Change can be difficult in any business sector, including the automotive industry. New technology can serve as a powerful tool to help make dealerships more efficient and profitable, but it can be met with resistance from employees.
A Harvard Business Review article addressed this very topic, citing research that found resistance to change can be overcome by getting people who are affected by the change to participate in making it. However, participation is too often used as a buzzword by ownership and management to get employees to take part in discussions that don’t result in any true feeling of participation. The result is often increased resistance to new technology.
Instead, make implementation easier with the following tips:
Seek genuine input early in the process
Genuine input should be solicited from the employees who will be using the new technology. They should be involved as much as possible in the decision-making before new technology is selected and purchased. If they’re invested in the process and have a genuine voice in what’s chosen, they’re much more likely to see the value in and embrace new technology. For example, if your dealership wants to utilize reconditioning software in order to maximize your efficiency and profits, bring your department head and other key employees in early on the decision-making process.
Make it a part of everyday business
After your employees receive training, implement the new technology as soon as possible, making it part of their every day practices. For example, if you’re tracking reconditioning numbers, ask your managers for data that’s generated by the technology.
Continue to get feedback
Implementation should be thought of as a process, not a one-time event. Even after new technology is chosen and implemented, continue to listen to feedback. People who use products on a daily basis have the first-hand knowledge needed to make suggestions about how it can be best utilized. This will also increase their connection with the technology, and owners and management may discover new, better ways to use the technology increase their profitability and efficiency.
Offer rewards rather than reprimands
If employees are slow at fully adopting and embracing new technology, reprimands aren’t usually the most effective way to respond. This will only serve to make employees resist the change even more. Instead, offer some fun rewards by letting employees accumulate points they can redeem for rewards, or even offer a small cash bonus.
For more tips about how to smoothly implement new technology, visit ReconTRAC’s blog.