8 tips for giving feedback at your auto dealership

If you’re a manager or leader at an auto dealership, you’re going to have to give feedback to your employees and your sales team. That’s inevitable. But the problem is that giving feedback can be awkward and uncomfortable. It’s weird for the person getting the feedback, it’s hard for the person giving the feedback. But how can you give the comments in the best way? Here are a few tips for giving feedback at your auto dealership.

8 tips for giving feedback at your auto dealership.

1. Give feedback in person.

First of all, it’s important to give feedback in person if possible. We rely a lot on body language and tone for communication. If you give comments on the phone, via email, or over message, your meaning can be misconstrued because the body language aspect is missing. And if you have an in-person conversation, you can have a back-and-forth dialogue with your employee that allows for discussion, questions, and all of that good stuff. That allows for a more productive conversation, and there’s less risk of your comments being taken the wrong way.

2. Make feedback a regular occurrence.

It can be pretty scary thing for your employee to get feedback. One way to make feedback less stressful is to make it a regular thing. That can take some of the scariness away. If you only give comments when there’s a problem, that makes it all the more dread-inducing. (And the stress can greatly reduce the positive effect of the feedback.) So, make providing feedback a regular thing at your auto dealership.

3. Have a balance between positive and critical remarks.

You need to let your employees know what they’re doing well and that you appreciate all of the hard work they do for your auto dealership. And you might have some critical comments and suggestions for improvement as well. Find a good balance between the positive and the negative. That can help you round out your comments. Try to steer clear of the technique where you cushion the criticism between positive “fluff”. This can come across as being a bit insincere.

4. Be clear and detailed.

When you give feedback, it’s important to be detailed and clear. Look at specific situations that illustrate the behaviors you want to address. Being vague or giving broad, unclear comments won’t exactly be helpful. And be mindful of your tone and how you phrase your comments, too. Try to stick to things that you’ve noticed so you’re putting the emphasis on an observation rather than judgements. You don’t want to come across as being accusatory.

5. Be sure your team trusts you.

Establishing trust within your auto dealership is also really important. If your employees trust you and the management team, they’ll know that constructive suggestions are given with the best of intentions. And it’ll be easier for them to feel that the feedback is truly meant to help. Plus, it can help people not feel so picked on whenever you need to give them some feedback.

6. Remember that your employees are human.

Sometimes times are rough and everyone is under a lot of stress – for instance, during a pandemic. So, don’t forget that your employees are human. Ask them how they’re doing and show that you’re genuinely concerned about them. You can share a bit about how you’re feeling, which can help a feedback session feel less hostile or threatening. It shows that you’re conscious of the fact that your employees are, in fact, human beings and that they might have a lot on their minds.

7. Make sure that it’s the right time.

If you’re giving comments that are going to be critical, you need to ask whether it’s the right time. Is this feedback really necessary – will it matter in the long run? Or is there enough for your employees to be getting on with? Sometimes feedback is a “pick your battles” thing. And then you have to determine if the battle is worth it.

8. Don’t just dump the feedback and take off.

Yes, it’s uncomfortable to give feedback. But take care not to just cannonball the comment at the employee and just leave it be. It’s important to have an actual conversation. Ask how you can help and if they have any questions. You need to show that you’re okay with getting feedback, too. Your auto dealership’s team should know that you believe your job is to help them be the best they can be.

Giving feedback can be stressful, and it’s pretty awkward for everyone involved. It’s not exactly a fun time. Remember, balance your positive and negative comments. Choose your moment carefully. Be clear and detailed, and make feedback a regular thing at your auto dealership. Yes, at first it might be awkward, but you’ll get into the routine.

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