Roles, Responsibilities and Expectations - Aftermarket
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Roles, Responsibilities and Expectations

Written By: Ron Slee

Article Date: 07-02-2007
Copyright(C) 2008 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.

It takes more than job descriptions and standards of performance.

Management gurus and management theories change like the wind. From Peter Townsend to Peter Drucker to Porras and Collins and Lencioni, etc. - it's much more than a cottage industry, it's an industry. They tell us we must have job descriptions, and then we have to have standards of performance for each job function. Then we got into vision and mission statements and other buzz words.

Or how about Total Quality Movement and Continuous Quality Improvement. And let's not forget Six Sigma and needing to become "black belts."

And now we have "Lean Management." In the midst of all that, we have the Balanced Scorecard and Activity Based Management.

Don't get me wrong. There are a lot of benefits to each of these. They're not just a series of passing fads.

AED's Product Support series: The Handbook, The Opportunities Handbook, and the Best Practices Handbook are a cookie cutter solution to all of our problems. If only it were that simple.

So let's take a breath and get back to some basics. There is a terrific new book from Charles G. Koch, the chairman of Koch Industries, called The Science of Success: How Market-Based Management Built The World's Largest Private Company. In it, one of the subjects broached is roles, responsibilities and expectations. I think this is an extremely important book and it contains some excellent advice.

What are the roles of individuals in the parts and service departments, and the product support sales department? What do these employees think their roles are? What are their responsibilities?

This is important. Does each employee have a clear understanding of what they are expected to do? Not their job descriptions - their roles in the company. Do they know what the process is?

This is the curse of our American business structure. We teach employees how to do the job and then expect them to repeat it until they get really good at it. Devotees of Kaizen have a much better approach: Do the job better every day.

Do your employees invest their intellectual capital in improving their jobs? Or do they find out how to do the job and then keep on keeping on?

This is something I find in many dealerships: people doing what they are told to do.

I believe an employee who is doing the job knows how to do it better than anyone else, certainly better than the boss. With the arrival of summer, I thought it would be good to have each of us read the book and then to ask how we can improve our daily lives by doing our jobs more effectively and with the customer in mind. (Don't forget In Search of Dignity by R.C. Sproul either. He reminds us everyone wants to feel they make a difference in their lives.)

That brings us to expectations. What expectations does the employee have for the job? What expectations does the company have for each employee? This is much more than job descriptions and standards of performance.

The struggle to attract and retain talented employees is all about expectations. Keeping employees happy keeps customers happy and makes money for the owners. This is not easy

So there is your vacation reading: The Science of Success by Charles Koch. It's a great read!

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Article Categories:  Product Support