“I would like to introduce our new manager Bob. He will be taking over the team. He came recommended to us from a very successful dealership. I would like you all to give him your full attention.”
6 weeks later:
“I would like to introduce our new manager Mary. She was a top performer in our other location and will be taking over the team. I would like you all to give her your full attention.”
6 weeks later? You guessed it. Next!
Promoted from within or brought in from the outside, the merry-go-round of managers never ends. So, what is causing this manager turnover? A few things.
Choosing the Right Manager
Often, when selecting or promoting someone, whether internally or from another business, the individual who is the top performer is selected to lead the project or team. In most cases this is the wrong person to be put in a leadership position.
There are two main reasons for this. Often, great performers cannot explain how they accomplish what they do. Much of their results seem natural to them. They have certain innate skills which cannot be taught. Some may view this as talent, confidence or personality. I recommend having this person remain a top performer and look for another to fill the role of manager.
Secondly, top performers generally do not possess the patience necessary to teach others to perform. I have seen it many times where the new manager gets frustrated with others because they do not catch on as quickly as this new leader did. “Why can’t they just do it like I do?” is often something the top performer says in frustration. This reinforces my belief that your star employee isn’t always necessarily the best choice to lead a team.
Who Is the Right Candidate for a Manager?
In the current team structure, if the manager is out and not available, who does the team look to for answers? Who does the other team rely on to assist them? This is your manager candidate.
This individual possesses some of the key elements needed for a great leader. The team feels comfortable approaching them with questions. They have the knowledge needed to answer questions. They have patience to explain or even show the team what is needed. They are perceived as someone who is always willing to help.
All of these traits will be needed for a leader of a team, especially when changes are made to process or strategy.
If you value your dealership, your current employees and your customers, don’t make it easy to get on your team. The old adage of take a long time to hire and be quick to fire should be the hiring mantra for your dealership. Follow these initial steps and then put in the interview process a series of phone interviews and face-to-face interviews the candidates have to get through. You don’t need a speedy process just to get the position filled because this wastes training time and wastes resources.
In continuity lies success, and having a high turnover rate plus a team with an in-cohesive structure leads to failure. Would you rather your manager lead a consistent team with a singular goal or make your manager deal with a new team every few weeks?
Be a Trainer at Heart
Much of the expected employee success will come with confidence in their manager’s willingness to train, both initially and long term. This will have to be integrated into the day to day duties of the team’s leadership.
If you want to stop the merry-go-round, then you need to identify what your business processes are, identify the type of leader you want and hold firm when choosing candidates.