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How to Eliminate Bad Attitudes Permanently in Your Service Department 

Dealing with bad attitudes that start to affect the Service Drive is an all-too-common predicament for Managers. Left unchecked, negativity spreads between Advisors faster than a flash flood. Before you know it, you’ve got complaining customers, plunging car counts, and payroll well above profits. 

So today, we’re going to talk about how to effectively eliminate bad attitudes in your Service Department once and for all. I draw from first-hand experience turning around low morale departments in the past to share proven tactics across leadership, hiring, culture building and more. 

My goal is to equip you with specific, actionable steps to transform bad attitudes and maintain positive energy from every customer interaction. Because as we discussed – attitudes are caught, not taught. The department environment starts with leadership setting the right tone. 

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Signs of a Bad Attitude Outbreak 

I’m sure you can easily spot the common symptoms of internal negativity – snippy tones, refusing help, eye rolling, and even aggression towards colleagues and customers. Attitudes gone awry tank customer satisfaction scores, diminish employee morale, and demolish profits. 

Yet bad attitudes don’t sprout randomly overnight like a weed. They emerge gradually over time from poor leadership, hiring misalignments, and lack of vision casting. Management sets the tone and environment. That’s why it’s important the problem starts and ends with you as the Service Leader – it’s your responsibility to fix, not negotiate bad attitudes! 

4 Steps to Permanently Eliminating Bad Attitudes 

If left untreated, bad attitudes spread like an infection throughout your department. But there is hope! Here are the 4 proven tactics I’ve used to turn toxic attitudes around for good: 

  1. Quarantine and Correct:  The first step to eliminating bad attitudes is containing the issue. Sit down with struggling staff 1 on 1. Call out the negative behaviors observed directly but professionally, and set clear expectations for improvement including daily check-ins. Consider reprocussions like restricting access to customers if attitudes remain unchanged despite several feedback sessions. You must be willing to promptly dismiss those unwilling to get on board to send a message that  bad attitudes won’t be tolerated. 
  1. Hire for Hospitality: Prevention is key to prohibiting bad attitudes from taking root in the first place. But too often leaders hire for skills only to inherit attitude issues shortly after. Make hospitality aptitude your top priority for any new hires. Consider involving staff in interviews to assess candidate interactions. Vet resume gaps, call references, and even invite prospects to group lunches assessing energy. It’s easier to teach systems than instill naturally hospitable personalities. 
  1. Have Fun on the Frontlines: Laughing is the world’s best medicine, and that applies heavily to bad attitudes! When joy fills the workplace, surly staff struggle sinking others into despair. Play upbeat music, start meetings with jokes, celebrate random holidays, and spotlight employee wins. Lead the way greeting customers first, asking questions, going the extra mile. Model the morale you expect from staff! Positivity is contagious if leadership sets the fun tone. 
  1. Cast Vision Consistently: Lack of direction breeds negativity over time. Regularly recasting vision gives teams purpose and understanding of their role. Share stories exhibiting desired attitudes and highlight customer impact. Schedule monthly team meetings reviewing core values. Publically recognize those embodying expectations. Consistency clarifies the culture where bad attitudes can’t survive. 

Want Hands On Help Eliminating Bad Attitudes? 

Bad attitudes must be addressed swiftly before spreading and contaminating your entire Service Department. But with concerted effort towards proactive management, strategic hiring, consistent vision casting, and leading by example, you can eliminate negativity for good. 

Remember, you set the tone for the environment that allows bad attitudes to flourish or fizzle out. It starts and ends with leadership. 

If low morale has been an unshakable struggle despite your best efforts, don’t delay – the problem only grows worse unchecked. Let’s connect in a quick strategy minute call to discuss the unique situation at your Dealership. We offer you  tailored action steps to start moving the needle on addressing lingering bad attitudes for good. Because at the end of the day, profit-draining attitudes won’t turn themselves around without thoughtful intervention.

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