Zach Spangler

Unlocking Motivation: Why Traditional Reports Fall Short in Energizing Your Dealership Team

Level Up
The Short Answer

Are you puzzled why your team isn't performing better?

You give them too much data and reports.

It's a common lament among dealership managers. Here's some insight and ideas to turn miscommunication into motivation.

Zach Spangler
Zach Spangler

2 min read

May 22, 2024

Unlocking Motivation: Why Traditional Reports Fall Short in Energizing Your Dealership Team
The Details

What drives your dealership employees? Factors like culture, appreciation, and work-life balance matter. But, let's face it – they're there to earn a living. A great pay plan aligns your dealership's goals with your employees' earnings. They care most about what they take home to their families.

You’re speaking two different languages

Management language often centers on profit and loss statements since they showcase growth and profit. But, "profit and loss" isn't part of your employees' pay plan, right? Here is where we see a disconnect. Giving reports without a clear tie to their pay is like speaking English to a team fluent in Japanese. It doesn't resonate. It doesn't motivate. Speaking in reports means miscommunication with your commissioned staff.

What information impacts performance?

If you want to motivate and empower your staff, generating more reports is not the solution. Unless those report figures tie directly to their pay. Research proves this over and over again. Clarity about earnings is key to unlocking your team's potential.

Clarity is 3x as important as the type of pay plan.


A classic Harvard Business Review study found that clarity is 50% more important for motivation than personality and nearly three times as important as the type of pay plan. So why is clarity so important in determining motivation?

  1. Clarity in Performance Goals and Incentives: Other studies show that clear performance goals and incentives improve commissioned employees' performance. Employees who see clear expectations and rewards tend to be more motivated. They focus on achieving those goals.
  2. Communication and Transparency: This research suggests that clear communication and transparency on earnings can greatly impact commissioned employees' performance. Employees informed of their potential earnings learn how their performance turns into income. This keeps them engaged and motivated to perform well.
  3. Psychological Factors: Psychology studies show the importance of clarity and transparency. They reduce ambiguity and anxiety among commissioned employees. When employees know their earning potential and how to achieve it, they have less stress. They can better focus on their performance.
  4. Employee Satisfaction and Retention: Clear earnings potential is also linked to higher employee satisfaction and retention. Don't you think employees who see fair pay and a clear path to earning more are more likely to stay with the company? Stay tuned for more on this and an article on developing pay plans for career paths.

Everyone Can Win...

Guess what? Research also shows that clear earnings potential helps the whole organization. It makes staff stay longer. Each department in your dealership wins by providing more transparency and clarity to your staff. Clear earnings are a win-win scenario for both you and your employees. 

Give clarity. Get performance. Win together
Give them what they want. Get what you want.

Assessment and Ideas for Improvement

So, where do you start assessing if you are giving your employees the clarity they need to thrive? Start by talking to your employees. Understand if they can translate the information you provide into their take-home pay. If there's a lack of clarity, take steps to rectify it:

  1. Build Custom Reports. Create reports tailored to each employee's needs. Be sure to provide the critical data on their earnings that they want to see.
  2. Update Pay Plans. Align them with the reports you generate. This will ensure they are clear and simple.

If you want ideas to improve pay plans, check out our article: dealership pay plans that get results.

Next Step

There's a better way forward

With Nimble Compensation, we're revolutionizing dealership commissions. Our tools provide almost instant commission calculations. They automate the whole process for you, drastically reducing the workload for management and back-office teams. Say goodbye to guesswork! Say hello to exact earnings and bonus levels the day after making a sale. It's all possible with Nimble Compensation.

Friends don't let friends do commissions in spreadsheets
Share this resource
Nimble Compensation CTA screen clipping

See a better way

Ready to kick back and spend more time with family and less time with formulas?