Working in sales for an auto dealer can be extremely competitive; team members often compete over potential buyers and will likely try to outdo one another in sales. While competitiveness is not always a bad thing, “it can become troublesome when it’s secretive and leads to people feeling blindsided” (Arturo Gallo via Global News), which actually happens quite often in the auto industry.
Team dynamics are highly influenced by the leader of the team, so here are 5 ways you as a leader can encourage your team to be less competitive and more collaborative:
- Encourage Ideas
Get the team together and encourage everyone to throw new ideas out on the table. It’s important to not discourage anyone’s contributions and to give all ideas equal thought and respect. Team brainstorming fosters collaboration especially if all ideas are always welcome.
- Give Credit Where Credit is Due
It’s important to celebrate sales as a dealership as well as the top performers. However, why not also celebrate those who are making a difference in other ways around the dealership? Who may not have the highest sales numbers but who help improve the culture of the organization? Always praising the top sellers can create animosity and envy among team members which “damages relationships, disrupts teams, and undermines organizational performance” (Harvard Business Review).
- Have an Open-Door Policy
It’s important to be there for you team. If your sales team feels like they can’t approach you about what’s bothering them, then arguments or issues among team members can fester damaging the team dynamic. People need to feel like they can come to you for anything!
- Do Things Differently
Do you have the same sales meetings at regular intervals in the same format? If so, changing up the way you communicate with the team and the way they interact during these meetings can bring your team closer. As Careers suggests, “It is imperative that you develop the discipline to plan and lead meetings that people value and push initiatives forward.” So, question your meeting format and change it up!
- Go Off-Site
Do things together! The best way to create a collaborative team is to engage in team building activities that take them out of the office. Team building “builds trust, mitigates conflict, encourages communication, and increases collaboration” (Forbes). It allows people to be themselves and to learn about others on a more personal level than at work.
It’s definitely advantageous to build a collaborative team, as those that are have been proven to perform better than those that aren’t (Wrike Blog). Moreover, a more supportive environment may even contribute to employee retention, as people will generally feel happier coming to work knowing they are a valued member of a strong team. Win win!