleaned from spending a bit of time with your staff.

 

Motivation

Motivating your team to do their job is one of the most basic roles of a manager, but also one of the most difficult. Jobs need to be completed correctly in a timely fashion – an unmotivated workforce is one of the most damaging factors in terms of achieving this.

You need to work out what motivates your staff on an individual level and set goals accordingly, some employees may be focused on financial rewards, while others may simply find motivation from praise and acknowledgment.

 

Tips to improve your managerial ability

Ensure your own skills are of the highest standard and lead by example. You can’t motivate a team if you are not capable of excelling in the job yourself.

Consult your peers – whether that be other managers or the owner of the company, always look to seek their advice as they may have encountered similar situations and have a solution that didn’t cross your mind. Asking them to sit in on your team meetings or staff appraisals and provide feedback can also be beneficial.

As well as setting your team targets you can also give yourself personal goals which can be assessed by your team. This can improve the relationship between you and your staff as well as ensuring your standards don’t drop.

Manage your time effectively – lengthy meetings or too much time spent talking to your staff individually can impact your productivity – being able to call time on a conversation that is dragging on is an important skill to have.

Consistency is key – highlighting a mistake made by one employee and not another can potentially cause a rift and lead to accusations of favouritism, impacting morale. Be fair and don’t let your mood dictate your thought process.

Understand you’re the manager and that it could impact relationships with former peers in terms of participating in gossip or how much information you share in terms of the company. This doesn’t mean you can’t socialise outside of work, but boundaries need to be set.

 

We hope this article has inspired you, whether becoming a manager is your career goal, or you’ve been in this position for a number of years.

Advice on working in the motor trade

Ray Burling, Director at CarWiseUK, has been in the motor industry for the past 30 years and has seen a variety of changes over this period of time. This has ranged from how salesmen in the industry sell their vehicles to the fast pace of models that...

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