How Your Team Is Torn Apart By Five Words


By Stephen Jackson

Your deal­er­ship, like any busi­ness, has a mis­sion. It might be to sell the most cars in the region. Maybe you’re focused on reten­tion through your ser­vice depart­ment or sim­ply pro­vid­ing the best deal­er­ship shop­ping expe­ri­ence for your cus­tomers. What­ev­er your busi­ness goals are, you’re not going to achieve them all on your own. You need the help of team play­ers on your staff to sup­port the entire orga­ni­za­tion. But just a few tox­ic words can poi­son the whole process: “That’s not MY job.”

If you’ve heard this one before, it might be time to seri­ous­ly exam­ine your cor­po­rate cul­ture. Run­ning a busi­ness always has unex­pect­ed curves, and you occa­sion­al­ly need things done that are out­side of any one member’s job descrip­tion. Whether you’re work­ing on a big project, pro­mo­tion, or sales push, you’re going to need all hands on deck – but “that’s not my job” means that your team mem­bers are more focused on their indi­vid­ual per­for­mance than your store’s suc­cess as a whole.

How can you com­bat a cul­ture of self-inter­est?

• Con­stant com­mu­ni­ca­tion. If you’re an orga­ni­za­tion­al leader, you must be high­ly vis­i­ble to the rest of your team. Make the effort to meet with your oth­er depart­men­tal heads so that you can pro­mote a cul­ture of uni­ty. Use this oppor­tu­ni­ty to clar­i­fy your store’s goals, weak­ness­es, and strat­e­gy.

• Host team-build­ing exer­cis­es. ActivEn­gage believes that hap­py and ful­filled staff mem­bers make the most pro­duc­tive team. Ear­li­er this week, we gave our Cus­tomer Suc­cess Man­agers a chance to cut loose by play­ing laser tag. Noth­ing helps vent frus­tra­tion and build team­work like shoot­ing at each oth­er with toy guns. Try tak­ing your staff on a retreat or out to lunch – get­ting to know your employ­ees out­side of work can build trust and loy­al­ty in the office.

• Ensure fair­ness in the work­place.  “That’s not my job” usu­al­ly trans­lates to “I’m not get­ting paid enough for this” or “I have too much to do already.” Take a hands-on approach to mea­sur­ing your team’s work­load; keep track of the tasks you’ve assigned and try to make sure that no one is over­bur­dened with an unfair share.

Don’t let bureau­cra­cy and com­part­men­tal­iza­tion tear down the team dynam­ic that you des­per­ate­ly need. Make your team feel like they are a part of some­thing greater than them­selves. Elim­i­nate “that’s not my job” from your store.

Stephen Jack­son is a Social Media Spe­cial­ist at and can be reached at [email protected].



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